The Brooklyn Artists and Fleas market is a great destination for a sunny Sunday morning
When I was little, riding home from a visit to my grandparents in Connecticut, we got stuck in a very bad traffic jam in the Pocono Mountains. The traffic was inching along and as I made progress on my lanyard in the back seat, my parents trying desperately to get a decent radio signal in the front, we all sat with the windows rolled down and our legs sticking to the seats. This was a typical summer trip until one thing happened to make that afternoon stand out in my family’s list of stories that are told again and again. We had been inching forward all this time, and going past various flea markets when suddenly, out of no where into the humid August afternoon a voice from one of the other cars shouted “NOT ANOTHER FLEA MARKET!” I guess that person just couldn’t take it anymore.
I guess stories are what make up the bulk of the interest I have in a Flea Market. Some people get excited by the thrill of finding a treasure that they’ve been searching for, or getting a good bargain, but I’ve always been curious to leaf through the items that other people have decided they no longer need or want. What must they have thought buying some of those crazy print Hawaiian shirts off the rack? When was it ever a good idea to buy the alarm clock in the shape of Mickey Mouse? Why were they getting rid of that beautiful mirror. These stories, these snippets of people’s lives all laid out on a card table on the side of the road, there is something both sad and circular about it. The life of the objects and the people who own them.
For whatever reason, Flea Markets tend to appeal to a wide audience, and in Brooklyn there is one that takes art, food, and great views into account. I’m talking, of course, about Brooklyn Artists and Fleas. Held on Sundays, this flea market is found just off the East River, and offers up a spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline. There is a whole row of vendors selling all kinds of delectable goodies including sandwiches, ice cream and doughnuts. Quite honestly, it was hard to make a decision as to what to buy as a brunch time treat. I finally chose a chocolate and salty caramel donut which turned out to be deliciously messy to eat, but well worth the 3 dollars I paid for it!
The flea market itself was as eclectic, as any I’ve ever seen ranging from random dice that had lost their board games to a large painted statue of Lady Liberty to pennants and mason jars and gently used clothing. It was such a treat to sift through old pins and skeleton keys, right along side jewelry and then chat up the doughnut guy. This was nothing like that flea market the unknown voice had lamented on that hot summer day so many years ago!
Just up the road, the market is extended inside with a venue that is a cross between a second hand clothing store and an artists fair. The warehouse was filled with outrageous fashion items, interesting notebooks made from recycled materials, tee shirts with ironic sayings, hand made jewelry and everything in between. This was truly a paradise for the eye, as well as a playground for anyone who likes to tell and listen carefully to a story.
The Brooklyn Artists and Fleas market is a great destination for a sunny Sunday morning, and there are lots of great brunch spots in the area, if you choose to shop and then grab a bite to eat. I suggest you take your time and enjoy the park and the people (after all, this is a Sunday market). We ruskommend Brooklyn Artists and Fleas with 5 boquerones because while you might find a new treasure, it is a unique market that is well worth your trip to the outer boroughs.