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Meeker Avenue Flea Market: An Unpleasant Surprise

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While wandering around the Northside of Williamsburg last week we couldn't help but notice some larger-than-life posters for a new flea market at Meeker Ave. and Leonard St. Our interest was piqued—would this, the Meeker Avenue Flea Market—be Williamsburg's Brooklyn Flea?

Probably not: the signage—featuring scantily clad "cool people" donning denim, and sunglasses, even a tattoo—didn't exactly have us picturing artisinal, home-churned ricotta. But, like the former factory housing the market, said signage is huge (and professionally printed—someone even purchased stock photography!) This could be the real deal—a pretension-free suburban-style flea market full of random oddities at bargain prices. How could we have missed this? Especially considering the publicity love-fest still surrounding Brooklyn Flea and the cool-hunting hipster/nesters seeking barely vintage owl-adorned housewares at 1000% mark-ups from North Jersey thrift store original purchase price who shop its stalls?

What we found was that North Jersey thrift store—with the blanket 1000% mark-up already in place; as well as piles of merchandise (socks, faux leather jackets, cheap sunglasses, sheet sets) from those atrocious wholesale/retail shops that line the streets of Manhattan's armpit (think Broadway and Sixth Ave. at around 26th St.) A schlocky, '70s cock-rock soundtrack seemed very appropriate—it was a hilarious surprise when we realized it was being provided by a live deejay.

Bright spots: a concerted effort unearthed some great vinyl, but pricing was ludicrous; the restrooms were fairly nice; and a stairwell lead to a huge room full of questionably "vintage" furniture. Again, the prices were nuts—rent a car and go to an upstate estate sale, you'll come out ahead—but we liked a giant travel trunk complete with drawers and a compartment for actually hanging clothes, an assortment of '60s and '70s modern furniture, some beautiful 60-year-old bicycles, a 1920s mortician's table (What!?), and a wooden serving tray inlaid with flying mallards. But, too lazy to haggle and experiencing major sticker shock, we left empty handed (and probably won't go back).
· All Brooklyn Flea Coverage [Racked]