Features NY Life — 06 December 2010
The Brooklyn Flea Market: Amazing Shopping, Historic Building

Even if you have only been to Brooklyn once, you will have noticed the tall narrow building adorned with a large clock in the Atlantic Terminal section of the borough. Built in 1927 and completed in 1929, this iconic structure has always been a landmark to the area and is the tallest building in Brooklyn.  Even today people who live in the area marvel at its architectural greatness.

One of the building’s greatest treasures can be found in its main floor. This enormous room formerly housed a prestigious New York bank.  But in 2010 the shell of the former bank is used as the home of one of the largest indoor markets in the city, The Brooklyn Flea Market.  The name may be simple, but once inside the place is, in a word, amazing.

Every inch of the space is used for people to sell their wares. But that’s not to say that the items sold at the flea are your typical Tupperware or some worthless junk.  At the Brooklyn Flea Market, patrons have the chance to buy everything from antiques of yesteryear to hand crafted clothing and jewelry.

If handmade original t-shirts and jewelry are your thing, then stop on over to Loyalty and Blood clothing, located in the back left corner of the market. This Williamsburg, Brooklyn based company which formed in 2006, by husband and wife team David Denoswicz and Maggie Doyle, specializes in bringing the savvy New York consumer some solid values.

Loyalty and Blood’s designs are unique and most importantly one of a kind. Be it a t-shirt, sweatshirt, tank top, or tote bag, their designs match any style and budget. If you’re looking to get a unique piece of jewelry for yourself or that special person, they have a great collection and any of their pieces make a great gift.

Even though the main lobby and market are quite attractive; we recommend that you head downstairs. Once you descend the marble stairs you will see a hulking doo, which was in fact the former entrance to the bank’s vault. Make sure to snap a photo of it, because of it’s impressive size.  Travel through the door for more market fun, and of course food! The current trend in the area is to eat locally grown and or caught food. In the vault area of the market you will find such items.

One of the great local food vendors is, Asia Dog.  When you’re a small business working today in the cut throat food world that is New York City, you need to stand out. And that is exactly what owners Steve Porto and Melanie Campbell have done by taking the idea of the iconic hot dog, an NYC staple, and giving it an Asian spin. When you visit their stand, be sure to take a long look at the menu as they have many varieties to choose from. First step is to choose beef, chicken, or veggie. Then the fun begins: the toppings, and a thorough introduction to their Asian flare.

If it’s your first time at Asia Dog we recommend you order the “Vinh.”  The Vinh is Asia Dog’s answer to the classic Vietnamese sandwich, the Banh Mi.  They begin with an all beef hot dog, aioli, pâté, cucumber, picked carrot, diakon, cilantro, and jalapeño.  The combination of the hot dog mixed with all these bold ingredients is downright outstanding. So good in fact that I’m imploring them to set up some shops, and franchise all around the city, so I can get one anytime I want.

So, if it’s a day of shopping for a holiday gift for that special person or sampling some amazing eats, The Brooklyn Flea Market should be your weekend destination this winter. Since the market is so massive, you will have to return, again and again, to really see it all. And that’s a good thing! Besides the amazing market, you get to walk through a historic and iconic building. It will take you back to a time, when a building was akin to a piece of art. At the Brooklyn Flea Market, you will learn about Brooklyn history, shop, and eat some tasty treats.  Not a bad way to spend an afternoon if you ask me. The market runs every weekend until March 28th.

- Alan Smithee

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