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Welcome to Drunk Shopping! Our new feature celebrates the time-honored tradition of getting totally wasted while the sun's still shining before buying a bunch of debatably useful stuff that the sober you would be too timid or too restrained to take home. Each Friday we'll cobble together a new itinerary starting you off with a boozy Saturday or Sunday brunch before meandering through a few neighboring retailers and happy hours notable for seasonal specials, limited time availability, fantastic deals, recent openings, or new shipments.
Oh hello weekend! And hello Brooklyn Flea! The much-loved collective of vintage wares, craftiness, and foodie fodder is back outside and back home for the season, so let's head to Fort Greene, one of Brooklyn's prettiest neighborhoods, and cause some trouble. We're going to grab brunch at everyone's favorite spot in the area, The General Greene. You'll want to stick to something on the lighter side, because frankly, the best part about Brooklyn Flea is the food. We recommend a salad or sandwich: Butter lettuce with grapefruit or a sandwich of portabello mushroom and egg. Light and under $10, they leave plenty of space and cash for the series of $5 canned beers you're going to blow through (and feel free to get really turbo wasted because there isn't much traveling about this Saturday*). One such variety is seriously called Old Chubb. Drink four, then drag your Old Chubb up and out and south—let's go buy some things.
Though a fairly recent addition to New York's shopping spectrum, The Brooklyn Flea—at 176 Lafayette Avenue—is already something of legend amongst shop hounds and foodies from Brooklyn as well as Manhattan. It's not exactly a bargain hunter's dream, nor is it anything like the country flea markets you remember from whatever suburban area you escaped from when you moved here. But look for heavily curated selections of vintage clothing and accessories, antique and vintage furniture, old books and magazines, and oddities and objets. Various local craftspeople and entrepreneurs are also well represented: Find screen-printed tees for you, your nieces and your dogs, handmade jewelry, artwork for your walls, handbags and other bits of leather, and extremely necessary decorative book jackets.
A few new vendors joined the crew for the season. Ikat Vintage is ground zero for vintage textile; Koichi Morita and Hiro Tominaga offer exquisite Americana-inspired vintage clothing; Species By The Thousands produces quirky, animal-inspired jewelry and tees; and Mix Gallery is a retro home-decorating scavenger hunt.
Most importantly, the food rules. Asiadog joins the fray at Flea's original locale and their kimchi-topped franks (vegetarian is available) are kind of amazing and might be the best bargain on the lot. If you're looking for something a little more authentic, visit the various Red Hook Food Vendors and Red Hook Lobster Pound to try the papusas and lobster rolls every Brooklyn food blog has been raving about for two summers running. You can also bring home jars of pickled deliciousness, artisinal cheeses, or homemade (in someone else's home) baked goods and confectionery.
Now, if you're anything like we are, your buzz is majorly waning, so get the hell out of there. Follow Lafayette Street to S. Portland and stop into Moe's for the neighborhood dive's all day happy hour. Looking to keep it tame and stick with beers? Drafts are two-for-one. Looking to get really rowdy and break or lose all the jars of pickles and vintage Playboys you just bought? Frozen cocktails are $5 and three shots of house tequila are $10.
* If you're Drunk Shopping on Sunday, note that the Flea will be held at its indoor location at One Hanson Place. You can still get really turbo wasted though.
Enjoy! And please do share your Drunk Shopping tips, tales, and war stories in the comments!