Happy Meal toys and old carnival games

Quirk of the Month: Fort Greene Flea Finds

One of Brooklyn’s several flea markets, Fort Greene runs every Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., from spring to fall in Lafeyette Avenue.

Part vintage bazaar, part town square, and part food market, Fort Greene is a hipster’s paradise. With rows upon rows of old clocks, retro gadgets, typewriters, and wooden crates, I was itching to purchase another polaroid camera to sit next to my collection of analog film cameras at home in the Philippines.

Fort Greene Flea runs from April to November yearly. 150 vendors take up the 40,000-square flagship location.
Happy Meal toys and old carnival games
Dig in!
Disposed train signs and letterings

My friend Myron and I relived the ’90s when we spotted Panini stickers, Upper Deck NBA cards, cassette tapes of Motown musicians, and Encyclopedias sitting on chipped wooden shelves that are also for sale.

There’s something about seeing antique furniture and obsolete gadgets at a yard sale with fellow flea hunters, but I’ve learned to curb my enthusiasm when it comes to collecting what my friends refer to as junk. I’ve come home with hoards of vintage finds that looked wonderful on the store display, but fell completely out of place in my bedroom or living room.

Instead, I spent the afternoon chatting with my friend and former officemate Myron over Vietnamese coffee and fresh margarita pizza. We talked about how we met in 2005 back when we were both magazine editorial assistants in Manila. We both dreamt of greener pastures, and I’d like to think we’re almost there. He now works as a freelance writer and stylist in New Jersey, while I am juggling a career in lifestyle journalism and commercial modeling in Manila.

You never know what you’ll find in flea markets—another old gadget to add to your hoard, a pair of ’60s-inspired cat-eye sunglasses, the latest cupcake craze, or just a moment to catch up with good old friends.

Fort Green Flea is located at 176 Lafayette Ave. (between Clermont and Vanderbilt Ave.), Brooklyn, New York.

June 25, 2014