I finally completed my rounds of New York City’s great summertime outdoor fairs, food festivals, and fleas–a list that would include the Brooklyn Flea Markets (called Brooklyn Flea for short) of both Williamsburg and Fort Greene; the all-food flea offshoot, the Williamsburg Smorgasburg, the Hester Street Fair on the Lower East Side, the Dekalb Market in Downtown Brooklyn, and the New Amsterdam Market in the South Street Seaport neighborhood.
I recently spent a couple of hours on a sunny Sunday cruising around the Brooklyn Flea, Williamsburg edition, chatting with vendors, shopping for my elder daughter’s upcoming birthday, lounging on the grass, enjoying the spectacular views of Manhattan, and, of course, eating plenty of tasty treats.
For residents of Williamsburg apartments, or Fort Greene apartments, the annual Brooklyn Fleas have become a welcome part of the neighborhood’s summer rhythm. And, thanks to the city’s handy-dandy subway system, the same can be said for all NYC residents as well.
The weekly line-up of vendors at the Brooklyn Flea is, as it’s been for the past few years, a thoughtfully-curated collection of hundreds of area artists, artisans and crafters; sellers of vintage home decor and furnishings, fashion accessories, as well as genuine antique shops; and the always-popular selection of booths from local restaurants, bakers, food trucks, home-cooks and -canners, and, really, eateries of all description, slinging generally excellent fare, both sweet and savory.
On Saturdays the Brooklyn Flea takes up residence in lovely, tree- and brownstone-lined Fort Greene, in a 40,000-square-foot schoolyard on Lafayette Street and, by the way, within easy walking distance of the 2, 3, 4, 5, B, Q, C, and G trains.
On Sunday the party moves to Williamsburg, into a huge lot hard by the East River at the end of North 6th Street and, so, near the L train Bedford Street stop, as well as right next to the North Wiliamsburg slip of the NY Waterway East River Ferry, an increasingly popular transportation option which, for $4 each way, is an exceptionally speedy and pleasant way to get up and down the Brooklyn shoreline, as well as crossing between the Borough of Kings and Manhattan.
There’s not much I don’t enjoy about the Brooklyn Flea in either location (Fort Greene’s prettier, Williamsburg’s roomier), but a list of favorite things would have to include the jewelry offerings at City Owl; the grilled fish at Bon Chovie; the doughnuts at Dough; the vinyl (and the savvy suggestions) at Kick Back. Enjoy a Record.; Taleah Lampert’s bicycle paintings and prints; the croissants at Runner and Stone; the lose-yourself piles and piles of nostalgic toys and games at Dan’s Parent’s House; the hefty, animal-printed bowls and mugs at SKT Ceramics; the unusual, and unusually cute, t-shirts at both Live Poultry and Gnome Enterprises; the smoked meat sandwiches at Mile End; on and on.
Really, this a fun time, always. There’s lots more information on both the Fort Greene Brooklyn Flea and the Williamsburg Brooklyn Flea, including a list of all vendors on any given weekend, on their website.
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