Shopping in New York, anyone? Attention, all lovers of vintage clothes, second-hand finds, thrift stores, fleamarkets, retro furniture, antiques fairs and rummaging through any or all of the above (especially those based in the Big Apple or planning to stay in New York anytime soon): the excellent Brooklyn blogspot Brownstoner has reminded us that Brooklyn Flea’s annual winter pop-up market is back!
… and, as the saying goes, this time it’s bigger and better than ever. As a Brit, I love the fact that it’s referred to as the Dumbo Flea, however, more sophisticated readers will know that this actually signifies a specific location in New York, near the Brooklyn Bridge, and is not a reference to what we in the UK might call a ‘white elephant’ stall (Bring and Buy ring any bells, anyone?).
This weird and wonderful weekly gathering of antiques experts, vintage-clothes dealers and thriftaholics will be taking place at 76 Front Street in Dumbo, on the corner of Washington, from 11am to 6pm every Saturday and Sunday until the end of March. The first one took place this weekend and by all accounts was thronged with happy thrifters and great bargains. It’s a great, fun and relaxed way to while away a day of your weekend in New York*, and there are lots of great places to go for food nearby, as many of you NYC insiders will already know.
A much-loved local eaterie is the Iron Chef House sushi restaurant: intimate, reasonably priced, excellent sushi… the kind of place you wish was on the corner of your street (if only there was somewhere like this in Chiswick near Smith HQ and High Road House – a post on the best sushi in New York due soon, methinks, as well as a resurrection of our superior coffee thread. Where was I… ah yes…). The menu’s the kind of bible of mouthwatering choice that makes you wish someone would just pick for you, but trust us, you can’t go wrong. Or just pick the House Love Boat sushi platter. For non-sushi eaters, there are Japanese dumplings, Miso soup, and Udon noodle, tempura and teriyaki dishes, too. Yum.
Iron Chef House
92 Clarke Street, Brooklyn (+1 718 858 8517)
After a day of browsing, head for Hecho en Dumbo, a groovy Mexican cantina inside the Dumbo General Store (itself a good brunch or coffee spot – try the Huevos Rancheros) with a warehouse feel where the vibe is young and laid-back and the Mojitos flow freely. Have a pick-me-up snack or drink before you head back to your hotel to change for dinner, or linger and people-watch while the place grows buzzier. The food is fresh, fresh, freshly prepared from largely organic, free-range and locally sourced ingredients from the Forager’s Market deli and the Essex Street Market: hand-pressed tortillas, just-made guacamole. We love the crab tostados (especially when we wash them down with a few of those lethal Mezcaltinis). There’s also a serious tequila menu for those intent on setting the world to rights.
Hecho en Dumbo at the Dumbo General Store (look for the Café Bar sign)
111 Front Street, Brooklyn (+1 718 855 5288)
You might also like to check out our cheap chic shopping guide to New York. Here’s a list of some of the stallholders you can expect to pitch up with their vintage goodies at the Dumbo flea (and a map for the geographically challenged), if you want to Google them and check out their wares in advance:
Antiques + Collectibles
Blue Canary Vintage
Clinton Hill Clocks
Estate of Art Vintage Lifestyle
Good Vintage Collectibles
Intaglio Antique Prints and Maps
Lon Black Postcards + Ephemera
Olde Good Things
Shore Arts Antiques + Appraisals
Sit + Read Furniture
Smith Vintage Modern – this has our name all over it! Spy feedback, please…
Stephen Zorochin’s Collections
Treasures + Pleasures
Used & Abused
* And if you feel like buying me some small token of appreciation for pointing you in the right direction while you are there, so much the better. I like shiny things, by the way.