In the words of Benjamin Franklin: “Back to Brooklyn with ye.” via Brooklyn Flea Philly

When the news broke that the Brooklyn Flea was headed to Philadelphia, we gave the residents there some good-natured (well, not outwardly hateful) ribbing about finally becoming civilized. However, because of that post, or just because Philadelphia has flea markets and a sense of civic pride that rejected some New York bigshots coming in and telling them what to do, the Brooklyn Flea Philadelphia is no more. The Brooklyn Flea should be fine, contenting themselves with monopolizing the Brooklyn flea market, uh, market, but could this be the beginning of a pushback against the Brooklyn brand in other cities? 

Philly Magazine has the news, and in the analysis, they mention that other New York transplants like Shake Shack have managed to make it down there in part by not emphasizing their New York roots. With the Brooklyn Flea, Philly Mag contends that it came down to a matter of civic pride, pointing to a quote left by one resident in the comments section in an article on the Flea:

“I refuse to support anything in Philadelphia that has some New York thing in their name.”

This is probably where you think we’d laugh at Philly again, but actually, as rabid nativists, we support an attitude like this wholeheartedly. The idea that someone from Brooklyn came down to their town and didn’t even change their name could rouse the patriotic spirit of even the most lackadaisical Philadelphite. So we salute you for standing up for your hometown, and rejecting a perceived interloper like so many white blood cells working to heal a body.

The question is, will this inspire other cities where “Brooklyn cool” is encroaching on culture to look inward and support their own scenes instead of greeting their twee mustachioed invaders as liberators? It probably wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, because nobody loves a bubble. Also, Brooklyn shouldn’t become the Duane Reade of aesthetics and culture, popping up in every corner of the country, since the entire idea of the “Brooklyn brand” is focused on individuality and the DIY spirit, not homogeneity. Which would be fine by us. It’s tough to act superior about where you live if everywhere else in the country ends up doing the same exact thing as you.

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  1. Fucking hilarious. Be clear, there’s nothing Brooklyn about Brooklyn Flea. That’s New Brooklyn. A fictitious play land for the Sub-Urbanites that miss their mall culture from back home. Philadelphians are a lot smarter than to fall for something so obvious. Now, if we could only get rid of them in Brooklyn too.

    • Talk about NOT knowing one’s target audience! If the people behind the Brooklyn Flea had any understanding of how Philly people are (not passing judgment here), they should have realize that importing a Brooklyn-branded venture into the City of Brotherly Love was not going to fly. If Philly people *really* wanted something that was a taste of “Brooklyn”, they would make the 88 mile (or so) trip up the Turnpike!

  2. Now they are begging for vendors in Park Slope. Lowering their fees from a pompous $125 a day, down to $80 per day or less. They have 8 vendors at most, after telling everyone they were full and shutting out the ‘uncurated’ existing vendors from that market. Currently the worst junk I ever seen is being showcased on the sidewalks. The BF brand has more of a rep for pretentious wares and nasty vendors than anything else. Without the food they would have a very low attendance, as is evident in their PA, DC, and Park Slope locations.

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