Downtown just got its very own holiday market, giving Brooklyn shoppers one fewer reason to schlep across the East River this season.
The new market opened last week in Columbus Park, outside of Borough Hall, and will operate every day till Christmas. Shop owners from across the borough have set up stalls in hopes of catching some extra foot traffic at the most spendy time of the year.
“Christmas is the best season for us,” said Tashi Tsaga, owner of the Fort Greene handicrafts store 21 Tara. “I came here to advertise my business.”
Tsaga sells handmade clothing, jewelry, and trinkets from far-flung places such as India and Nepal at his Myrtle Avenue shop, and said he has specially selected eye-catching items for gift-seekers at the holiday market. So far so good, he said.
“I’ve had a lot of customers looking for more stuff like we have here,” Tsaga said. “I just give them a business card and send them to my store.”
The storied civil rights organization Congress of Racial Equity is running the market and collecting some of the proceeds. The group’s director said new retailers can use holiday markets and street fairs as launchpads for brick-and-mortar businesses.
“Many of our vendors go on to open storefronts using the knowledge and revenue gained from our fairs,” said Brian McLaughlin at a Dec. 11 ceremony marking the market’s opening. “We want to continue that spirit with this market.”
Borough President Adams said the outdoor shops are a great way to get into the swing of buying lots of stuff.
“This our equivalent of the North Pole,” he said. “This is the spirit of Christmas.”
Williamsburg resident Olivia Kozakiewicz, who is working a booth that sells funky, do-it-yourself light fixtures called Infinity lights, is a big fan of the holiday season.
“I just like the positive spirit everyone has,” Kozakiewicz said. “People are so nice to each other around Christmas.”