Today’s news:

Flea jumps: Artisan and food markets move to East River State Park

The Brooklyn Paper

The Brooklyn Flea and its Smorgasburg food bazaar will move to East River State Park in a one-block shift that will transform a waterside green space into an artisan shopping mecca on Saturdays and Sundays.

The hugely popular markets will relocate from a lot between N. Sixth and N. Seventh streets to the parkland between N. Seventh and N. Eighth streets starting in April because their home of two seasons, a development site currently owned by Edge-builders Douglaston Development, is on the market and could interrupt the shopping season if sold, Brooklyn Flea co-owner Jonathan Butler said.

“If they sold it in July and we didn’t have another place to go, we’d be in trouble,” said Butler. “A lot of small businesses depend on this market.”

Smorgasburg will bring food sellers to a narrow concrete strip that takes up about 15 percent of the park on Saturdays from 11 am to 6 pm, while the handicraft, clothing, furniture, and bric-a-brac vendors of the Brooklyn Flea will set up their stalls from 10 am to 5 pm on Sundays.

A concert series that brought crowds to East River State Park sparked the ire of some neighbors in recent years due to noise and crowds, but neighborhood parks advocates are confident the weekend-long shop-a-thon won’t interfere with other park uses.

That’s mainly because most park-goers treat the open space as the borough’s answer to the Nile, with the majority of visitors opting to congregate on the banks of the river rather than spend time in the sweltering interior.

“I don’t see a ton of people using those platforms,” said Ryan Kuonen, an organizer of Neighbors Allied for Good Growth and a member of Community Board 1. “When the Renegade Craft Fair was here, I didn’t see it being a burden on the park.”

Kuonen admits that renting parks space to a private company isn’t ideal, but she is happy that the revenue raised could help add new amenities, or at least lessen the risk of a park closure — a real threat considering the state shuttered the green space in 2008 because it couldn’t afford to pay staffers.

“It’s better to do it weekly than to have to schedule festivals,” said Kuonen. “I knew when the concerts left that we would see things like this.”

State Parks spokesman Dan Keefe said the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg will pay $1,500 per day in rent, plus expenses to set up shop in the park.

That cash will be set aside for maintenance and operations at East River State Park.

The markets will be responsible for cleaning up after themselves, and parks staffers will stay on top of operators to make sure all trash is thrown away, Keefe said.

The Brooklyn Flea will still operate a Saturday market in Fort Greene, and Smorgasburg will continue luring foodies to Brooklyn Bridge Park on Sundays.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.

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Reader Feedback

diehipster from Kale County, WI says:
LOL. I have to make my way over there on day and listen to the nasally conversations these people repeat each and every weekend:

"Like yaaah, these vegan tacos taste totally local"

"dayuuuuude! lets look through the zany $30 tshirt rack again!"

"Look Molly, theres the hand-crafted water stand we couldn't find last weekend, first $5.00 bottle is on me!"

"Hi. Parker, meet my friend Hamilton - he's a foodie/blogger/writer/environmentalist/bikelane advocate; he just rented this sweet loft in Bushwick for only $2800 a month...SCORE!"
Feb. 26, 2013, 8:34 am
JAZ from Penny Farthing Lane says:
dh - don't forget the artisanal ukelele picks and $125 Metrocard holders locally crafted by Cornhusker Caleb at Ye Olde Brooklyn Blacksmith Shoppe and Soy Latte Collective.

Afterwards, Parker and Hamilton can bring out the hand cranked olde phonograph player, and smugly wax each other's WB Mason mustaches while listening to the classics churned out by Kale Records - Brooklyn Based Fair Trade Music.
Feb. 26, 2013, 11:02 am
JAZ from Penny Farthing Lane says:
dh - don't forget the artisanal ukelele picks and $125 Metrocard holders locally crafted by Cornhusker Caleb at Ye Olde Brooklyn Blacksmith Shoppe and Soy Latte Collective.

Afterwards, Parker and Hamilton can bring out the hand cranked olde phonograph player, and smugly wax each other's WB Mason mustaches while listening to the classics churned out by Kale Records - Brooklyn Based Fair Trade Music.
Feb. 26, 2013, 11:02 am
"Interloper" from Kent Ave. says:
DH and JAZ - When you go to the flea market be careful not to spill artisinal ketchup on your wifebeater or your Wrangler overalls. Your shift supervisor at the supermarket won't approve of you stocking shelves looking like a slob.
Feb. 26, 2013, 12:23 pm
Colin from Bushwick says:
Wrangler overalls are cool.
Feb. 26, 2013, 12:47 pm
Taco Tote from Juaritos says:
Those tight jean, rent raising grimy fleas are everywhere.
Feb. 26, 2013, 4:46 pm
Pat I. from 70's Brooklyn says:
Oh and don't forget Brooklyn Watches. The DBMason weenie who calls himself a watchmaker because he puts old movements in old cases and sells them for 900 bucks.
Feb. 26, 2013, 6:05 pm
qp from 11249 says:
How much rent did Goldman Sachs pay New York State Parks to use the space? Does it go towards general funds for the state parks, or just to ERSP and/or the community? It must be expensive. It should be anyway.
March 4, 2013, 9:12 pm
Emil from 11211 says:
Ryan at Neighbors Allied for Gentrification is a sell out, and sells out rather cheaply at that. 1500 a day is cheap. The Flea got a 25 million dollar investment from Goldman Sachs. They should rent private property like everyone else that isn't part of this neighborhood cabal.
Meanwhile, there are those of us that do not worship at the alter of consumerism, and we don't want to see or hear you as you indulge in your elitist, artisanal fantasyland.
Passive park space is what we lack, Smorgasburg and Brooklyn Flea make this even worse.
March 9, 2013, 4:48 pm

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