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In a stroke of genius, the Brooklyn Flea has managed to get ahold of the gorgeous lobby of One Hanson Place, the historic Fort Greene building also known as the Williamsburgh Savings Bank, for the next three months. We stopped by this Saturday, opening day, and found the place packed. (In classic Flea fashion, we immediately lost our shopping companion, then ran across eighteen people who looked exactly like him.)
The market occupies the bank lobby, the tunnel-like spaces that ring it on the right and left, and the mezzanine, which includes a classic balcony and some little side rooms. The mix of vendors isn't much different from other Flea locations—there's the usual vintage coats, grandmotherly furniture, and pressed-tin mirrors, plus a sprinkling of young artisans with homemade bags and clothes. But all of it looks a hundred times fancier under the soaring ceiling.
If you're not the type who gets excited about mosaics and marble columns and tons of chandeliers, head down to the cellar, where you'll find gigantic iron doors leading into the food court. You'd think that being trapped in a damp bank vault would diminish your appetite for papusas and lobster rolls, but you'd be wrong.
Are we gushing? Possibly, but the Flea earns it. It's rare to see such a good marriage of market and location—we're just happy to dance at their wedding.
· Williamsburgh Savings Bank to House the Brooklyn Flea [Racked]
· The Flea: Live from One Hanson [Brownstoner]