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Fair weather: Brooklyn Flea winters in Industry City - Brooklyn Paper

Fair weather: Brooklyn Flea winters in Industry City

Wrap stars: Employees of Jianbing create the popular Chinese street food of the same name at the new location of the Brooklyn Flea in Industry City.
Photo by Erica Price

Call it fair weather!

The popular Brooklyn Flea market has relocated to an indoor spot in Sunset Park for the winter. During the summer and fall, the usually open-air market split its time between Dumbo and a spot on the distant isle of Manhattan, but it was time for the Brooklyn institution to come home, said one of its co-founder.

“We really felt the Brooklyn Flea needed to be back in Brooklyn,” said Eric Demby, who lives in Prospect Heights.

The Winter Flea, as it is dubbed, began welcoming shoppers to its second-floor spot in Industry City on Nov. 25, where it will remain on Saturdays and Sundays until March. On its first day, a healthy crowd pawed overtoys from the 1980s, flipped through vintage records, and tried on fur hats. Demby said that he was cheered by the size of the first-day audience.

“I was pleasantly relieved,” he said. “It was pretty crowded, considering that we really only announced [the new location] last week.”

The winter shopping emporium has a slightly different feel than the usual outdoor market, said Demby, with vendors spreading out and setting up their displays more like traditional shops.

“People have a little more space, so it doesn’t feel as cluttered,” he said.

This year, the Flea has organized its vendors into sections, with those selling vintage clothing in one area, furniture in another, and crafts and hand-made jewelry together. The Winter Flea also has a mini-version of the Smorgasburg food market to feed hungry shoppers, with 10 stalls, including returning favorites Ramen Burger and Chinese street food vendor Jianbing, along with relative newcomers C Bao and D’Abruzzo.

“We try to have some balance between the most known vendors, and bringing in some new faces, who might be overlooked,” said Demby.

The space also has a bar, serving beer, wine, and a handful of cocktails, and an area of tables and benches where people can enjoy their food and drinks.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, the Flea will boast a few extra vendors, including a pop-up shop from Greenlight Bookstore, children’s clothing retailer Soor Ploom, and a gift-wrapping station with custom-made wrapping papers. And the Winter Flea will be open on both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, for those shopping for last-minute gifts and those looking to show off an authentic Brooklyn experience to visiting relatives, said Demby.

“New Year’s weekend, there are a lot of people with visitors in town, and those are a lot of our core customers,” he said.

Reach arts editor Bill Roundy at broundy@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4507.

Winter Flea and Smorgasburg (241 37th St., second floor, between Second and Third avenues in Sunset Park, www.brooklynflea.com). Sat–Sun, 10 am–6 pm until March 27, 2018. Free.

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