All the reasons we love living in Brooklyn are personified by The Brooklyn Flea. The people, stores, and local events in Brooklyn bring the neighborhood feel of community to our city that has all the amenities you would want in an urban home. The Flea has taken everything we love about our hometown and given it a place to thrive. On any given Saturday you can stop by The Brooklyn Flea - pick up something for your home, a new outfit, a gift for a friend, or simply grab lunch. When you walk through the chain-linked fence that surrounds the pavement lot of Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School you are immediately immersed with culture. In the winter months The Flea relocates to the Williamsburg Savings Bank – which is gorgeous itself and brings another aspect to the experience. The vendors include everyone from artists, antique collectors, cooks, bakers, entrepreneurs, and even our own neighbor (which we recently discovered this week when we met her husband leaving our building carrying her chalkboard menu). If that’s not community I don’t know what is!
One of the best things about The Flea, and what separates it from your average street farmers market, is that it attracts people from around the world. You won’t find tables of sheets or socks here. The Flea’s owners insist on a high level of merchandise. For those visiting New York that want to see something besides Times Square or The Brooklyn Bridge, The Flea offers them the opportunity to mingle with the locals, see Brooklyn-based art, and the chance to buy a very unique souvenir. Since The Flea is always evolving, it’s not the kind of place you would say “been there, done that”. You can come back week after week, see something new, get inspired, and meet some interesting people.
The Flea opened in April 2008 as a collaboration of Jonathan Butler, founder of Brownstoner.com & Eric Demby, former Communications Director for Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. I can’t even remember when I first heard about The Flea. I moved to Brooklyn in September 2008, so for me it’s been a part of my love affair with our borough from the beginning. Over the past 4 years we have collected many items from The Flea. We love antiquing, so The Brooklyn Flea gives us the opportunity to get our flea-market fix without having to drive 5 hours to Brimfield, Massachusetts.
Hands down – the best, most unique find has got to be our “Orange Farms Dairy” milk bottles from Dallas, PA. We got married in a little chapel in Dallas, PA and had our reception in an old barn. If you’ve heard of Dallas, PA (which we doubt you have because it’s only 2.4 square miles in area), you know there is really only one barn – so these glass bottles must be from the spot where we tied the knot. When I saw them amongst the other old relics I practically started doing jumping jacks! It was almost like I won the lottery. I’m pretty sure this didn’t help any attempt we had at bargaining, but I didn’t care and even though my husband insisted we only buy one I couldn’t pass this up and we bought all 6! Today they proudly sit in our hutch and we use them as vases and for creamer when we have guests. (I know, good thing we bought all 6).
Below are some other great things we’ve bought at The Flea.
That’s right, it’s a gun holster. I bought this for my husband one Saturday when we just popped in to look around. Chad rarely buys anything for himself or says he likes something, so when he mentioned he thought this was interesting I had to buy it! The vendor was really nice and gave me a deal.
The couple that started The Brooklyn Brew Shop are geniuses. They took a process that seemed to be only for people with a backyard, garage, or a basement and made it possible for those of us living in a small apartment. They are super friendly and know their beer brewing. Even though I'm not a beer drinker, making it in our kitchen and then letting it sit in our closet for a couple weeks was pretty fun.
Check out this necklace! Birdhouse Jewelry has a charm for every state so you can show off your homestate pride. I’m not afraid to let the world know – South Jersey born & raised. *please note that I did say South Jersey – the reason we are known as the Garden State. No offense North Jersey, but if you could calm it down with drunkin’ debauchery on TV we’d appreciate it.
Chad picked up this Brooklyn flask as a gift for his friend who just had a baby. The flask was made by Joan Huggard, the owner of Citybitz, who has been at The Flea since the beginning. She is a great photographer and transforms her photos into unique gifts.
On our wish list….
Check out this booth. It’s a.vanhoek-retro-optics and Andre is your go-to guy on eyewear. We will never go to Lens Crafters again! This booth has every interesting and beautiful eyeglass frame you could ever imagine! Plus, for only 35 dollars you can have your prescription lens put in by a local optometrist.
Don’t ask us why we didn’t buy a box of these super cute and delicious cookies from Butter + Love because we wouldn’t have an answer. They’d make a great hostess gift, special treat for a friend at the office, or simply dessert for you. We will be buying a box next week for sure as we can’t stop thinking about them.
What is more gorgeous than this table made by Barntiques! He was a stickler about taking photos of it so to get the full impact, you'll have to stop by The Flea and check it out in person. If we had a bigger art studio we would be making cards on this table right now!! If you have the room for this, please go buy it, give it the home it deserves, and then tweet about it so we can live vicariously through you.
When we found out our application for The Flea was accepted we were ecstatic. We can’t wait to be a part of this community as a vendor. We aim to make it more convenient for both Brooklynites & tourists to stay in touch with their friends and family the old fashioned way. We will be selling our full line of Greeting Cards as well as our Thermographed Thank You Packs. Plus, we’ll have postage stamps for you to buy and cards you can customize right there! Who knows, maybe by seeing our booth, you will remember your best friend’s birthday is coming up and send them a card that will make their day.
The Brooklyn Flea is located at 176 Lafayette Ave. (btw. Clermont + Vanderbilt Ave.) in our hometown of Fort Greene, Brooklyn. They’re open from 10am – 5pm on Saturday, Rain or Shine. (another reason why we love The Flea…you don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn to get first dibs!!) So, sleep in and then come make a day of it.
See you at The Flea!