Here’s a great, if somewhat hyperbolic, article about Brooklyn Flea from The New York Times. It offers some insights into the trendiness of the flea market ethos that I think are worth considering.
The article attempts to penetrate the “flea market hegemony” over hip Manhattan- and Brooklyn-ites , but falls a little short in its scope, I think. While it is a given that it has become overwhelmingly trendy to frequent flea markets, I wish the author had tried a little harder to explore the people on the other end of the trend, those who bought and sold antiques at flea markets well before the onset of the craze. What about the men and women who built their collections of sellable wares for years, maybe even decades, before flea markets became “true scenes, places to see, shop and be seen”? Maybe Brooklyn Flea doesn’t lend itself to those kinds of vendors the way, say, Antiques Garage on W. 25th St. does (I’ll have to check it out for myself). Still, I do love the line about the “pilgrim’s progress through the detritus of the past.” Nicely put.