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Welcome to Drunk Shopping, our feature celebrating 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.
Well, well, well—looks like it's flea season again here in good, old Kings County. Indeed, the fabled Brooklyn Flea is out in the open air for another season of artisanal pickles and marked-up taxidermy starting this very weekend. And, lo, this go around the flea is taking root in Hipsterville, U.S.A.—that's right yuppies! Your flea is spending its every Sunday in the Great White North: Williamsburg.
When you can't beat 'em, join 'em: A Very Hipster Drunk Shopping. Start out your Sunday jaunt on the Williamsburg waterfront at North Seventh Street. The Flea is happening in the shadows of the much-maligned Edge towers (actually, the very plot all those vintage dress forms and organic jams are being hawked on is destined to be tower number three). Go early, for the food—papusas, sausage sandwiches, baked goods, hand-made chocolate, heavily accessorized franks, green market goodies and even flavored mayonnaise. Hopefully you'll find a place to sit—even more hopefully, you won't forget to bring something stronger to slip into that free-trade latte or organic horchata.
Before skipping out, you'll want to peruse the Flea's standard wares: Antique and/or locally-designed jewelry, vintage clothes, dog-eared issues of Playboy from the '70s, belt buckles, mid-century furniture, tie bars, ceramic owls, hand-screened baby onesies and framed botanical prints. But don't linger too long—real shopping awaits inland.
We have a number of suggestions for you as Williamsburg (and Greenpoint to the north) have a pretty spectacular shopping scene on offer. Let's say you head south and stay in Williamsburg proper: Then we recommend starting with a visit to In God We Trust's newish Williamsburg outpost for impeccable vintage, coveted private label and the secret shop-within-a-shop inside called It's Okay My Dear Secret Shop and Tailor. The space features one-off Okay My Dear womenswear fashioned from deadstock vintage fabric and the tailoring arm is ready and waiting to alter anything from their collection or your closet.
Next, two of the nabe's fashion cornerstones have new lines worth checking in on. First, Bird recently started stocking Madewell—J.Crew's Williamsburg-esque offshoot of boho womenswear that was formerly unavailable in Brooklyn. While Alter the Third—the one on Graham Avenue—is carrying Melissa's brand new collection of plastic shoes for guys. The line is called M:Zero.
For drinks we suggest Circle Bar—conveniently located a few blocks past Bird (and right near that Paul Smith Sale Shop. The bar offers Skee-Ball and a very notable Bloody Mary loaded with lots of pickle-y snacks.
Feeling Greenpoint? Then follow the river north. First stop the other Alter—the menswear-specific one. Like Bird, boy-Alter has started carrying a Williamsburg-esque collection of mass market apparel formerly unavailable outside of Manhattan. We speak of Topman and their not-quite-cheap-enough trendables. From there, lose a few hours scouring a million, trillion unorganized but crazy-cheap records at the Thing. Bring allergy medicine, a compass and a watch.
Drinks on that end? Keep it hipster! Visit Blackout—from the folks behind the Oak boutiques. There are chichi $10 cocktails, but—like we said, this is Hisperville—cans of Schlitz are $3.
· Flea Time! [Racked NY]
· The Secret Tailor Hidden Behind One of Williamsburg's Staples [Racked NY]
· Madewell at Bird [Racked NY]
· Williamsburg Guys, Alter Will Make Your Plastic Dreams Come True [Racked NY]
· A Little Bit of Soho in Greenpoint: Introducing Topman at Alter [Racked NY]
· Music Writer T. Cole Rachel Hunts for Records in Deepest Greenpoint [Racked NY]
· All Drunk Shopping posts [Racked NY]