This past Saturday felt like our first spring-like Saturday of the year. After visiting the Greenmarket, Justin and I walked over to the first outdoor Brooklyn Flea of the season. We arrived late and the scene was like a very crowded amusement park where each ride already has a huge line. The outdoor flea is held at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School. It's a perfect space for the vendors to spread around perimeter and create rows in the interior. The food carts and food vendors line the back side closest to the steps--convenient for eating or taking a breather. The Brooklyn Flea is also now outdoors in Williamsburg--I'd be curious to see if its arrangement is as organized as Fort Greene's.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="527" caption="What's on tap?"][/caption]
Because the Flea is on school grounds on top of a basketball court, there's a chain link fence that surrounds the entire thing. On less crowded days, it makes sense--everything is self-contained. On claustrophobically crowded days, like this past Saturday, you literally feel pushed to keep moving forward. Almost like if you didn't move your own feet, it wouldn't matter--someone push you forward anyways! No, I didn't see anyone gripping at the fences begging to be let out, but the lines and crowds were hard to move through (and even harder to take pictures in).
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="573" caption="Good Fork's Dumplings"][/caption]
As an example, The Milk Truck line had 35 people standing in it when we first walked by--with the worker calling out '30-45 minute waits for grilled cheese'. Justin and I walked the whole Flea, stopping at Foxy and Winston's stand and picking up an adorable pear tea towel (picture to come). We browsed a few antique stalls, sampled pie from Rachel's Pies, and ended with an appetizer of The Good Fork's dumplings and a Margherita pizza from Pizza Moto. Despite the lines, Pizza Moto was moving like a well-oiled machine, cranking out pizzas at a very fast pace. The grilled cheese wait may have been 40 minutes, but our pizza only took 10 minutes (despite being our position in line).
The Flea is a one-of-a-kind experience--I'm looking forward to going back when the crowds die down some. Oh wait, that probably never happens! If I'm feeling claustrophobic, my new plan is to make a bee line for Pizza Moto and grab a spot on the steps, overlooking the crowds.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="645" caption="Here's a happy Flea-goer"][/caption]