“Now this is a flea market.” These were the first words that came to mind as I entered the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit Flea Market this past Saturday. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and bright blooming trees decorated the churchyard for participants who arrived at 8117 Bay Parkway to buy, sell and browse antiques, Americana, vintage clothing and various bric-a-brac. If you were looking for a hipster craft fair you were in the wrong place. There were no handwoven scarves, no poseur art and no overpriced cupcakes. Salt of the earth visitors from across Brooklyn and beyond came to do what generations before them have done at places like the former Aqueduct Flea Market in Queens. They came to trade, period. It was an unpretentious old school Brooklyn gathering at its finest.
But there was more to this flea market than just business. The event itself was more personal than commercial. It was a social gathering which brought people of the community together. The market’s flier, which stated “all are welcome”, rang true Saturday. It seemed like representatives of every nationality, race and religion in the world were on hand. Buyers and sellers gathered together in the universal search for bargains, income or just something to do on a beautiful spring day.
This was the first in a series of five flea markets which will take place every other Saturday until June 25th. Knowing that I would be coming back I wanted to pace myself. I had to stop from making a couple of larger impulse purchases, including an old fashioned wall mounted brass and wood barometer/ thermometer. I settled for a small cast metal replica of the Empire State Building which houses a thermometer, probably from the 1960’s or 70’s, for five dollars. While I don’t like to clutter my apartment with too many things, it was a useful, attractive addition to my living room mantel and a continued reminder of a weekend morning well spent.