With the recent opening of Brooklyn Flea’s new location under the Brooklyn Bridge, it seemed like a good time to take stock of the flea markets that are sprouting up all over the borough—some two dozen in all, according to our rough count. Each one has its own personality (quirky antiques, homespun artwear, etc.), so every weekend we’ll be making the rounds, reviewing the merch, taking a few pics and rolling all of it into a map. Here, the first entries in an evolving project. And as always, we’d love to hear your favorites.
Great Storage Flea Market
Wyckoff and Jefferson St.
L: Jefferson St. station
Saturdays, 10 to 6 (weather permitting)
In the lot of a factory-turned-storage-center, a handful of vendors spread their wares on a half-dozen tables, racks and rummage bins. Here’s where you can pick up old trophies, used-but-quality jackets, housewares, fun prom dresses — even a half-full bottle of Listerene (50 cents, but it’s econo-sized). Be prepared to use the side-view mirrors of the trucks in the parking lot when you try something on — or bring a trusted friend.
CANARSIE: American Liquidators Flea Market
1205 Rockaway Ave.
L: Rockaway Parkway – Canarsie station
Tuesday to Saturday, 9 to 9
American Liquidators is a playground for the rummaging enthusiast. Suck in your gut and the friendly staff will lead you through narrow passageways past grand items like art deco, mahogany and pressed-board mirrored headboards ($25-250). Their inventory — a tractor trailer’s worth each week — comes from estate sales, repossessed goods and items liquidated at auction (including set pieces from a few major entertainment studios: $2,000 for a phone booth with the actor’s lines still in it). A massive garage of grandmas and drug dealers, American Liquidators is a worthy pilgrimage for the devoted flea’er.
CARROLL GARDENS: Brooklyn Indie Market
Smith and Union
G, F: Carroll St. station
11 to 7 full market Saturdays, kiosks Sundays
This market has one rule: everything must be hand-made. Established three years ago by a group of artists, Brooklyn Indie Market features jewelry and clothing as well as paper goods, toys, and cupcakes; the Nine Cakes lady serves up her namesake for $1 each. Most are hobbyists with day jobs, but this is where to find the up-and-comers. While the artists provide affordable options, the locals understand this market is less about bargain-hunting and more about community support (while hopefully treating yourself to something unique).
The Brooklyn Bridge Flea
Water Street and New Dock Street
A/C: High St., F: York St., 2/3: Clark St.
Sunday, 11 to 6
The Brooklyn Flea has taken some license with the phrase “flea market,” and its new outdoor bazaar under the Brooklyn Bridge features mainly costly crafts and consignments. Many vendors migrate from the Fort Greene location (Saturdays). But there’s still the Flea’s funky ware—from sterling card cases to refurbished bicycles with weekly themes like the Axis Powers (classic German, Italian and Japanese wheels). One of the best buys may be family-made mustard from Atlantic Avenue ($5 a jar).
Jay and Front St.
A: High St. station
Saturdays and Sundays, 11 to 7
Just what you’d expect in DUMBO: a light-filled warehouse space with pricey offerings. Only open since June 6, the Corner Market will continue to draw more interesting artists- a couple already have beautiful handiwork for sale, but they aren’t letting them go cheap. Weave between $20 T-shirts and you will find gorgeous earrings for $85. A highlight: the tasty burritos across the way at Pedro’s.
The Brooklyn Flea
Lafayette Ave. and Vanderbilt Ave.
C: Lafayette Ave., G: Clinton/Washington Ave., 2/3, 4/5, B/D/Q, M/N/R: Atlantic Ave. – Pacific St
Saturdays, 10 to 5
The daddy of all flea markets in the borough, Brooklyn Flea features a sprawling and impossible-to-categorize collection of detritus and treasures from well more than 100 vendors. It’s the place to go for basically everything: used furniture, old records, mint-condition typewriters, mid-80s Michael Jackson trading cards, used bicycles, original Playboy prints, Freddy Krueger action figures, army jackets and a wide selection of vintage clothing. You also can find loads of artisan goods, such as hand-decorated shoes, crafty T-shirts and jewelry made of old vinyl records. To help keep you going, the flea supplies some interesting food items such as handmade popsicles (People’s Pops) and Banh Mi-style hot dogs (Asia Dog). It’s as much a social scene as a shopping experience: Celebs such as Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth and Devandra Banhart are occasionally spotted there browsing the records.
P.S. 321 Flea Market
7th Ave. between 1st and 2nd St.
F, Q: 7th Ave.
3: Grand Army Plaza station
Saturdays and Sundays, 9 to 6
Located on an elementary school playground, the 15-year-old PS 321 flea market is a destination for interesting, if not dirt-cheap, finds, like intact vintage trunks (asking $85), Dylan first pressings ($15) , Ukrainian men specializing in amber ($3-300), and traditional flea fare of rhinestones, funky threads, and armoires. Most stalls are weekend outposts of vendors’ shops, so pieces are largely clean and priced below normal retail. This is that place to pick up a vintage, metal-topped kitchen table with a matching chair set for a decent price.
Artists n Fleas
129 N. 6th St.
L: Bedford Ave. station
Saturdays and Sundays, 12 to 8
Talented silk-screen artists and revamped vintage apparel are woven between boutique olive oil and custom-made bikinis. The clothes match the atmosphere: loud, occasionally inventive, and often in your face. In the back are second-hand, contemporary books, on the side are designer styles for less, but in the end this market is a product of its neighborhood. For cheaper deals, try the street vendors on Bedford.