Wednesday, June 23, 2010
The Brooklyn Flea
Just two weeks ago I took the subway to Brooklyn to check out the Brooklyn Flea Market. On saturdays it is held on Lafayette Avenue between Vanderbilt and Clermont. I had no expectations but the flea was a happy surprise for me. The hipster volume is pretty high here at this school-yard-turned-flea market. Wanna see where cute girls in granny dresses are inking their tattoos? Check. Straw fedoras with the top cut out for dreads? Check. Mixed ethnicity kids looking like playdate kids for Brangelina's bunch or Gavin and Gwen's kids' nursery school mates? Check. Cool only semi-ironic t-shirts? Check. Skinny black jeans and red underwear briefs over bony hips holding up an expensive bike lock chain? Check. Beautifully crafted tables? Check. Chic porcelain pieces? Check. Reclaimed eyewear? Check. Freakishly tasty raw chocolate bars? Check. Fresh illustrated bags and towels and prints? Check.
Probably the most friendly flea I have been to in the city. The manhattan flea's tend to offer much more in the way of surprises and less in food and craft. But the vendors in Manhattan can seem a bit more about making the sale where as the Brooklyn Flea people really care about what they are selling either emotionally or esthetically. And the quality of what is sold is high for a public flea market.
Some of my favorites:
Mi Mesita. Manny makes very well-crafted minimalist pieces that are definitely the fancy-pants of the market. Very Nakashima-inspired and that is a very good place to be for inspiration.
Claudia Pearson offers illustrated totes and table linens that make you pray the food you are served from the tote or onto a linen is as delectable as her drawings.
ASIS (Angela Spencer's Irresistible Stuff). Angela had a gorgeous tee with sailor knots illustrating the front. It reminded me of Japanese Noren which hang at the entrance to traditional japanese restaurants and shops.
Romi Ceramics Sets out on her table, clean and modern and unpretentious vases. They are porcelain and in black and white and yellow and blue. Some have a very controlled Pollock-ish drip in contrasting colors. I bought two of them and they make a nice cool addition to my somewhat organic collection on my kitchen table.
Gnome Enterprises offer hand-silk screened t-shirts. They are de rigueur hip tees but done with a deft hand and in offbeat colors and designs that seem like they are from a Hallmark Greeting Card that mistakenly took a hit of acid.
Fine and Raw Chocolates: Since I like chocolate I have been wary of "sugar free" and "dairy free" when deciding on something cocoa to pop into my mouth. Well the offerings at Fine and Raw are sugar free and dairy free and addictive.
Retro-Futuristic: Need 1956 librarian eyeglasses? Need 1960 aviator sunglasses ala Steve McQueen. Auntie Mame specials? Head over to this stand where there are many styles to choose from and lots of encouragement from other shoppers. And the owner has another biz of restoring trailers so check them out on his site.