David Johnson was checking out vintage watches at the GOOD: street food + design market Sunday in North Sacramento.
"I'm a retired artist, and I see a lot of things that I like and I can appreciate," said Johnson, 66, of Sacramento, who stopped by the Parker Benjamin booth, which specializes in vintage men's accessories.
Johnson was one of nearly 2,000 visitors to the open-air market at 1409 Del Paso Blvd., which draws people to the Del Paso Boulevard area.
The event, featuring artists and crafts people, is held the first Sunday of each month, May through December.
"We get to highlight so many real people who are in our own backyard," said Roshaun Davis, owner of Unseen Heroes, which organized the market, now in its second year.
"Sacramento has a lot to offer and you don't have to travel outside the city to be amazed by local vendors."
Davis said he "curates" the mix of vendors each month, making sure there is a good balance of different kinds of goods being sold. He also tries to rotate vendors from month to month, drawing merchants in the Northern California area but mostly from Sacramento.
Scott Westbrook, 27, who grew up in Citrus Heights, was one of the new merchants at the market Sunday. Like many others, he primarily sells his items online.
His table, Origin Recycled Goods, had a prime spot just inside the entrance. On it were watches, wallets, purses and packs made from recycled bicycle tires.
Even his business card was reusable it had seeds embedded in the paper. Put it into the soil and it will produce bell peppers.
"People like the idea," he said of the reaction his products received at the market.
"It's not for everyone. But people like what I do, even if they don't buy it. It's why I do this," Westbrook said.
He added that he likes the interaction with the people at the market and would like to return.
"I do something like this to make people realize that things are recyclable," he said.
Then there was Ana Manzano, owner of Ana Apple, which has been with the Del Paso Design District market from the beginning.
She sells children's clothing of felt made from recycled plastic bottles. She enjoys returning to the market each month and often sees repeat customers.
"It's events like this that I can get good feedback," she said. "People ask questions and we can tell them what we're all about."
Most of the market patrons Sunday appeared to be first-time visitors.
Monique Vasquez, 34, of Sacramento sat on one of two corrugated cardboard installations created by design students at Cosumnes River College.
"I like to people-watch," she said as she finished off a pastrami sandwich. "I like to see what people are wearing and see the creativity of the vendors."
Ian McDonald, 26, of Sacramento came with his girlfriend, Mayette Villanueva.
"We've been waiting to come here for a while," he said as he waited for Villanueva to finish paying for a necklace at the EMI Design booth.
"I like all of this do-it-yourself stuff. I feel there are a lot of similar things around town, but at the same time, I'm really excited to see this, so it can thrive."
McDonald showed his support by buying two bottles of hot pepper sauce from Feeding Crane Farms and had just finished a Silk Road cucumber-with-mint soda.
Villanueva, 25, of Sacramento appreciated the prices at the market.
"It's great," she said, proudly showing off a paper bag that held a jar of pepper jelly and another necklace.
"I've never seen anything like this in Sacramento. It's really informal and fun. There is a lot here. I would definitely want to come back." Call The Bee's Tillie Fong, (916) 321-1006.