Since April 2008 the founders of Brownstoner.com (a Brooklyn community blog) have run the Brooklyn Flea, a giant weekend flea market that features over 150 vendors of "antiques, vintage clothing, handmade items, jewelry, food, bicycles, records, and more." The first market began in Fort Greene and has since expanded to include a second market location, held outdoors seasonally, in Williamsburg.
Not only does the outdoor Williamsburg Sunday Brooklyn Flea feature plenty of vendors selling both food and wares, the site itself, located on the banks of the East River, has impressive views of the Manhattan skyline. The Flea is sandwiched in between the Northside Pier and Park and the East River Park, giving visitors plenty of space to lounge.
About 75% of Brooklyn Flea vendors are vintage sellers - clothing, shoes, and handbags, mostly for women. Handmade jewelry, handmade clothing, and crafts are also well-represented. In the back of the market (closer to the East River) you'll find a group of furniture sellers with fantastic vintage pieces, from desks to cabinets to eccentric clocks and lamps. The largest vendors (selling clothing and shoes) are the mainstays of the flea market, but there's a fair amount of change as new vendors come and go.
Most vendors only accept cash, and there is an ATM near the North entrance for your convenience. Some, however, do accept credit cards under the condition that they must then charge you tax on the item. A downside to the outdoor market is there are no bathrooms or changing rooms. However, there is a multitude of food vendors - so skip brunch and come hungry!
Becoming a Vendor
If you are more interested in selling rather than buying, you can apply to become a vendor at the Brooklyn Flea, either in Fort Greene or the Williamsburg location. Simply visit www.brooklynflea.com and click on the "Sell" tab. You will be directed to fill out a form or you can e-mail the Flea with questions.
If you are coming from Manhattan, take the L Train to Bedford Avenue. Exit at North 7th Street, continue South on Bedford Avenue to North 6th Street. Take a right on North 6th Street. Pass Berry, then Wythe, then Kent Avenue. The Brooklyn Flea sits on the bank of the East River, tucked behind two large condominiums.
If you are coming from Brooklyn or Queens, take the G Train to Nassau. Exit at Bedford Avenue, continue South on Bedford (you will walk through McCarren Park) to North 6th Street. Take a right on North 6th Street, and continue East on towards the water. Pass Berry, then Wythe, then Kent Avenue. The Brooklyn Flea sits on the bank of the East River, tucked behind two large condominiums.