I'm a freelance writer/photographer living in the East Village neighborhood of New York City.
Published March 3rd 2010
Want to score some bohemian bracelets, a dog-eared copy of Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow, some ironic stencil art, a funky vintage belt and some other one-of-a-kind wares? Then head to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to the home of Artists&Fleas, a unique indoor shopping experience with rotating vendors and some of the city's most talented young designers.
Upcycled. Vintage. Handmade. Whatever you're after, you're bound to find a treasure at this clean, well-lit, warm, and attractive market, now in its sixth year. So successful is Artists&Fleas, in fact, that a affiliated market specializing in vintage items opened next door.
Located in a large warehouse space, Artists&Fleas began in 2003 as a small weekly market for independent artists and designers eager to show and sell their work. Word soon got out that New York's most interesting flea market was now in Brooklyn, not Manhattan. Need a new notebook? Some gangster jewelry? A polka dot ring? A new graphic T-shirt? Check out other recent vendors on Artists&Fleas' Flickr feed. (Another plus are the independent vendors on nearby Bedford Street where locals looking to make extra cash sometimes peddle collectible goods).
Artists&Fleas is a place to exchange ideas, get feedback, browse a variety of unique handmade items, hunt for bargains, and listen to original music in Manhattan's scene-making backyard. With constantly changing vendors, great variety, live entertainment (DJ sets and occasional bands), locally-produced foods (vegan chocolates, organic desserts) and more, Artists&Fleas has become much more than a shopping destination for 'Billburg's hipsters; it's also a community.