Just back from a grand old trip to New York which obviously involved rooting round several second-hand of various types. This is the result of a few days looking round and a few internet/friend tip-offs, but I'm sure with more time on your hands it would take months to have an in-depth look around all of the city's flea markets, thrift-stores and vintage shops. I can't explain the popularity of hand-me-downs in the USA, other than it being an advanced industrialised nation with a massive history of production and over-consumption. There seemed to be commemorative t-shirts, mugs, flags and pennants for any small event you can imagine, and people seem to get rid of perfectly good old stuff in order to replace it with a newer version. This invariably benefits those willing to traipse round looking for gems in the jumble, as weel as people who organise events that make it happen.
Here's a guide to a few places we hit up.
During the winter months, the Brooklyn Flea takes place at One Hanson Place (pictured), a magnificent building that used to be a bank. It's really easy to find and takes place every week, Saturday and Sunday.
The market features a wide selection of choice vintage items of all types, plus some original artwork and clothes. As the selection is quite specific and of good quality, the prices are fairly high, but not unaffordable.
If you want a souvenir of Americana, this is your market. From old soda bottles to bumber stickers and maps, there is tonnes of nice stuff to choose from.
This jacket featuring Van Halen was my favourite item.
You can go downstairs and eat a few different styles of food in what was the vault. Check out that safe door.
These home-made donuts looked great. We didn't eat here though as it was pretty expensive, especially as you are in quite a jostling underground environment.
I picked up a few classic house and disco records in good condition for 2 dollars a piece, plus we were given a Brooklyn Flea mug in solidarity! Thanks guys!
Hell's Kitchen Flea Market
Our next trip took us to Hell's Kitchen and another market that takes place every Saturday and Sunday.
The mid-town skyscrapers offer a bold contrast with the humble set-up of the market.
There were some real vintage items sold by knowledgeable vendors as well as cheaper, more general stands.
This character in pink made my day!
This market is fairly small but I imagine will swell in size when the weather gets a bit warmer. It's worth a trip if you are on the west side of Manhattan.
On the fringe of Williamsburg in Brooklyn is the Meeker Avenue Flea Market. I'm pretty sure they've recently changed their name to sound more upmarket but this is pure flea.
The warehouse is enormous and taking photos in there was just as interesting as rummaging through the used items.
There was so much nice furniture for sale that would have been impossible to bring home, but you could tastefully furnish your whole house if you were a recnetly-moved local.
I only bought a couple of records in the end, but they through in one of these bags anyway.
Very hand for a location of this nature.
In the centre of Williamsburg is Driggs Av, and where it crosses with 9th St there are three top-drawer second-hand shops. On the same corner, you can visit Monk, Buffalo and Junk, which is the most Flea-like.
Located in the basement on the 9th St side, Junk has a load of carming clothes, records and house-stuff at low prices.
These 7s were all without sleeve unfortunately.
We liked this liner model...
...and this portrait too.
I nearly picked up the Malcolm X poster. Instead I got a couple of records and an old copy of MAD Magazine.
Overall a monumental and inspirational week-and-a-bit trip, but I'll go with more time to dig next time!