Playing The Field – A Day at The Brimfield Antique Show

In the summer of 1959, auction owner Gordon Reid invited 67 antique vendors to set up on his property in Brimfield, MA, and sell, buy and trade their wares from blankets on the ground or the trunks of their cars. Inspired by the flea markets in Paris, Reid organized and presided over what he called Gordon Reid’s Famous Flea Market.

Now 50 years later

On Being Wendy – The Life of a Flea Market Vendor

Wendy and her husband laughing at their booth at the Hester Street Fair

At flea markets, we walk through the rows of vintage and secondhand, and handmade and crafted, thinking about what to buy, what to pass on, maybe make judgements about what’s ridiculously amazing or ridiculously expensive. Either way, being so engulfed by the shear amount of stuff, perhaps we forget about the lives that went into creating or sourcing those things. Who is the person who is running a small, independent business, who woke up at the butt crack of dawn to get there, set up in the rain or the cold or the heat, and will later break it all down, and drive home, long after you’ve settled into your dinner?

We met Wendy of On The Fringe last while at the Hester Street Fair

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robot

I Want This – A sunny day in Raymond, Maine

corner barn camp

Is just a little sunshine too much to ask for?

It has been raining here in Brooklyn for the better part of the past two weeks now. It’s almost like we’re living in rainy-a** Portland, Oregon, but without the beauty, mellowness, reasonable prices and easy-peasy standard of living that comes with the dampness. I mean, there have already been 86 days of rain in that town since January!

What gives, mother nature? Did we do something wrong? Are you worried that the umbrella industry isn’t making enough revenue?

Good people, do you think that if we all just go to the deliciousmusings corner on Krrb, we can reverse this soggy trend?

Our Favorite Friends’ Favorite Fleas (What a mouthfull!)

Brimfield

Brimfield Market: The Mother Of All Fleas. Photo by junepapercups.

As die-hard Brooklynites, we (at the Krrb HQ, that is) are lucky to have all sorts of flea markets within the city limits to rummage through and find all sorts of goodies. But what happens when we go beyond the city limits? Is there a world beyond the Brooklyn Flea?

We decided to get in touch with a few of our favorite fellow scavengers-in-the-know and ask them for their (mostly non-NYC) flea market recommendations. They came up with some real gems and, like the true selfless friends that we are, we are passing the information directly on to you

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Behind the Scenes of the Hester Street Fair with SuChin Pak

Suchin and Suhyun Pak, brother and sister, and two of four co-founding partners of the Hester Street Fair.

The Hester Street Fair is a bustling flea market filled with vintage clothes and accessories, upcycled jewelry and home decor, handmade adornments, apparel, and brica-brac even a minimalist couldn’t turn down. Plus, things for kids, things for grooming, things for pets! And that’s just the stuff. The food… mmm, the food. Show up hungry ’cause they’ve got you covered in tacos, Pho, handmade ice cream sandwiches, assorted pickles, beef jerky, lobster rolls, hand-rolled pretzels, dumplings, delicious coffee, pies, cookies and cakes, macaroons, and so much more. Just what a body needs to feed the energy needed for the shopping ahead.

When you’re so dazzled by the fanfare, it’s ok that you might not think about what goes into creating such a successful, eclectic, weekly market. That’s why we caught up with one of Hester Street’s co-founding partners, SuChin Pak to illuminate us common folk on the behind-the-scenes of one of the Cities most popular markets. And aside from SuChin having such astute taste, she’s also a TV host for MTV – her gorgeous mug has even been on Oprah! – and her passion for the environment and how social change can effect the issue is no doubt part of the reason she gives energy to a power-to-the-people, green-lovin’ kinda commerce.

Meet SuChin and get the scoop

Why Is A Flea Called A Flea, Anyway?

flea map

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a flea market is a 'market, typically outdoors, selling secondhand goods.'

It’s not like these often outdoor shangri-la’s of secondhand treasures are buzzing with winged vermin. Or is it?

As it turns out, there is no confirmed reason why a flea market is called a flea market, though there are a few popular recurring explanations

Flea Markets We Love in New York City

A Saturday at the Hester St Fair in Manhattan.

A Saturday at the Hester St Fair in Manhattan.

These days Flea Markets are most everyone’s favorite shopping destination and afternoon jaunt for unique, one-of-a-kind, and locally made treats and experiences. What with the economy where it is and the explosion of DIY, handmade and culinary pursuits (raise your hands if you’re a “foodie”), it makes sense that flea markets are a perfect pleasure for city-dwellers and country denizens alike. In New York City alone, where there are dozens of markets from small to large, commercial to rogue, regular to pop-up, it’s become an extravaganza of commerce that harks back to yesteryear

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I Want This – Adidas jacket in Manhattan

baby blue adidas jacket

Adidas jacket for the ladeeez, yo.

Gentle Readers, I have just three things to say to you people this morning

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On The Web – Our 10 Favorite Food Blogs

Heirloom tomatoes.

Heirloom tomatoes.

As part of our Series on CSA’s and eating locally, it’s important to recognize that a great way to preserve your health, wallet and have more control over what you consume is by being aware of the food industry, culture of consumption and of course, cooking finger-licking food

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persian music

I Want This – Vintage radio in Brooklyn

vintage radio

This great vintage radio is hot off the set of a major film production!

Remember back in the day, when people used to sit on the stoop and listen to their news and entertainment on the radio?

Or maybe we don’t actually remember first hand, but we can always dream about what a dreamier, slower, more intimate time that was. And then we can pretend to be right back there with this super cool, red rimmed AM transistor radio. Which I am tempted to hop on the train to President Street and pick up myself. Because it just so happens that I have a slamming pair of red patent leather kicks that’d go great with this mini boom box.

And nothing makes me happier than dreaming of a world before reality TV…

Go to krrb.com/filmbizrecycling and check it out for yourself.

On The Web – Mom Blogs

Ali Smith ML Michelle

Mother’s Day is almost upon us, so what better time to introduce our new column on parenting in a Krrb world. And since this author happens to be a female, it’s going to be skewed slightly towards the mamas, but don’t freak out, the fellas are gonna get their due, too. After all, it takes two to tango, especially in this particular dance.

To start the ball rolling, we thought we’d share with you some of our favorite mom blogs, in honor of Mother’s Day and just mothers in general

Composting 101 – Amanda Matles Gives Us the Skinny

Composting expert Amanda Matles spreading the gospel from a Brooklyn rooftop garden. Photo by Brooke Williams.

Composting expert Amanda Matles spreading the gospel from a Brooklyn rooftop garden. Photo by Brooke Williams.

We’ve all heard about the “virtues” of composting, but if you’re anything like us, the idea of keeping a huge pile of rotting food in a bucket someplace in your kitchen (and if you live in NYC, your kitchen ain’t big!) isn’t all that appealing. And worms, too? No way!

But we do love the idea of a little home garden, and we’re also committed to reducing the pile of stuff we send to the landfill. So we paid a visit to our friend, artist and urban gardener Amanda Matles

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day lillies

Buying From The Farm – What is a CSA, Anyway?

Imagine a basket of goodies just coming straight to you from the farm, every week!

Imagine a basket of goodies just coming straight to you from the farm, every week!

CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, is an alternative food distribution system in which a group of people (the community) pay a lump sum in advance (the support part) to a local farm or group of farms (yep, here’s where the agriculture comes in). In return, these farms have the funds they need to plant and tend their crops and they repay their members

My Favorite Find – Jill Platner: Sculptor, Jeweler and Scavenger Extraordinaire

Jill Platner, sculptor/jeweler with her treasured scavenged cabinets

Jill Platner in her basement studio, standing by the trusty cabinets she found on the street. Photo by Brooke Williams.

Most people know her as a jewelry designer, but Jill Platner has also been a die hard scavenger for most of her life. She is that really fortunate kind of person to whom good things just appear, seemingly out of thin air.

With her bold and sculptural jewelry sold in boutiques world-wide (as well as her own downtown Manhattan shop) and seen on such luminaries as Cindy Sherman and Jackie Chan, you might expect her apartment to be one of those ultra-slick pristine places