Brooklyn Flea To Take Over PS 321 Flea Market

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PS 321, via Facebook

PS 321 announced yesterday that their weekly flea market will undergo an exciting change in management next month:

We are excited to announce that the Brooklyn Flea will be taking over the flea market that takes place on Saturdays and Sundays outside of PS 321 beginning Columbus Day weekend! Founded in April 2008, Brooklyn Flea has grown into one of New York City’s top attractions, operating flea markets every weekend of the year that feature vendors of antique and repurposed furniture, vintage clothing, collectibles and antiques, as well as a tightly curated selection of jewelry, art, and crafts by local artisans and designers. We hope you will all enjoy this new addition to our neighborhood!

The market will be smaller than Brooklyn Flea’s other locations in Fort Greene and Williamsburg, bringing around 40 vendors to the school’s playground. The PS321 Flea Market, aka the Park Slope Flea Market, has been running year-round for decades, and it will be interesting to see if Brooklyn Flea keeps it up past November, when their other markets close.

Photo via PS321

  • ParkSlopePerson

    Does this mean that those vendors who have been at 321 for years are being pushed out??

  • Miss718

    Oh NO!!!! This is SO NOT A GOOD THING. Wow. I am seriously seriously sad to hear this terrible news. In fact, I was at the overpriced hipster-ridden Brooklyn Flea recently and after overdosing on Twee, happened to be passing by 321 that afternoon and commented to my husband later that I so much preferred it. SOB SOB SOB.

  • Sloper

    This actually stinks. Some of these vendors probably can’t afford the fees Brooklyn Flea charges for a booth.

    • Disappointed

      Damn right. This vendor simply can’t earn enough on my high quality but lower priced goods that “I PERSONALLY MANUFACTURE!” PS 321 becoming part of Brooklyn Flea is doing exactly what poor neighborhoods do when they gentrify…. decent quality and inexpensive services and goods give way to high price crap that most people do not NEED and charge HUGE prices that the most middle and lower class people can’t afford!

  • Wendy Sacks

    Brooklyn Flea is very expensive for dealers so I’m afraid the vendors who’ve been selling there for years won’t be able to sell there anymore. I had predicted this would happen but I’m sorry that I was correct. As someone else said, here comes the overhyped overpriced Brooklyn Flea.

  • BKshopper

    haters gonna hate

  • ParkSlopePerson

    I happen to really like Brooklyn Flea, and, let’s face it, most of the vendors at 321 now are highly overpriced. But, still, I hope they don’t get pushed out now. they were there first and one of the major sources of income for 321

  • Matt

    This is great news! I’ve been to both flea markets and (no offense) the vendors at Brooklyn Flea market sell much more interesting things that I’m much more likely to buy (or enjoy looking at while pretending that I’m going to buy). You might call it over-priced, but you get what you pay for folks.

  • Bob van Pelt

    This is a very bad thing. One reason why the current market is great is because it actually still sort of resembles a flea market, where you can find cool stuff for cheap. I had a conversation with a vendor there last Christmas about how overpriced and yuppified the Brooklyn “flea” market is. What a shame. Park slope is really going under. But good for 321 PTA to rake in more cash. Will they send any in the direction of underprivileged schools with no PTAs because all the parents are poor and they are working five jobs to keep their heads above water now that their food stamps have been cut? Sorry for the rant.

    • Miss718

      Brooklyn Flea was cool when it started. But I know I’ve sort of had my fill of curated/crafted/”locally sourced” stuff. Enough already. We get it. Not everyone in Brooklyn actually wants to live in a “curated” apartment featured in Design Sponge or Apartment Therapy or maybe in Gather magazine. I don’t blame the PS321 PTA for looking to increase their revenue stream but I think it is a shame that it likely means that many of the vendors who have been an integral part of that great flea market are going to be booted so we can have the opportunity to buy yet more hand crafted pickles and upcycled objects and vintage furniture at premium prices. I never found 321 flea market to be overpriced, on the contrary. I’ve had so much fun there over the years and found such great little paintings and objects, none over $10. Maybe I should apply for a booth at the Flea.

    • Barry

      Hello,

      Thought you might be interested in doing a story on how The Brooklyn flea has recently won the bid to take over the 321 Fleamarket on 7th ave in Parkslope.
      Though the school believes they made a good decision in there choice, no provision was taken to assure that the average person would ever be able to sell here ever again, nor will any of the past or present venders be allowed to sell there wares due to the far from fair way Eric decides who will or will not sell At the Brooklyn Flea’s curated market.
      Not only is curating not fair has anyone looked into just how legal this practice is, he has created exactly what he claims they did not want, a static environment where the same venders show the same items week after week, where is the variety his dealers rarely change.
      It seems there initial idea had merit but as time passed its just a mall with the heading Fleamarket.
      Flea markets are not in need of tweaking, The Brooklyn flea only added this wonderful local Fleamarket to there portfolio out of vanity and greed.
      Though this may seem trivial to many, in the larger scheme of things this is how our rights as citizens are eroded by those who feel they need to reinvent what already works and does not need fixing.
      Since Brooklyn flea announced there takeover two days ago many of the people who have shopped at the 321 Fleamarket are sad to hear this established Fleamarket will no longer have interesting venders that have sold there interesting items at fair prices.
      No person believes things will stay the same forever but in this case a Fleamarket that has stood the test of time longer than Eric Demby has been alive does not need his curating.
      I hope you find this story worth pursuing as its very important to us average folk who are just trying to make a living in a free market environment without having another rich person telling us what we can or can not do.

      • Miss718

        I agree there is a lot more to this story than a breezy update on the PS321 PTA Facebook page. I spoke to several of the vendors this weekend who are distressed and pretty sure that they will all be pushed out. None have been approached by Brooklyn Flea organizers. The backstory is that the flea market concession was put out to bid and Brooklyn Flea came up with the winning number. In theory they will net PS321 an additional $20k (I am not sure if that is per year or over the course of their contract). But the current vendors don’t feel they can afford Brooklyn flea table prices, even if they WERE approached to participate. They have been there for 31 years and apparently raised $750,000 for PS321 in that time. I don’t blame the PTA for looking for additional revenue streams but it is such a shame that they will pretty clearly be displacing a group who were such an integral part of the neighborhood. Many of the dealers are Park Slope residents. They don’t know where they’ll go next. And apparently local merchants and restaurants aren’t all that pleased either.

      • Matt

        When did “capitalism” become a dirty word in Brooklyn? I just don’t get it. I’ll admit I’m a new-comer to the neighborhood, but I have been very disappointed by the selection I’ve seen at the old flea market at 321. The Brooklyn Flea Markets, however, have actually become tourist attractions because of their quality-yet-quirky array of vendors. I, for one, can’t wait to have another Brooklyn Flea Market in my backyard! Welcome!

        • Disappointed

          Capitalism IS not a dirty word. Greed IS a dirty word. PS 321 is doing what is correct for them. However, Flea markets are traditionally a way for working class folks to bring in extra income or in my case “bring in my entire income”. At approximately $30.00 a space, PS 321 flea market provided a venue for both the school to bring in much needed extra cash to provide extra amenities to students, and at the same time provide an income source to clever lower and middle class vendors. Now that the GREEDY Brooklyn Flea has taken over raising to base cost for a space to $100 or more, this is turning into a venue for upper class snoots buying from other upper class snoots that are mostly doing the flea market thing as a hobby or FUN thing and thus closing out the venue for vendors that can’t cover the $100 a day fleecing!

    • Barry

      Today the old established 321 Fleamarket setup for the last time.
      Correct me if I am wrong to sentimental or maybe just a caring human being.
      I have read the 321 website and many other blogs that go on and on about how wonderful the William Penn school is how they care etc. etc. well in the thirty plus or minus years that the Fleamarket added to there being able to have additional money for programs probably added up to well over half a million dollars, that buys a lot of education after school activities or whatever it was used for.
      You would think there is some common sense somewhere in the PTA that a representative would have either come by on the last weekend and thanked the venders personally for all there effort all these years!
      Well in my opinion there just another bunch of snobs who are only interested in the money and most probably look down on the venders as being below them, to be put out with the trash!
      Shame on you 321 if it were not for the venders who came in all kinds of weather and kept the Fleamarket afloat all these years would the school have been where it is today.
      Don’t try and tell me over half a million dollars had no effect on helping the school all these years archive many great things for the kids who passed through this school.
      Your just another bunch of snobs and I am ashamed of you.
      http://www.fuckedinparkslope.com/home/breaking-news-brooklyn-flea-taking-over-space-at-ps-321.html

      Sent from my iPhone
      Sent from my iPhone

      Begin forwarded message:

      From: Barry
      Date: October 6, 2013, 10:52:40 PM EDT
      To: bgross1065@aol.com
      Subject: Fucked in Park Slope – A Brooklyn Blog – Home – Breaking News: Brooklyn Flea taking over space at PS 321!

      Today the old established 321 Fleamarket setup for the last time.
      Correct me if I am wrong to sentimental or maybe just a caring human being.
      I have read the 321 website and many other blogs that go on and on about how wonderful the William Penn school is how they care etc. etc. well in the thirty plus or minus years that the Fleamarket added to there being able to have additional money for programs probably added up to well over half a million dollars, that buys a lot of education after school activities or whatever it was used for.
      You would think there is some common sense somewhere in the PTA that a representative would have either come by on the last weekend and thanked the venders personally for all there effort all these years!
      Well in my opinion there just another bunch of snobs who are only interested in the money and most probably look down on the venders as being below them, to be put out with the trash!
      Shame on you 321 if it were not for the venders who came in all kinds of weather and kept the Fleamarket afloat all these years would the school have been where it is today.
      Don’t try and tell me over half a million dollars had no effect on helping the school all these years archive many great things for the kids who passed through this school.
      Your just another bunch of snobs and I am ashamed of you.

      Sent from my iPhone

  • kizmiaz

    Most of the stuff at the current flea market belongs in the garbage dump or sitting in the free pile on someone’s stoop. It’s maddening to see the playground off limits to children all year every weekend in favor of grumpy vendors and what is essentially landfill stock with price tags. It is interesting to see the “real Brooklynites” who grouse about the privatization of public space stand up for this routine exchange of a public play space for overpriced cast-offs. The Brooklyn Flea stuff is too twee for my taste but I’m in favor of this if it raises the standards for the merchandise and merchandisers, generates more money for the school, and (let’s hope) opens the playground back up for the kids in the winter months at least.

  • A Local

    If the current vendors want to stay, they should sell better stuff that allows them to pay higher rent. The 321 PTA has every right to maximize their rental income. These vendors need to operate just like every other business everywhere. Don’t blame the landlord when rent goes up…it’s simple economics.

    • Miss718

      I think a lot of the current vendors carry great stuff as it is. The difference between them and the Brooklyn Flea is that their wares are not as artfully displayed or tastefully packaged. The same postcards that are $5 each in cellophane sleeves at The Flea can be picked up for a quarter at the current flea market. The little table I got for $25 would easily carry a new and improved Brooklyn Flea price tag of $150. I get that it’s a matter of economics. It’s just a little sad that people who really have made a contribution to local flavor are being shunted aside in favor of a slicker operation that, at the end of the day, really doesn’t offer anything so different. I’m a fan of nicely packaged products, too, but I don’t delude myself that they are actually better.

      • A Local

        That’s probably true for some of the stuff, but most of the stuff the current vendors sell is just left-out-on-a-stoop crap. I’ll pay a premium to have someone sift through the crap and only carry the most interesting stuff. That way they’re earning their premium price.

  • ParkSlopePerson

    There are plenty of playgrounds in Park Slope, take your child to one of the others (or, even the one in the back!). That flea market is a major source of income for 321 which helps them keep their art and music programs and a teacher’s salary or two. Thank God for that flea market for 321′s sake!

    Now, as for the flea market itself, personally, I find most things way overpriced and rarely find anything I like. What is not overpriced looks icky.

    But, I do have a friend who sells comic books and stuff there and I hope somehow he is able to stay and make a living.

  • Marcia

    OK. this born and bred boomer has had it with yuppie puppies and in authentic flea markets!!! UGH….The current flea market had stuff you find a stoop sales and on the streets of old Park Slope…you know the neighborhood that had working class folks and middle class folks and a few wealthies who lived together and actually built a community!

    The vendors at the flea market that will not be there anymore were denied entry into Brooklyn FLEA and will open hopefully there own place. Will you make sure to write an article about that?!

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