Where do I begin to describe one of my favorite shopping/eating/people watching destinations?? I suppose from the beginning……
In 2008 I read about a new flea market that was slated to open in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. I did a bit of a double take as Fort Greene is where my alma mater, Pratt Institute is – and while the neighborhood is graced with beautiful, tree-lined streets and landmark-worthy brownstones, when I was a student back in the 80’s it was also quite dangerous – like, crack and rampant crime dangerous. So I was more than a little intrigued by the notion that this neighborhood had changed so much as to host what looked to be a fabulous assortment of vendors.
I read on – the 2 guys who started the Flea are Jonathan Butler (who runs the blog Brownstoner) and former speechwriter Eric Demby. They have assembled a sharply curated collection of 200+ vendors that are quite diverse yet consistently high-quality. “Not everyone wants to buy an old doorknob,” said Butler. “But the last thing we want is a bunch of shitty crafts lying around.”
Indeed, the Flea boasts a fantastic mix that falls into roughly 3 categories.
There is a wide array of vintage, well, everything:
I am coveting this leather jacket.
love these groovy thermoses
repurposed industrial lighting
I’m addicted to mason jars. I’m double addicted to blue mason jars.
crates galore – these make great serving trays or unique planters
I was SO born in the wrong era………..
There is also a fantastic selection of new, handmade items – home decor, clothing, jewelry – that you definitely will not find at your local chain store/mall retailer:
vases hand-cast from antique milk bottles
love these silkscreened t-shirts
adorable children’s clothing
vintage bricks planted with sedum
And finally, food. Like, really good food. Small, artisanal vendors selling some of the most delectable, to die for sweets, savories and everything in between:
kumquate cupcakery’s delicious mini cupcakes
people’s pops shaved ice made from local fruits and herbs
red hook lobster pound. the best. lobster roll. ever.
…..is how salvatore bklyn ricotta samples their amazing cheese
There’s also plenty of “borough pride”:
The market has moved around a bit in the last 3 years but is currently in the Fort Greene schoolyard where it began on Saturdays and in a new spot by the Williamsburg waterfront on Sundays. There is also a new market at the Williamsburg site on Saturdays, called Smorgasburg – a food-centric market comprised of about 100 purveyors of handmade food as well as Greenmarket farmers and cookware vendors.
To see the complete slide show of my last visit, click here.
Better yet, just GO. SOON.
Let me know what you bought!