In a colorful alley next to Arriba Juntos, vendors gather each weekend on Julian near 15th Street to sell everything from lawn mowers to ice cream.

“The goal of the market is to help the community,” said Jorge Rivera, a case manager from Arriba Juntos. The market has been held each weekend for the past three years. Vendors, many of whom live in the Mission District, apply for a spot through Rivera. “Most of them don’t have a job,” he said. “They consider the flea market their job.”

Rivera, however, is pulling overtime to oversee the marketplace every weekend. “I work seven days a week,” he said, adding that he does some shopping of his own while he’s there.

Vendors are allowed to sell anything except food, alcohol and pornography.

Jorge Molina, who grew up in the Mission District, said his father trucks his merchandise every weekend from Berkeley and rents a spot in the informal marketplace for $20 a day.

On Sunday his father was selling karate belts of all colors, vacuum cleaners and clothing. “I don’t know how much he makes, but I guess he likes to come out here,” Molina said. “He’ll sell you a dirty shirt if he can.”

Several vendors sell DVDs, some of films that are still in theaters. Others sell handmade goods, brand-new makeup, computer keyboards and CDs.

“A few weeks ago, I bought a brand new Apple keyboard for 20 bucks,” Molina said. “And today I got this box of food from someone.” He indicated a cardboard box with a dozen small yellow potatoes, a half-pound of beans and several peach mango vitamin waters. “You can find anything here.”

Jessica Lum

An admitted technophile, Jessica Lum navigates the Mission with Google Maps, but has only really come to know the neighborhood by wandering on foot, looking at murals, and occasionally watching the guy...

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