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Brooklyn Flea opens outpost in Park Slope

Popular hipster market comes to PS 321 playground

The Brooklyn Paper
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There’s a new flea in Park Slope, and it had Brooklyn written all over it.

The hugely popular Brooklyn Flea debuted its new Park Slope weekend outpost on Saturday at Seventh Avenue’s PS 321 playground, replacing a beloved neighborhood flea market that operated out of the space for decades.

The ever-growing outdoor market that famously caters to hipsters took over a smaller, old-fashioned flea market that boasted a range of vintage wares at the elementary schoolyard for at least 20 years, but founders of the much-touted Flea said that the new location will be more low-key than other Brooklyn Flea outposts and even keep some of the longtime antique vendors.

“Our expectation is that it will be a more local attraction and a more local clientele,” said Brooklyn Flea co-founder Eric Demby, who added that the school playground between First and Second streets only has room for roughly 40 vendors, making it significantly smaller than the Flea’s other outposts that have more than 100 sellers.

Demby said that the Park Slope outpost most likely wouldn’t turn into a crowded tourist destination that the Brooklyn Flea’s locations in Fort Greene and Williamsburg have bloomed into over the years — and he and his partner Jonathan Butler are totally fine with that.

“It’s a fifth of the size of the other locations — it can’t even get that crowded,” said the Prospect Heights resident who used to shop and browse through items at the former PS 321 weekend flea market.

The Park Slope outpost will run from 10 am to 5 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. It will close the last weekend before Christmas and reopen in mid-March, said Demby, adding that the Brooklyn Flea has a two-year contract with the Department of Education to use the city-owned space.

Opening weekend of the Brooklyn Flea in Park Slope boasted about 35 vendors selling artisan crafts, antiques, jewelry, records, and other vintage wares, and just one food vendor from Fonda, which is different from other Flea locations that typically boast big foodie selections.

“We’re trying to maintain a low profile with the food out of respect to the neighborhood restaurants,” said Demby.

Park Slopers said they were glad that to see that the Brooklyn Flea re-branded itself as a fixture in the neighborhood, even though they were sad that the long-running PS 321 flea market go the way of the dodo.

“It’s a great addition to the neighborho­od,” said Rachel McPherson, who browsed through Turkish pillowcases and silk prints on opening day. “But I do hope they include some of the old vendors.”

The Brooklyn Flea empire recently expanded with outposts in Philadelphia and Washington, joining its Brooklyn locations in Fort Greene at Lafayette Avenue between Clermont and Vanderbilt avenues, which runs on Saturdays, and in Williamsburg at East River State Park, which runs on Sundays.

Brooklyn Flea at PS 321, 180 Seventh Ave. between First and Second streets in Park Slope, www.brooklynflea.com. Saturday and Sundays, 10 am–5 pm.

Reach reporter Natalie Musumeci at nmusumeci@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her at twitter.com/souleddout.
Updated 10:15 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Joey from Clinton Hills says:
Park Slope is already gentrified, but there are still pockets of unspoiled Brooklyn realness that are being erased from the landscape by Brownstoner and their celebration of the 1% invasion! Let's keep raising prices!!!! Hooray!!
Oct. 15, 2013, 10:32 am
Ed from PH says:
The Flea was more lame than it ever was this weekend? 35 vendors my a$$! There were about 20, tops and they were terrible.
Oct. 15, 2013, 10:44 am
Tueday says:
Do the merchants pay taxes?
Oct. 15, 2013, 12:30 pm
Jim from Park Slope says:
I'm always so impressed with the intelligence and thoughtfulness of the commenters on this site!
Oct. 15, 2013, 4:08 pm
Pat I. from Brooklyn says:
Why is a person accused of bigotry simply for asking if they pay taxes? They should if it's a regular business.

Are they licensed? Inspected by the DOH? Gee now you're gonna accuse me of running a pogrom, Lesbona.
Oct. 16, 2013, 7:30 am
Ruth from Brooklyn says:
The only authentic Fleamarket in Brooklyn has been reduced to a botique setting no longer a place to find genuine interesting items.
It's a shame Brooklyn Flea is determined to sterilize whatever they touch.
Karma is a ——, Brooklyn Flea has messed with the wrong flea market, why not just tell us who we should vote for and how to wipe our ass.
Oct. 18, 2013, 3:56 pm
Domingo from Windsor Terrance says:
I think it was great, let"s appreciate what we have and stop seeing what we don't have- besides they just started, to quick for judgemental thoughts, don't you think?
Oct. 24, 2013, 11:18 am
Hortence from Park Slope says:
This is a sorry display. Nothing that was promised by them has been delivered. The place is a ghost town with about 10 desperate vendors each week. They displaced a bustling market of over 40 vendors. They did not even approach the existing vendors because they weren't good enough. Now they can't even give the spots away. What a mess. They ruined my Saturday morning routine for nothing.
Oct. 30, 2013, 4:37 pm
Alice from Park Slope says:
Since the flea market was closed over the winter, I didn't realize until this weekend that the old market had been displaced. It was a neighborhood institution and the highlight of my weekend, and I'm terribly disappointed that the space was given to a franchise. Who decides how to use that space? PS321?
April 7, 2014, 4:34 pm

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