I Dragged my Husband to Brooklyn Flea

This past weekend I wanted to check something off my list of things to do in Brooklyn. And so we headed off to Industry City, where the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasbord (http://brooklynflea.com/) is housed during the winter.

IMG_6086We happened to drive, but there is a subway stop around the corner as well. As we got out of the car, I looked around to appreciate the view of lower Manhattan in the distance, the industrial feeling of the area, the bustling Costco parking lot next store and the elevated BQE roadway traffic. Parking was easy at noon when we got there and it seemed like we arrived before the heavy crowds started pouring in.

We entered a building that appeared to be an old factory, with windows that let a warm filtered light through. At first glance, it appeared that there was an indoor garage sale going on. But no, it was so much more.

As my husband and I walked down the first isle, I took my time to explore the nicely laid out vintage jewelry, brightly colored coats and 1970’s ties. But of course, Ryan was already at the end of the row, seeing nothing of immediate interest. I could tell right away that I’d have to come back to peruse the pins, jewelry and purses with someone that could appreciate the “hunt”.

But alas, before long we both found something worth purchasing; a Dough donut (http://www.doughdoughnuts.com/). Hard to believe it was the first time we tried one. We have been fans of Doughnut Plant (http://doughnutplant.com/) – with my personal favorite being the Hazelnut Hole of Heaven (note that this is not the official name). Ryan made an aggressive move to order the Salted Carmel flavor without my input, but I must be honest, it was a damn good donut. A fluffy, airy bread-like dough was smothered in a thick chocolate layer that covered the top of this 4-inch wide circle-of-guilt. I regret to inform you that the speed at which this donut was consumed resulted in the lack of a picture of it’s interior. It’s a great excuse to purchase another one of these at a later date.

Back to shopping. There was a respectable variety of vintage items including rugs, toys, kitchen goods, household items and clothes, just to name a few. I’m not a huge shopper of these kinds of vintage goods, but I must say the selection looked to be of good taste and quality, and it was fun to look and reminisce about the Tupperware days. In addition to these kinds of vendors, there were also a good number of handmade goods as well. There were textiles with Brooklyn artwork, a beautiful plant stall, several furniture options and jewelry. And because it’s Brooklyn, you can expect to find vendors with a social mission as well. For example, the company ReFoundry (www.refoundry.org) is a non-profit organization, which employs formerly incarcerated folks to make furniture using reclaimed wood. Suffice it to say, we had fun pursuing the goods and made a few fun purchases, including a potted plant.

Be sure to go to the Brooklyn Flee hungry, because at the far end of the floor were about a dozen food vendors (carefully selected of course) all of which were somehow able to produce delicious, culinary concoctions with make-shift kitchens. Pay no mind to food safety questions – I’m assuming they all have an “A” rating. J But seriously, my recommendation is to go in with a food strategy. For me, that always means have as much variety as you possibly can, right before you get to the point that you are asking for a wheelbarrow. After much deliberation and a full sweep of the food options, our first decision was to share an avocado sandwich from an Italian sandwich shop called Crosby Connection. Their clear proposition was based around simple, fresh ingredients. As we stood in line, we got a head start on the meal with a large sample of their fresh Mozzarella cheese. But it turns out we weren’t done with cheese quite yet, as Ryan was excited to make a selection at the Milk Truck (http://milktrucknyc.com/) – which involved a melted concoction of gruyere cheese, sweet apples and fresh bread slathered in a not-so-healthy portion of BUTTER. Oh deluxe grilled cheese…my taste buds thank you and my hips loathe you.

After lunch, I went home and took a nap. Ok, I didn’t really, but that would have been a good idea. It was a successful trip, for both man and woman – perhaps because of the food distraction – but either way I highly suggest making the easy trip to Industry City. I look forward to going to Brooklyn Flee in the summer, when it’s outside, the air is warm and the breeze is gentle (I’ll stop daydreaming now). In the meantime, I’ll enjoy my new houseplant and take a look at what’s next on my list of Brooklyn “to-do’s”!

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