Last Saturday found two well-rested Weekend Warriors. Mary and I tried something groundbreaking: we stayed in to watch a movie on a Friday night. We finally got around to seeing Wes Anderson’s Newest gem, Moonrise Kingdom (I highly recommend it), and we were greeted by a beautiful fall day. We decided to take a stroll North, towards the Fort Green/Clinton Hill area, and after cooking up some delicious Applegate farms bacon and grabbing some Seattle grown Caffé Vita coffee down the street, we were off to explore.
We didn’t have any great expectations for the afternoon. A thrift store maybe? Used bookstore? Perhaps an excellent happy hour special at a local watering hole? Wandering through the ever changing Crown Heights/Bed-Stuy/Clinton Hill area, you’ll find an unending wave of restaurants, bars, shops and parks. But, after a 10 minute walk down Vanderbilt, we stumbled upon the mother load. Housed in the fenced in athletic courts of Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School was a massive market of food vendors, thrift shops, artists and small business owners alike. We’ve always heard of the famous Brooklyn Flea, but we couldn’t believe how incredibly massive and wonderfully alternative it is.
This place has it all. Are you looking for mid-century furniture? Are you in the market for antiquated, rural farm tools? Or maybe just some shelving made from re-purposed Amish cut wood? Tent to tent, you’ll find illustrators, glass cutters, hoarders, vegan lentil faux gras makers, early 90′s tropical vacation t-shirt collectors, jewelry designers and a TON of restaurant outposts.
After a few hours, we had examined every little corner of the market. However, all of this ironic, nostalgic, retro-rehashing was getting exhausting, and it was time to eat. The flea gives you a perfect cross-section of the different types of food you can experience in the borough. You can get a porchetta sandwich, artisanal grill cheese, Thai inspired hot dogs, and when you’re done, wash it down with some good old fashioned almond milk! We opted for wood fire oven pizza from PizzaMoto.
We went for the Truffle Carbonara. It has a fried egg on top so… was there ever really a choice? Needless to say, it was pretty amazing. Our pie was crispy, super flavorful and whipped up in a mobile wood burning oven. Not too shabby.
At this point, our bellies were full and our legs were tired. We spent the remainder of our afternoon making small talk with the vendors and hoping to become best friends with them (my joke about being a syrup aficionado really won over the folks at Morris Kitchen).
Nothing, however, can compare to what came next. Located in Bedford-Stuyvesant is our all-time favorite Brooklyn based business Dough. They sell doughnuts of all different varieties in shops up and down Franklin Ave, and they had a tent set up at the flea! Not just a small snapshot of their menu, but the whole collection. Our mouths were salivating at the soft, gooey, unhealthy opportunity that was presented in front of us. We indulged, and we don’t regret a second of it. You have to try these doughnuts.
All in all, the Brooklyn flea is an awesome Brooklyn establishment that truly represents everything Brooklyn is about. With vendors from every corner of Kings county, this place is an awesome way to spend an afternoon if you’re a local Brooklynite, or from out-of-town (like Manhattan….just kidding). Although this weekend was the last weekend they were outdoors in Fort Greene, they have now moved inside for the chillier months at 1 Hanson Place right next to Atlantic Terminal. Probably a good idea considering Mary and I ate our delicious pizza in the semi-warmth of a bus stop. Still worth it though.
After such an awesome day, night time was approaching, and parties and drinking were on the agenda. We ended up leaving the flea empty handed, but man did we get a lot of business cards. It makes me so proud to be a member of Kings County when I see all of these thriving, inventive, entrepreneurial individuals doing what they love. They truly are “fighting the good fight” and they wave their banners proudly.
And Lastly, i’ll leave you all with a picture of the most ridiculous dog of all time: