The Times “Gets” The Flea


Lately, playing “store” isn’t so much fun. Merchants are freaked out, zombie shoppers stampede over one another to get at marked-down plasma TVs, and our dollar is starting to look about as valuable as an acorn top. Brooklyn Flea, a well-curated, optimistic weekend market in Dumbo, may help restore your faith in capitalism’s simpler pleasures. When I was there last weekend, I found myself stopping at tables, perusing the huge range of vintage, antique and handcrafted goods, and having warm, goofy exchanges with storekeepers just as I did when I was a major retail mogul in my backyard — a Dov Charney in Toughskins...The result makes this more of a weekend hangout than a retail zone. You can find a teak shelving unit or an expertly reupholstered pair of chairs, but there are also plenty of supercheap items around if you just want to stroll and gossip with a friend...Unlike the glossy stores that surround it, Brooklyn Flea helps you feel more at ease about our dicey economy. There is a sense of community here that doesn’t exist in the meatpacking district or Williamsburg or Bleecker Street or any store with snobby employees sitting drolly behind their desks and their bangs and hating you when you walk in. If the econo-bust gets worse, I hope this is what thrives: local artisans, cheaper prices, people talking, pickles.
— Mike Albo, The New York Times

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