Neighbors say the Brooklyn market is ruining East River State Park

A flea too many

The Brooklyn Paper
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Some Williamsburg residents are up in arms over the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg, claiming the borough’s celebrations of tchotchke shopping and locavore meals have turned East River State Park into a circus.

The Brooklyn Flea and its Smorgasburg food bazaar, which run every Saturday and Sunday, draw thousands of visitors to the park each day. Neighbors complain that the vendors and customers have taken over the whole park, despite the fact that the commercial ventures together rent only a portion.

“Basically, we no longer have a park on the weekends,” said Peter Kos, who now has to look for somewhere else to entertain his four-year-old son. “I’m not going to bring my son somewhere where there are 300 25-year-olds hanging out.”

Some of the specific complaints about the markets are trash left in the park, broken glass in the grass and vendors who noisily unload their wares at daybreak.

But the critics’ biggest complaint is not the trash or the noise, but the very existence of the markets in the public park.

“I try to avoid North Seventh on the weekends,” said neighborhood resident Samantha Tannehill. “The influx of people is crazy.”

The markets relocated from a lot between N. Sixth and N. Seventh streets to the parkland between N. Seventh and N. Eighth streets at the beginning of April because their home of the past two seasons, a development site owned by Edge-builders Douglaston Development, is on the market.

For $1,500 a day, the Brooklyn Flea rents the smaller of the two slabs of concrete in the park. This past weekend, dozens of vendors were tightly packed onto the slab, with little room for people to move between the vendors. That meant that those perusing the flea spilled over to the picnic tables and grass at the other end, giving the whole park a county fair atmosphere.

That is unacceptable in any public park, say critics, let alone in a park in Williamsburg, which is so starved for open space.

“Clearly, this is not a park purpose,” said Geoffrey Croft, president of New York City Park Advocates. “The public has every right to enjoy respite. It’s absurd that the public has to compete with a commercial endeavor.”

New York City Park Advocates has successfully sued the city for attempting to privatize parks in the past, and Croft says it will launch a lawsuit against Brooklyn Flea if that is what the neighborhood wants.

Eric Demby, one of the owners of Brooklyn Flea, said he has been working with neighbors to make sure that all complaints are addressed and that, in the past few weeks, the company has added security and sanitation.

“We hired a guy to come Sunday and Monday mornings to clean up the trash,” said Demby. “We will continue to make adjustments as we hear about concerns.”

When asked whether the markets are appropriate for the park, Demby said that is up to the state, which decided they were.

The state office of parks and recreation did not return repeated calls for comment, but when it announced the deal with the Brooklyn Flea, it said it did not think the markets would interfere with other uses.

Not everyone in the neighborhood thinks the markets have ruined the park, however.

“No one’s here unless the Flea is here,” said Julie Dickinson. “You can’t really do anything here. It’s not a very chill park.”

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at
Updated 10:10 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Friend of Marty Mashugana from Borough Haul says:
Enough already, oy vey!!! Brooklyn Flea is great. Eric is a friend. That guy, his name escapes me, from whatcha call it ... Brownstoner ... he's a friend, too. Geoffrey Croft, all he cares about is lawsuits. He, and that b-b, Ida Sanoff. Why is Brooklyn Paper covering this nonsense when there are so many ribbon cuttings to write about? Just remember, Brooklyn is where New York City -- begins!!!
April 30, 2013, 12:43 am
diehipster from Bodyslamming Beardos says:
I love news like this. How many effing weeks in a row can these interloping, attention-starved, faux-foodie, funemployed, rent-raising hipster nasaltards come to eat $7 grass fed meatballs, drink craft effin ales and buy ironic belt buckles?

Isn't it time to grow the f*ck up? This stupid event has been going on too long now. And the guy quoted in the article is very wrong about these just being 25 year olds. Hahahaha. I'd say the average age is 33. There are plenty of parentally supported 30 somethings in there - nasally shrieking about meaningless art and what-not as they shove Brice's Famous Fish tacos down their emaciated necks.

I can just see all these spoiled kidults of the corn crying if this place got shut down! "mommyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy - the blogs i read back home said that brooklyn would always be fun!!! Make them stop mommyyyyy, make them stop!!!!"

(Now please enjoy the following commentary from the Brooklyn Paper's resident yups as they cannot combat what I say about hipsters or validate the common hipster's idiotic and pretentious behavior - they can only say I live in my grandmothers basement; great and original comeback. )
April 30, 2013, 5:33 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Some attention has to be drawn to the fact that the very same parties, "community" organizations and their representatives. decrying the possibility of capitalization in Bushwick Inlet Park [and thus seemingly preventing the park from materializing] are the selfsame forces capitalizing East River State Park. The situation has made it so that any "activists" public statements on the matter must be carefully examined--agents of gentrification don't sincerely oppose economic activity in parks; they seem to ONLY oppose activity they are not in complete control over.
April 30, 2013, 5:58 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
In other words, the most successful exploiters have been those that have stoked the simple fears of the population by referring to "big bad bogeyman condominium tower developer," but the opposition is ostensible. They don't oppose the big bad developers because they're "capitalist." They oppose them because they're competitors. The same dynamic is on full display right now all across the North Brooklyn waterfront, with a zoom on the former Domino Sugar site in the Southside--where such hypocrisy is most pernicious.
April 30, 2013, 6:02 am
Williamsburg Mom from Williamsburg says:
The worst part is the state is getting 3k a weekend and Brooklyn flea is making 75k. No one in the community has been told where the money is going.

If they are selling out the park the community should at least get money for its park.
April 30, 2013, 6:10 am
o3 from bk says:
“No one’s here unless the Flea is here,”
what if they gave a park & nobody came?
April 30, 2013, 6:56 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
“I’m not going to bring my son somewhere where there are 300 25-year-olds hanging out.”

May I suggest Park Slope? Or whatever the NY Times called those Hudson River Towns... Hipsturbia?

The real story here is that so many people like coming to the park that other people are mad. And also they like coming to North 7th St. And to Williamsburg. And living in Williamsburg. And somehow the Brooklyn Paper was able to rustle up some quotes from some people who live in Williamsburg because they want to live somewhere that's not popular?
April 30, 2013, 6:59 am
John from Williamsburg says:
If you don't like it you are more than welcome to take your ball and go home. I live in the neighborhood and can say there are not more than 10 people using that sorry excuse for a park when the flea and s'burg are not there. If you have a want for park space to enjoy there are several options on the weekend: McGolrick, McCarren, Cooper, or if you MUST be by the river either Grand Ferry or Transmitter.

I agree that some of the money made from this should somehow contribute to helping develop Bushwick Inlet Park and more of the green space that was promised from the rezoning.

As far as saying all hipsters must die, I've been to s'burg on a regular basis and I'm not a hipster, I am a fully mature 39 year old who from the day I turned 18 haven't been supported by anyone other than myself. I moved to w'burg because I enjoy things like the flea and s'burg, the restaurants, and the vibe of the neighborhood.

Gentrification, or more accurately, change happens. Neighborhoods change, especially in New York City. Welcome to the reality of living in New York. If you want a ton of open space to enjoy on the weekends explore the options above or move to a different neighborhood. Or, if you seek a place that won't change, there are plenty of suburbs in Jersey, Long.Island, or up the Hudson that are largely the same as they were 30 years ago. If w'burg goes the way of SoHo oe the Meat Packing in 5 years, which is where it may be headed, I may move out. I'll dry my tears for the way the neighborhood used to be on the check I get from my increased property value.

When I grew up in suburban MA the state and town were allowed to make money by using resources like parks for commercial purposes. Maybe that on a wider basis couls negate future tax burdens?

I don't hear anyone complaining about the Farmer's Markets that also use park space on the weekends or is that just a more "acceptable" use of space simply because it is less crowded and less popular? Or more to your particular affinity? Or doesn't attract "tourists" from other parts of the city?

We should be glad people from other parts of the city come to our neighborhood and support our businesses on the weekends from the s'burg and flea spillover. It increases both the vibrancy and the econimic viability of the neighborhood. Or do you want to go back to the needle laden and crime ridden streets to walk your son around circa 10 to 15 years ago?

If anyone needs to grow up its people who can't accept the reality of change in the most dynamic.and ever changing city in the world, and then rail against that change and its negatives (from their perspective), without any of the positives mentioned (see drug/crime comment above). As if the railing away will actually change anything.

Grow up, put on the big boy pants, go to a different park or part of the neighborhood on the weekends, and just move on (or out).
April 30, 2013, 8:09 am
Francis from 11249 says:
I hope that somebody like Geoffrey Croft or Jim Walden does sue the city on our behalf. The never-ending abuses of giving away parkland to private enterprises needs to hit the door along with Bloomberg. Even Veronica White has intimated that she is aware that New Yorkers (yes, real New Yorkers) have had enough of these shenanigans. There should be legislation to prohibit conservancies like the Open Space Alliance from running city parks and making back room deals. Now ERSP is taking their cues from them! Jesus. Deals that only benefit those that share the common goal of being good consumers of pricey snacks, Brooklyn Brewery beer, and decorative landfill. Anybody that claims that the park is unused except during the special events is simply a liar or has an agenda. Why would a nonprofit head & community board member that looks out over this park lie in these very comments? Deduce for yourself.
April 30, 2013, 8:29 am
ty from pps says:
I'd like to repeat my comment that I posted last night to "Part 1" of this series...

Yeah... concrete slabs. A real treasure. That aside, I didn't think it was necessary to state this, but I guess it is. The Flea -- last time I went (last year, so perhaps everything has changed) -- didn't take up the whole park.

Wait, there are people there? At a park!?! Say it ain't so. Sorry the CITY (of 8 million) makes your life of solitude on the waterfront so difficult. Can you imagine if this place wasn't a sad wasteland of concrete slabs and scrubby grass? There'd be all sorts of people there all the time!
April 30, 2013, 8:30 am
ty from pps says:
(Umm, Francis... It's a State park. That's why it's called the East River State Park.)
April 30, 2013, 8:30 am
ty from pps says:
(Umm, Francis... It's a State park. That's why it's called the East River State Park.)
April 30, 2013, 8:31 am
manhatposeur from brokeland says:
@#$!%u NIMBY's & Diehipster-girl. The patrons of the flea and smorgashboard are not violent rable rousing people.
Not my problem if you cant enjoy the fair.
April 30, 2013, 8:36 am
Marty from 11211 says:
Exactly. It's a PARK., not a food court at a suburban mall. It's a park, not a suburban Spencer's Gifts for the "handmade" loving set. Privatizing it is what makes it suburban and homogenous. That is why it appeals to the newcomers.
April 30, 2013, 8:45 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
Fort Greene Flea is is enclosed in an area that is not otherwise open to the public. The Williamsburg Flea is a travesty. The state should not be selling out parkland for the Flea (or for concerts.)
April 30, 2013, 9:02 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
Fort Greene Flea is is enclosed in an area that is not otherwise open to the public. The Williamsburg Flea is a travesty. The state should not be selling out parkland for the Flea (or for concerts.)
April 30, 2013, 9:02 am
teresa from greenpoint says:
“No one’s here unless the Flea is here,” said Julie Dickinson. “You can’t really do anything here. It’s not a very chill park.”

The community specifically wanted this park to be used for passive recreation. That means quiet enjoyment of open space. That's way it's designed the way it is. Smorgasburg and the Flea are in direct opposition to the kind of activity the community intended for that park.
April 30, 2013, 9:02 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Marty, I love when people claim something like Smorgasburg, which doesn't really happen anywhere else, is typical for the suburbs. Have you ever visited a suburb? I am thankful that you make yourself so immediately dismissible.

Joey, when you can get them to tear down the bandshell in Prospect Park, I might believe that parks aren't for live music sometimes.

Teresa, I don't believe you when you say "the community" wanted something, though as a state park, it belongs to the people from Buffalo who want to visit it as much as it belongs to "the community." I also reject your definition of passive recreation, because I don't think you're complaining about kids on scooters, but rather people who walk around and eat.
April 30, 2013, 9:21 am
No Escape from Williamsburg says:
People with no means want a local park that is relaxing. They don't have money to get into a car and go to another park so easily.

If you have little money and 4 kids you want a nice relaxing environment for your children. That has been talen away. Wealthy people, people coming from Manhattan other areas don't care, but people who live in the community who have no options care very much.
April 30, 2013, 9:29 am
teresa from greenpoint says:
Mike, by "community" I mean the people who fought to take back the Williamsburg waterfront from industrial use, abuse and neglect. The people who fought off NEKBOH. And I don't see that I made a specific complaint, so much as an observation that the Flea & Smorgasburg uses are in conflict with its original intended use.

Your comment that the park also belongs to people from Buffalo is silly. Of course it does. Our state parks belong to everyone - because they are parks, not public/private cafes. Sillier is your disagreement with "my" definition of what a passive-recreation park is. It's not my definition. Look it up. (Given how fast a four year old can go on a scooter, I can't take seriously any argument you'd make that such an activity would qualify as a sport; please don't go there for all our sakes.) While you're at it, look up the history of the park and its development. Williamsburg has a colorful and remarkable history of community activism that's well worth learning about, for its own sake.

You don't have to believe me, but at least acknowledge that your opinions are not fully informed.
April 30, 2013, 9:46 am
Group from Williamsburg says:
Does anyone who has experience want to form a group to stop this?

I was told we need to do a couple of things, but we need to form a group and have a meeting

1) Form a group. It doesn’t have to be big. You’ll need By Laws and officers. If you sue in the group’s name, the President will have to be named in the suit. Let the papers know a group has been formed to explore legal options. That may, itself, cause State Parks to re-evaluate.

2) Submit a FOIL request (Freedom of Information law) to State Parks for (a) all documents concerning permits for the park, and (b) documents concerning any state or federal monies used to acquire, renovate, or maintain the parks. I believe you can submit the request over State Parks’ website, but, if not, the instructions will be there;

3) Hire a lawyer. If it is not an outright alienation (i.e., complete give-away) getting pro bono counsel will be tough. You could hire an individual lawyer without too much pain (someone like ......., who might do it as a fixed fee). But I will make a few calls to see if I can interest a Brooklyn comrade at another firm to handle it pro bono.
April 30, 2013, 9:55 am
Johnny Hammersticks from Brooklyn says:
Why do they bother calling this "The Brooklyn Paper"? There is nothing brooklyn about this paper. It's the same stories about the same "news" (
April 30, 2013, 10:06 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Teresa, the initial design proposal calls for, among other things, "existing concrete ruin to be used for performance or gathering space." Do you have something better I should read than it?

When the park first opened, I found a mention of passive uses. That was because there was no budget and the grass hadn't put down roots yet. A couple years later, we're using the park as it was intended to be used.
April 30, 2013, 11:06 am
John wasserman from Windsor Terrace says:
And it is also not even made of paper. I beg your pardon.
April 30, 2013, 11:09 am
Confused from Williamsburg says:
When I first moved to the neighborhood the park was a glorified parking lot. You had to take your life in your hands crossing Kent Ave to get into it, (Kent Ave was by-pass for heavy/articulated traffic).

Now Kent is a one way street, with traffic lights, a bike path and with access to a park that is much improved - more green space, a kids playground (albeit small) with benches and tables.

I agree that the concerts were a bit of a pain - with sound checks starting at 10am in the morning etc. but I really cannot understand why people have a problem with the s'burg and flea.

The area they take up are concrete slabs that were of little use to people before - most people choosing to relax on the grassy side of the park. Now more and more people have a reason to come and enjoy the waterfront - why is that a bad thing? Hopefully it will encourage development of more parks/public space along the water.

Personally, I love the increased activity and vitality it brings to the area at the weekends. I don't think that the park should be a place for only immediate locals to enjoy.

However, I do think that the organizers should ensure that the place is properly cleaned up afterwards - that includes the surrounding streets.
April 30, 2013, 11:10 am
teresa from greenpoint says:
Mike, I appreciate your taking me up on the suggestion. This is a great start; keep researching!
April 30, 2013, 11:25 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Teresa, I wasted more than enough time showing you that this park was designed from the beginning to accommodate arts and gatherings (and people!) and I'm so sorry that it doesn't have the passive emptiness of suburban parks you prefer, but you have to admit that is hard to come by in a dense area.

I hope for nothing more than Group from Williamsburg to found a group (Group from Williamsburg would be a good name) to further discredit the anti-urban NIMBYism of small groups who can file lawsuits. Maybe the guy who thinks 25 year olds shouldn't come to parks if his 4 year old wants to be there can be Secretary-Treasurer.
April 30, 2013, 11:45 am
ty from pps says:
Guess who won't be able to rent the park if all of those magical plans for a full renovation with fancy amenities comes to pass? In the meantime, hush.
April 30, 2013, 11:49 am
John from Sunset Park says:
manhatposeur, ty, and mike — you seem like the type of people at the kiddie playground doing your own "calisthenics" while other children are trying to play. Or under the assumption that these parks aren't being used enough if there aren't scores of yuppie/hipster 30 yr-olds celebrating their awesome foodie knowledge — while turning up their noses at the local mom's and dad's attempting to take their kids to the park to scooter/run around as children need to do.
Please, grow up already.
Or at least don't assume that Brooklyn has been waiting for your artistic, brilliant selves to rescue it from the doldrums of everyday life with these asinine events and good'ol caucasian midwest fun! A significant amount of Brooklyn residents are living in Brooklyn out of financial necessity, due to the close geographical proximity to places/opportunities of employment. And I doubt vary many of these folks appreciate the vast numbers of midwest yuppies who are under the impression Brooklyn is "just a kewle place to live" so "sure why not pay $2400.00 a month for a 1bedrm in BedStuy". While you ride your vintage Schwinns thru Red Hook past the projects on your way to Fairway or whereverthe—— you people go!
(sorry for the rant)
April 30, 2013, 11:58 am
Lilly from 11222 says:
I am baffled how a community of supposed Democrats can be so comfortable with antics straight out of the GOP handbook. The privatization and monetizing of public space is so conservative philosophically. People need to grasp that putting a McDonalds next to Old Faithful isn't much different than putting an upscale food court in a city park. Which begs to question how long it will be before the Field House in McCarren will be called into service as a Shake Shack. That's the new NB Parks administrator's strong suit.
April 30, 2013, 12:04 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
John, I seem like that how? Because I think parks should be used, and the more used the better? Because I think parks should have things in them that people like? You are correct if you think a 4 year old on a scooter's interests outweigh 300 25 year olds. I am glad you apologized for your rant. Your rant sucked, to be honest.

Lilly, I am baffled how a community of supposed Democrats can consistently be against the maximization of human welfare, against development to let more people enjoy nice things, and against convenience. People need to recognize that when they try to "preserve the character" of the East Village or Williamsburg, they are demanding that families get displaced and they are demanding that no one else be allowed to move to New York and enjoy the nice things we like for ourselves. The supposed Democrats around here who care about little more than preserving their own privilege befuddle me.
April 30, 2013, 12:23 pm
ty from pps says:
Yeah, John... that was a rant. News flash -- I live in Brooklyn out of financial necessity. I am not from the Midwest. 75% of my 36 years on this earth has been in an urban environment. I don't pay $2,400 for a 1 bedroom apt. I haven't received a dime of support from my parents since I was 17 years old -- including my college education. I don't own a vintage Schwinn. I do ride my bike or drive through the projects to go to Fairway (once in a while). Should I go around them? I also believe Fairway may be one of the only decent supermarkets in Brooklyn... but I guess paying more for lower quality at a more "local" supermarket is preferred?

Also, the Flea does not fill the entire park. Do we have to say this again? The Flea does not fill the entire park. Just like the concerts at Prospect Park Band Shell don't fill the entire park.
April 30, 2013, 12:31 pm
Beth from 11249 says:
Kent avenue is far more dangerous now that it is one way for cars, two way for bikes, and parking in the middle of the street. This area in particular is very dangerous to navigate. The food bazaar spills into the bike lane now. I won't go near that area on the weekends now, because the energy is so manic. I am trying to teach my children that satisfying every immediate urge to eat or purchase crap isn't one of our values. Not easy in a neighborhood increasingly defined by opportunities to indulge.
April 30, 2013, 2:24 pm
Jimmy from PH says:
"Kent avenue is far more dangerous now that it is one way for cars, two way for bikes, and parking in the middle of the street."

All of those things were there before. Parking, cars and bicycles. Now they are in clearly defined lanes and the crossing distances are shorter for pedestrians and cars only come from one direction now (and, the last time I was there, the cars seemed to not be driving crazy fast like they used to).

Your family and social values seem solid -- but your perceptions about how Kent is "far more dangerous" is just silly.

Look both ways. Cross the ONE lane of traffic. Pause in the natural buffer formed by the lane of parking. Look both ways. Cross the bicycle lane.

That's how you cross the street.
April 30, 2013, 2:55 pm
Wendy from 11249 says:
Um. Sounds ideal but in actuality it is hard to cross on foot. Nobody knows what they are doing. The cars, bikes, or people. The design is very counterintuitive and awkward. Kent should be closed to car traffic that doesn't live on Kent. It needs a gated driveway and maybe a little curbside pickup area for food from Smorgasburge.
April 30, 2013, 4:35 pm
SK from Williamsburg says:
East River State Park should be making $10K per day per concrete slab at a MINIMUM.

(Assuming they can get that for both Saturday and Sunday for 50 weeks per year, it will only take 100 years to pay CitiStorage the $100 million they may want for their land.)

But, back to the $1,500 per slab per day. Congratulations to the Brooklyn Flea owners -- you made a great deal.

Shame to our government officials... They should at least put the rights out to bid.
April 30, 2013, 5:09 pm
Friend of Marty Mashugana from Borough Haul says:
This is the Borough of Kings, so let's stop acting like "Queens." I say let's have Cousin Brucie -- that would be Bruce Ratner -- come in and build. Parkland, barkland, blah, blah, blah. In the meantime, if my good friend Eric and that guy from Brownstoner can continue to build on their dream -- just as the late Jackie Robinson did, did I tell you I used to go to Ebbits Field as a "yewt?" but I digress -- then so be it. This is the land of opportunity. If anyone does not believe it, well too bad for them!!! This is Brooklyn -- where New York City begins!!!
April 30, 2013, 5:26 pm
Lalaland from Kensington says:
So this all boils down to the fact that Williamsburg has 4 major demographics: Oldtimers, who probably will never visit the park much no matter what, Young People, who make Williamsburg the fun neighborhood it's been since the 90's - unlike anywhere else in NYC, Condo Families, who makes loads of money and want to live in a movie set, and Jews. They all want to use the space in a different way, and resent any usage they don't personally approve of. I'm betting on Condo Families because they have the most money and the most at stake (beloved property values, the bedrock of NYC confidence), but I could be wrong.
April 30, 2013, 7:58 pm
"Interloper" from Kent Ave says:
I live right near this place and absolutely love it. It's a great place to get together with friends and enjoy a Saturday or Sunday. I love how you can get beers now too. It turns it into an awesome day drinking opportunity as well. I know that plenty of the locals hate it but I don't care and neither do the rest of the thousands of people that have been enjoying these events. We're here to stay and so are these events. They bring money into the community by supporting local businesses. If you're not into that try Brownsville or Staten Island. There are no flea markets there to speak of and you'll fit in just fine.

diehipster - You're commentary is so predictable and tired...I would suggest you take up a new hobby cause this one isn't working out.
April 30, 2013, 8:05 pm
Williamsburg Mashgiach from Williamsburg says:
can u imagine had the chassidim in williamsburg complained about this what the response would have been, and the question is where is Councilman Steve Levin ? OH we found him with the criminal Yosselle Fried

Look at this YouTube clip of a closed Press Conference yesterday called by Councilman Steve Levin and Rabbi David Niederman about Security Cameras in the public housing, at 1:06 you can see the famous guy Joseph Fried who was recently arrested for using his Camera to intimidate sexual abused witnesses in court, and Councilman Steve Levin attended his wedding and danced

with him like a crazy kid and then Levin denied to New York Post that he even knows him……

If you freeze the computer at 1:06 you will have a pic of Levin and Fried again, let’s see what excuse Levin will have now why they are always together………..

April 30, 2013, 8:18 pm
diehipster from Abusing Alcoholics says:
Wow, another "interloper" getting ——faced in the park. How original. Go back to Ohio before you use our tax dollars on your liver transplant.
April 30, 2013, 11:15 pm
Turkey Burg from Williamsburg says:
I was at the this market last weekend and there were quite a few German tourists who has read about Smorgasburg in their guide book - so I think this goes beyond the regular Hipster crowd. That said, it was a total sh*t show at 1:00pm. I think a better solution would be to move the market further north to where the concerts are now being held. And if $75K is truly what is at stake every weekend, then the city should get a bigger piece of the action and use that $$$ to buy the rest of Bush Inlet Park that was promised to the neighborhood during the 2005 rezoning of Williamsburg.
May 1, 2013, 5:45 am
Larger Issue from Williamsburg says:
The state has no plans for this park. The childrens area has not been upgraded in years. They have no plans for the slabs. The state made 20k a day from the concerts and they are getting 1500 a day from the flea. That is crazy.

If they were making 20k a weekend from the flea and they had a plan to turn one of the slabs into green area or use the money to buy trees equipment for the kids then that might be ok.
May 1, 2013, 5:59 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Larger, they don't need a plan for the slab. The slab IS the plan. It's reusing what was there before to create a space for arts and gatherings. And it works out pretty well.

You might as well complain they have no plan for the grass. Not a single swimming pool in that park. They're just leaving all the grass.
May 1, 2013, 6:11 am
bunkala from afi says:
Poor Demby. Maybe he move it to his neighboring Carroll Park?? Too close?
May 1, 2013, 6:56 am
Ann from 11211 says:
"Arts & Gatherings" parks programming gets parlayed into a food court & retail market in Williamsburg. How utterly unimaginative and utterly not surprising. The bourgeoisie is so predictable.
May 1, 2013, 7:12 am
Barry from Greenpoint says:
The small, incestuous cabal that is made up of some leading non-profits, transportation activists, parks officials, and local politicians create these deals. Buying into their mantra that the government is broke is the terror they use to convince us its worth it. It is a lot less work than demanding the city and state do better by us. Votes are promised for earmarks that keep the non-profits alive. Backroom deals are made to bend rules. (Name one other State Park that sells alcohol) Follow the money, then vote the bums out.
May 1, 2013, 7:29 am
Frank from Brooklyn says:
Barry you left out the developers, realtors, Hasidim, bike nazis, and the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative. there all big players too.
May 1, 2013, 8:17 am
manhatposeur from brokelandia says:
Really? The park is large enough to accomodate families and Flea patrons. what is the big deal in sharing the space.
Are these "so called hipsters" such an eye sore that you will go blind?
May 1, 2013, 8:34 am
roger from dayton says:
I think it's hilarious seeing (supposed) hipsters try to both defend their flea market and keep up that trademark "I fit the mold but am not a hipster" defense, like either are really that important. I think the argument here is that a park (whether city or state who gives a sh*t) is using a majority of its space for commercial purporses, which is not intended use. Whether Summerstage or Propsect Park concerts, the proportion of land use dedicated to that is not even close to 10% of the total area of the park. This flea market takes up a larger proportion of the park. Thereby, the park has become "overtaken" and the parks entire use has been converted to that event based on proportion usage. So Central Park or Prospect Park's concerts are not a good example to make a defense. Union Square's food market however is a better example but even then the proportion is still limited to the concrete corner and has clear separation from the rest of the park.
May 1, 2013, 8:41 am
Kevin from Williamsburg says:
I live on N 6th. While it's indeed gotten very busy on Saturdays and Sundays since the temp's risen a bit, it's not overwhelming and I'm positive the local businesses are enjoying the additional foot traffic. I don't think this has anything to do with hipsters, food snobs, weirdos or party people. It's the same as the gathering of food trucks that was happening by the highline last year. It's people enjoying the weather, spending their money, shopping in local businesses and exploring Williamsburg. Other than the trash on the ground, I don't see the problem. Williamsburg lacks the corner cans that Manhattan has to begin with, so if I had any complaints it would be to provide more cans outside the park. The event does a good job of recycling already. That said, let's be honest; the concrete slab is not a relaxing spot. Even prior to the s'burg moving to the park there were very few people enjoying a relaxing nap on the concrete. It's a good use for an area that needs to be reconfigured for it to be considered an actual park. When I think park, I think lawn. I think trees. I think pond. I think anything but a huge, cracked concrete slab. While the rental costs may be too low, that's for the city to work out. If you don't like $7 mini tacos, don't come. Take your kids to a place with an actual lawn and throw the ball around.
May 1, 2013, 9:55 am
Child with a bruised head. from Williamsburg says:
This last weekend with the markets where a disaster as a resident! I am a long time resident and not consider a "hipster"--just get that out of the way. Every where we went the sidewalks where hogged by people oblivious to anyone else around them. Many of these "visitors" do not pay attention to where they are going, much less someone with a small child. My seven year old finally wanted to go home because she was tired of people's tote bags hitting her head.
May 1, 2013, 9:59 am
"Interloper" from Kent Ave says:
Actually diehipster I was born here in the city and grew up in the city and the suburbs so I consider myself just as much of a New Yorker as anybody. I know you want to pretend that people like me are all from flyover states but you're just a dumbass who doesn't know any better.

Why don't you just leave? "Oldschool Brooklyn" people like you are no longer relevant in this community. Your opinions of people like me are inconsequential. We're now the majority and we're going to do whatever we want and we'll shape the neighborhood however we want. That includes day-drinking awesomeness in fleamarkets where we can buy our overpriced organic food. I work my butt off all week and make good money so I don't mind paying the extra three dollars for the organic pork tacos. I'm sure that lots of this comes from jealousy and the fact that you most likely couldn't afford such food. That's your own fault though for being a dumbass and being a "graduate" of TCI, MCNY or some other fake college from here in the city. The Post Office doesn't pay what it used to I guess...

You lose, progress wins.
May 1, 2013, 10:52 am
Mai from 11211 says:
Parks should inspire imagination, creativity, energy, or relaxation. Not vend it as a prepackaged commodity. Concessions are neither art or community. The new, petite bourgeoisie Brooklyn Brand is as hollow and fake as the haute bourgeoisie that it both models itself after and that it will eventually be consumed by.
May 1, 2013, 11:22 am
Drew from Bedford Gardens says:
If you want open space and a park, come near where I live, the park by Schaeffer Landing off of Kent Ave near South 9. Beautiful views, shady trees and tables. Hardly anybody uses the park. I have to laugh, I live in hasidic Wburg (Im not hasidic), and there are so many places off the beaten path to relax that northsiders either dont know about.
May 1, 2013, 11:52 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Every time someone weighs in with what a park should be, other than "whatever people want it to be," I laugh. It's a scornful laugh, because "parks should inspire imagination and creativity" is absurd. It's doubly good when it comes from someone hopped up on May Day fumes.
May 1, 2013, 12:50 pm
Voice of Veritas from Boro of Brooklyn says:
We are the New Jews of Brooklyn, and there's nothing anyone can do about it. A people of many lands and many languages, and one faith. Artists. And as the Jews and Italians and Irish swarmed over the City of Brooklyn more than a century ago and destroyed its old Dutch character, so shall we engulf today the whole of the borough and supplant its pizzerias and pubs and kosher delis with artisanal cafes and art galleries. And we are proud of it. What. "You got a problem with that?"
May 1, 2013, 4:20 pm
Blipper says:
That they are only paying 1500 - while the parks in this city suffer, is the outrage. They should be charged more since they are profiting about 50 to 75k PER weekend. It's baloney.
But as Meshug says - "my friend Eric and that guy who writes Brownstoner…."

That other outfits were run out of the parks for quieter less frequent events, is suspect.

The vendors are not to blame, but the creators of the Flea officially need to get over themselves already. It's tacos, by white people.
May 1, 2013, 11:08 pm
burgmom from Williamsburg says:
as someone who lives one block over, while I appreciate having access to a flea market and food in such close proximity and what it does for the spill over commercial benefits for local businesses, now that it's moved from its original location to the state park, I can't help but notice some key issues.

One main concern is a safety issue. I've seen throngs of people walking or talking while eating as they are smack in the middle of the Kent bike lane. While bicyclists going down Kent frequently ignore traffic lights and almost hit pedestrians (a pet peeve of mine), on the weekends, I'm seeing cyclists have to chime their bell to warn pedestrians that are totally oblivious that they're standing right in the middle of the lane.

I'm also seeing vehicle issues.....drivers going through red lights, not aware of their surroundings.

There's also mass amounts of people congregating on the sidewalks to eat and talk in large groups, they seem not to make space for those trying to pass. With the amount of children trying to make their way down to the BIP soccer fields, there seems to be no sense of manners.

Since people are choosing to eat on the sidewalk in front of the state park rather than inside the park, there should be more trash bins so people can throw their food away.

While it's nice to have visitors excited to come to Williamsburg and take in the beautiful East River scenario, I think they need to remember that just because most of them are dressed so tres cool that basic manners is a more noble trait.
May 6, 2013, 3:15 pm
kew from bklyn says:
Remember when there were rats the size of cats and prostitutes on those dead end street off of Kent Ave... oh that's right, how could you, your not even originally from NY! What's wrong with McCarren Park?
May 16, 2013, 5:24 pm
Nick from Williamsburg says:
I think ppl who complaining should move somewhere els bc this neighbor hood is for ppl who like action ,a lot of business ppl came here bc of these concerts and fleas so what should they do and how will they pay there high rent if there was no ppl from other neighborhood visiting,so keep it going williamsburg .
June 7, 2013, 1:01 am
Sam from Parkslope says:
Parkslopes debute as the curated Brooklyn flea was limp at best.
No matter what lies have been reported the fact is there were fewer than twenty venders in attendance.
It's a shame this local flea market has been reduced to a sterile no longer interesting Brooklyn Flea project.
Oct. 13, 2013, 5:12 am
b from gp says:
@ John from Williamsburg, sadly Long Island has changed for the worse. It was once a beautiful place devoid of horizontal sprawl. I would say the early '80s was the tipping point. The vertical sprawl of Manhattan has jumped the river and so Brooklyn, Queens is feeling the big squeeze. Toss some climate change activity in to the mix and we find ourselves living during pretty fascinating times.
May 28, 2014, 12:39 pm
Mrs Vandiver says:
Follow Mike from Williamsburg aka Mike Cherepko from suburban Pittsburgh on twitter live tweeting CB1 meetings.
Oct. 8, 2014, 11:38 pm

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