The Brooklyn Flea is a conglomerate of flea markets around Brooklyn which are held over the weekends. If you seek vintage goodness and yummy food, you cannot miss these wonderful weekend flea markets.
The first one I went for the day was the Fort Greene flea. Held at a school’s backyard, this flea featured 150 vendors selling vintage loots such as clothing, furniture, kitchenware, toys. And of course, there were a lot of food vendors parading their homemade salsa, sweets, pizza, soda and I can go on forever.
It was a really hot when I reached the flea market. After 10 minutes of walking, I needed to sit down and have a drink. I chanced upon this cool soda stall – Brooklyn Soda Works. Every soda is handcrafted, no preservatives. And they have unusual flavours too. I decided to go for the red currant and shiso. It was sweet and tart. I am amazed the shiso which has an intense flavour did not dominate the drink – everything was well balanced.
I love the Fort Greene flea. You get all sorts of knick knacks. One of the stalls that I went had all kinds of vintage ornaments and toys. I picked up a pair of Raggedy Ann and Andy table ornaments, a blue cat with spectacles toy and my prized possession – a Pillsbury Dough “girl” doll. All these loots for US$15. Incredible.
The next stall I went is Hot House Market. Based in Indiana, the owner, Carrie Rosen, would drive to New York every two weeks and sell her wonderful treasures at the flea. Her vintage loots were amazing. I wanted to bag everything home, especially the suitcases. They were so cheap. In the end, I resisted and only got myself two canisters.
After a quick tour of the entire flea, I decided it was time for lunch. Tacos! I got a chicken tacos and horchata from Choncho’s Tacos. The chicken taco was decent (this means average). The shredded chicken was a bit dry and the salsa was really spicy. What I was missing was the flavour of corn in the tortilla – it’s the reason why I love tacos (I really miss the tacos at New Maxwell Street Market in Chicago. They were the best). For those who are not familiar with horchata, it is a rice based Mexican drink and it was my first time trying it. The verdict? I don’t like it. I love rice milk and I thought I would love horchata. But I don’t. It was too sweet and the cinnamon flavour just put me off. And it left a residue on my tongue.
Once lunch was done, I went back to the few stalls where I spotted items that I wanted to purchase. The final loots bought were a Pillsbury Dough “boy” doll, a vintage cat toy, 3 ancient postcards and a Petunia Pig glass. I left the flea a very happy girl.
The next flea I went is Smorgasburg. Smorgasburg is all about food – you can get delicious cheap eats, produce, kitchenware. I wished I could have gone crazy at Smorgasburg. But I didn’t. It was hot, very very hot. It was near impossible for me to go and try anymore food. I tried my best to walk around but I gave up after half an hour. Before I left, I got myself another soda from Brooklyn Soda Works – cucumber, lime and salt. It was just what I need – refreshing and cooling. The salt was not strange at all, it actually complement the cucumber and lime.
I really wished the weather was much better when I visited the flea markets. The heat deterred me from walking and eating. Still I left both flea markets with lots of treasures. Happy days.Fort Greene 176 Lafayette Ave (between. Clermont and Vanderbilt Ave) Saturday, 10am-5pm Smorgasburg East River Waterfront (between North 6 and 7 St) Saturday, 10am-5pm