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Fair weather: Brooklyn Flea winters in Industry City

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Toys and makers: The Winter Flea, happening each weekend through March in Industry City, features lots of vintage toys and tchotches.
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A world’s record: Visitors flip through vintage albums at the Winter Flea.
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Hat attack: Warm vintage headgear was on sale at last weekend at the Winter Flea.
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Tote-ally great: Tote bags created by local artist Claudia Pearson are on sale every weekend at the Brooklyn Flea.

It is flea-ing Manhattan!

The popular Brooklyn Flea market has relocated to an indoor spot on Sunset Park for the winter. During the summer and fall, the usually open-air market split its time between Dumbo and a spot on the distant isle of Manhattan, but it was time for the Brooklyn institution to come home, said one of its co-founder.

“We really felt the Brooklyn Flea needed to be back in Brooklyn,” said Eric Demby, who lives in Prospect Heights.

The Winter Flea, as it is dubbed, began welcoming shoppers to its second-floor spot in Industry City on Nov. 25, where it will remain on Saturdays and Sundays until March. On its first day, a healthy crowd pawed through toys from the 1980s, flipped through vintage records, and tried on fur hats. Demby said that he was cheered by the size of the first-day audience.

“I was pleasantly relieved,” he said. “It was pretty crowded, considering that we really only announced [the new location] last week.”

The winter shopping emporium has a slightly different feel than the usual outdoor market, said Demby, with vendors spreading out and setting up their displays more like traditional shops.

“People have a little more space, so it doesn’t feel as cluttered,” he said.

This year, the Flea has organized its vendors into sections, with those selling vintage clothing in one area, furniture in another, and crafts and hand-made jewelry together. The Winter Flea also has a mini-version of the Smorgasburg food market to feed hungry shoppers, with 10 stalls, including returning favorites Ramen Burger and Chinese street food vendor Jianbing, along with relative newcomers C Bao and D’Abruzzo.

“We try to have some balance between the most known vendors, and bringing in some new faces, who might be overlooked,” said Demby.

The space also has a bar, serving beer, wine, and a handful of cocktails, and an area of tables and benches where people can enjoy their food and drinks.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, the Flea will boast few extra vendors, including a pop-up shop from Greenlight Bookstore, children’s clothing retailer Soor Ploom, and a gift-wrapping station with custom-made wrapping papers. And the Winter Flea will be open on both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, for those shopping for last-minute gifts and those looking to show off an authentic Brooklyn experience to visiting relatives, said Demby.

“New Year’s weekend, there are a lot of people with visitors in town, and those are a lot of our core customers,” he said.

Winter Flea and Smorgasburg (241 37th St., second floor, between Second and Third avenues in Sunset Park, www.brooklynflea.com). Sat–Sun, 10 am–6 pm until March 27, 2018. Free.

Reach arts editor Bill Roundy at broundy@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4507.
Updated 1:34 am, July 10, 2018
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