If you’ve been looking forward to the second iteration of the Brooklyn Night Bazaar (165 Banker Street), you’re not alone. The event this year is markedly different from the Bazaar we experienced last year, and sponsored by manifold companies such as Uber, Perrier, Puma, Gothamist, Modelo, and more. As with most successful first-year events, some changes were made for the second year’s event. Here’s a rundown of the good and the not so good:
The basics are about the same as last year. Entry is free, but don’t forget your ID as they scan everyone who enters, not just those who are planning to drink. There is food, wine and beer for sale, as well as pretty (though pricey) things to buy. Like last year, the Bazaar will be open every Friday and Saturday (6pm to midnight), and have musical guests each night including Kitty Pryde and Kool and Kass, among many others. Unlike last year, the Bazaar will be around for the whole year, allowing you to avoid the Christmas rush.
There’s a mini-golf course available for $5 per person; free and sponsored photo booth by Airbnb, ping-pong tables ($6 for 30 mins) in the Puma room, and of course, you’re free to rock out to the music.
Nice ambiance and lighting throughout, streamlined signage and a simple layout with fairly wide aisles.
Brooklyn artist Liss West’s adorable and funny greeting cards, which come from her web comic Hashtag The Planet. (1 card for $3, or 2 for $5 at the Bazaar only!)
Brokelyn alum Dan Delaney’s one-year-old breakout restaurant, Briskettown, was included in the limited (but delicious) food vendors, which also includes the likes of Arancini Brothers, Adelina’s, and Morris Grilled Cheese, which is offering a $10 truffle grilled cheese if you want to treat yo’self.
THE NOT SO GOOD:
The Bazaar has made a huge venue change this year, from a giant warehouse in North Williamsburg to the recently vacated Angel’s Bakery, drastically cutting the space available for all kinds of vendors– as well as space for visitors, art spaces, and well, moving. We kept looking around for the rest of the Bazaar, but that’s all there was. If we hadn’t been to last year’s, perhaps it wouldn’t have been quite so disappointing, but having experienced the large format, the shrunken version felt lacking in variety.
While the lighting created lovely ambiance, it also was dim, making the merchandise hard to see and examine. This meant that vendors had to provide their own lights for their merchandise, if they had them, but it varied depending on each vendor.
It’s less of the “something for everyone” vibe that prevailed at last year’s event (3-for-$15 books, adult shopping selections, quirky offerings such as allergy-killing Inca incense and bizarre framed photographic art) and much more of a carefully cultivated, smaller upscale goods market much like Artists and Fleas.
After 7:30pm (the event officially opens at 6pm), it gets difficult to move even in the well-spaced aisles as customers– and their strollers(?!)– bottleneck.
We really wanted this to be an improvement on last year’s fantastic, but severely crowded Bazaar, because some outstanding vendors are included, the idea provides an alternate night activity, and the ambiance is warm and inviting. It’s an improvement in some organizational ways despite the substantial downsizing of space, and it’s definitely worth checking out and for bringing friends from out of town to get a taste of a suave browsing and buying experience.
Go early to beat any crowds if that’s a deterrent for you, but this isn’t for serious bargain shoppers or vintage hounds. It is, however, an enjoyable, smaller-scale market, and the best part is just getting out there and talking to the artisans and purveyors who care about their products — whether you buy them or are just browsing.