The public sauntered under the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge Sunday afternoon as they carefully rummaged through mismatched chess pieces, suitcases of antique pins and old shoes stuffed with old newspaper.
The Brooklyn Flea was brimming with everything from repurposed furniture and jewelry to hard-to-find Star Wars toys. With 75 vendors, there’s a vintage gem– and more importantly, delicious food– for everyone. While the commodities were old, the patrons were mostly young, and some even had four legs.
It is satisfying to see, for a generation that is constantly critiqued for being obsessed with the latest forms of technology, that so many of us are engrossed in the idea of giving old items new purpose.
“We found it on the side of the road,” said Christen, a.k.a. “The plant lady,” when asked about her repurposed moving truck turned green house on wheels. Christen and her partner Ivan are the two minds behind Tula, a company that is “introducing new ways to interact and explore the wonder of plants.”
Forging through the crowd deeper still reveals the likes of vintage clothing vendors like Alex of Dust Brothers Vintage Club. “Some of this stuff comes from as far away as Houston or California,” he said. It’s good to see people giving some of these items a second chance.
“People come from all walks of life,” he went on. “The best part [though], you’ll always see some great dogs.” It’s true, if you are a dog lover and you’re interested in spotting some grade-A snouts then the Brooklyn Flea is for you.
Among clothing stands and reclaimed furniture, collectors could find sports jerseys from years their favorite team won, repurposed hand-bags and tables filled with watches all ticking out of time with one another. Weaving between the vendors, people could hear Frank Sinatra’s Sentimental Journey playing at one vendor, alongside the beats of electronic music at another. That combined with the rumbling of the tracks from the passing N or Q trains creates an interesting symphony for any listener.
“It’s all just fucking random at this point,” said “Monkey” of Wrecords by Monkey, an expert of repurposing vinyl records into clocks and pieces of art. Surely this eclectic mix is good for the market. Tourists come from outside of the United States to this block of vendors. Here people can sample all of American culture, plucked from the years while they try delicious foods from the french fries of Home Frites, to the moonshine of Wormwood Distillery. “Rip Harambe” was spelled out in old cast iron lettering on the ground, surrounded by a cast of gorrilla figurines.
Sure our culture is constantly concerned with the latest iPhone release or the newest video game, but The Brooklyn Flea Market –open Sundays through Oct. 30 –just goes to show that you can teach a new dog old tricks.