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The Bowery may have become a stretch of gleaming modern buildings, but its new flea market belongs to a well-worn older model. The Bowery Bazaar, which just opened on the first floor of shiny new tower 351 Bowery, consists of exactly the same collection of t-shirt stalls, vintage clothing stands, and soapmongers that you'll find at flea markets around the city. Think Williamsburg's Artists and Fleas minus the vinyl section, or the weekend artist's market on Mulberry Street minus all the young designers.
The bazaar is still getting off the ground, of course—we spotted several empty stalls—and it did have a few notable booths, including truly delicious baked goods from Brooklyn's Michael Allen Desserts. But flea market competition is cutthroat around these parts. In a few weeks, the Brooklyn Flea will bring its rolling yuppie pupusa revue to the empty Tower Records space at Lafayette and East 4th Street. The Bowery Bazaar is going to need more than just a few jewelry stands if it wants to keep up.
· Sign of the Times: Flea Market Opening on the Bowery [Racked]
· Ho! Ho! Ho! The Flea Takes Manhattan (For a Month) [Brownstoner]