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Postcards from the Edge: The Brooklyn Flea Debuts in Williamsburg

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At this point, we all know what to expect from a Brooklyn Flea. There will be pupusas and kimchi dogs and jars of artisanal mayonnaise. There will be hand-made jewelry and vintage clothing and household items made from re-purposed ceiling tin. And if there's a guy selling sticky buns with his website tattooed on his arm, as there was at the opening day of the Brooklyn Flea in Williamsburg yesterday, well, nobody's going to be too surprised.

As this is all pretty well established, let's look instead at what makes the north Brooklyn waterfront Flea different from its south Brooklyn neighbors. First of all, of course, there's the location, a plot of land rented from the towering Edge development. Situated between Kent Avenue and the river, the space has majestic views of the Manhattan skyline (and distinctly less majestic views of the soulless Edge complex.)

In the months since the muddy promo photos hit the internet, the ground has been covered in a layer of gravel, so don't worry about destroying your shoes. Do bring a jacket, though: Yesterday, the wind coming off the water made shopping a chilly experience, though we'll probably be grateful for it come summer.

There's also the hipster factor. The crowd didn't feel hugely different from past Fleas in Fort Greene or Dumbo, though we did spot far fewer babies and far more dogs. Also, there are more bicycle vendors, though it's hard to say whether that's a 'Burg thing. Was it a big fashion show? Sure, but when is the Brooklyn Flea not a big fashion show?

Actually, what most distinguishes Williamsburg from other Flea neighborhoods is that it already has a thriving market, Artists & Fleas, located just a block from the Brooklyn Flea's home. We worried about a flea rivalry, but it looks like a rising tide lifts all boat shoes—Artists & Fleas was mobbed, and the usually-quiet waterfront streets were bustling with activity.
· Living on the Edge: The Brooklyn Flea to Conquer Williamsburg [Racked NY]
· Artists & Fleas Updates with a New Space and Delicious Tacos [Racked NY]