The Flea

I have already expressed my love for antiquarian curiosities and flea market finds here and here, but I have yet to share the best source for all of the vintage, quirky goodness. Finally, I get to talk about the Brooklyn Flea!

Three years ago, when I was living in East Village, I went all the way down to the flea market in Fort Greene as a way to explore Brooklyn. I had never been to the borough and I thought it would be a great way to explore the area. I remember being surprised at how much more open and airy it was than Manhattan and that there were so many beautiful brownstones in the neighborhood.  The market is held in a basketball court behind a school and at first glance, I thought it was pretty diminutive for a regular event lauded by style sites for having great fashion and decor finds. Well, in less than two hours, I had unearthed an awesome pair of 50s vintage diamante and emerald rhinestone earrings, a 50s issue of Vogue on the Paris collections, and walked away with a Blue Marble ice cream cone in hand. I could not have been more content on a scorching July afternoon.

Since then, I’ve made the flea a pretty frequent part of my weekends. The Sunday market used to be in Dumbo, which was great because it was held underneath the Brooklyn bridge and it gave me an excuse to walk around Brooklyn Heights (a quaint historic neighborhood :)). Now, the flea has moved to a new location in Williamsburg, right on the East River. Beating even the Brooklyn Bridge for ideal scenery, the Williamsburg locale boasts one of the most breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline, plus all of it’s unique finds and foodie fabulousness.

Like many of the street fairs, the flea features vendors that sell one-of-a-kind handcrafted goods, jewelry, and artwork in addition to vintage and reworked pieces. If I had a bigger place and some extra cash, I would totally snag some of the beautiful refurbished farmhouse tables and midcentury walnut chairs they usually have on display. But even if you’re not there to buy, sometimes it’s nice to just browse and be inspired by the fun, and sometimes kooky, things that people have collected. Besides, there’s always the lust worthy food. Asian-inspired hot dogs, Mexican sandwiches, mini cupcakes, all natural soda, braised pork buns, gourmet grilled cheese, and even wood burning oven pizza–this place has lunch covered. While the lineup does suggest average street food, there’s always an inspired twist to what’s being served up and you can always expect fresh ingredients. And Smorgasburg on Saturdays, in the same location, is a market completely devoted to all things foodie! I still have to check it out, will report back.

And once you’ve finally decided on what to eat, you can walk right over to the grassy area outside the fenced-in park and find a convenient bench to sit and admire the view, welcome the breeze, people watch, and be reminded that this is what summers are made of.

In the market for a life size Marilyn cut-out?

This deer looks ready to head to the moon! So weird.

SKT Ceramics is one of my favorite vendors and I promise to buy one of her sweet, handmade mugs one day.

The flea is a great place to do some street style watching.

I’m so glad they finally added picnic tables in the center, great communal dining feature.

This little girl was totally enjoying herself.

This poor guy at Pizza Moto had the tough task of standing in front of the flames on an 85 degree day. Phew. I’m still impressed that they’re able to haul this thing out every weekend just for the market.

One of my top 5 favorite pizzas. Simple, sweet, fresh.

Some serious fried fish.

A bratwurst pita, a delicious spin on a classic hot dog.

Now that’s an ice cream sandwich! Salted caramel yumminess, courtesy of The Good Batch.

As much as I love ice cream, I went for popsicles this time! Strawberry rhubarb looked too good to pass up on a hot day.

So refreshing.

Translation:  ‘please ignore and feel free to lay down and enjoy the grass at your leisure’ :)

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