Brooklyn Flea

THEY came for freshly shucked oysters and straight-off-the-leg prosciutto. They came for clacking vintage typewriters and old LPs repurposed as dog tags and bracelets. And they came, to the Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene last Saturday, searching for meaning and connection in their rudderless lives.

“Flea markets proliferate a volume of goods needing to be sold and people who are hungry — emotionally and aesthetically — to sort out the meaning of life,” said Michael Prokopow, a history professor at the Ontario College of Art and Design University in Toronto, who teaches a course called “Stuff,” about things and their meaning. “For most people who go on these ritualized scavenger hunts looking for something that they may not know exists, it is a kind of pilgrims’ process through the detritus of the past.”

O.K. So, maybe the situation is not quite that deep. But in recent years, with nearly half a dozen major flea markets springing up across the city, the flea marketing of New York is all but complete.

There is the Brooklyn Flea — actually two flea markets, one in Fort Greene every Saturday and, new this year, another in Williamsburg every Sunday. There is the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market every weekend, with its gourmet food truck bazaar every second Sunday of the month. There is the Antiques Garage and the West 25th Street Market in Chelsea.

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First came word that the Brooklyn Flea would be moving to Williamsburg on Sundays starting in April. Then we learned that a new DeKalb Market, filled with vendors in retooled shipping containers, would come to Flatbush and Willoughby by early summer (applications are still being accepted for a free spot for six months!). And now, so long as it reaches its meager Kickstartergoal, a night market will take over 125,000 square feet along the Greenpoint waterfront Friday and Saturday nights from May to September. Read More


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The Brooklyn Flea is leaving the downtown areafor Williamsburg this summer (that’s on Sundays; they’ll still be in Fort Greene on Saturdays), but a new food-friendly market is coming to the downtown area. Come early summer, Urban Space Management (operators of the Holiday Market at Union Square) and developer Youngwoo & Associates will set up shipping containers on a plot of land at Flatbush and Willoughby that will eventually become a part of Woo’s the CityPoint development. We’re told the salvaged containers will house food vendors such as Robicelli’s (the cupcake enterprise that used to have a store in Bay Ridge) and Cuzin’s Duzin (the cookie- and doughnut-maker that used to have a location at the Albee Square Mall). The outdoor portion of the DeKalb Market will serve as an educational farm hosting six local farmers, and there’ll be a market with a butcher, dairy products, and the like. The lineup is still coming together, and you can still apply to be a vendor— they’re giving preference to first-time retailers.