Empty parking lots, streets, and school playgrounds are transformed into a shopper’s paradise at Brooklyn Flea. Each weekend, rain or shine, “the Flea” takes the best aspects of your favorite thrift store or garage sale and brings them all together in a centralized location in New York’s hippest borough (sorry, Manhattan). With over 100 vendors to check out, as well as 30-odd food stalls, you’re certain to leave with a nearly one-of-a-kind purchase, so grab a few friends and let the urban shopping spree begin.
Brooklyn Flea isn’t just one market, it’s two. On Saturdays, you’ll find it in Fort Greene. On Sundays, they pretty much pack up the whole thing and move it over to the Williamsburg waterfront. Both are fantastic, so your location depends on when you’d like to visit, and where you want to have dinner after it’s over. (As of November 8, it’s moving indoors to 1000 Dean Street. Visit the Facebook page for details.)
You never know what you’ll find beneath the tents that cover the neighborhood, busy with people selling new and secondhand furniture, clothing, housewares, art, music, and more. And there’s no feeling like the thrill of telling admirers where you picked up that funky nightstand or beautiful shawl. Spend the day wandering from stall to stall with your pals, maybe with a snack in hand from one of the many food vendors. They’ll be able to tell you if that vintage suede jacket is worth the investment, and will help you comb through the crates of old records in search of the mint condition B-sides of your favorite artist.
The folks behind the market also run the popular Smorgasburg, an artisanal food market in Williamsburg and DUMBO. Stuff yourself with specialty grilled cheese sandwiches and Korean barbecue before walking off the calories at the nearby markets. Just be sure to set aside an entire afternon — once you start shopping, it’s hard to stop.