This summer we are throwing on our favorite clothes and breezing through markets under the sunshine. We are discovering the beauty in new things and little moments. Curiosity is in and pressure is out.
The spirit of travel is ripe with that sunshiny curiosity. And whether you’re flying across the world or adventuring in the place you call home, I am a big believer that flea markets and street fairs are a beautiful way to get to know a place. You get to mingle with locals, and discover the wonderful art, crafts, and food that they create. These creatives and small businesses are the lifeblood of our cities, and connecting with them is endlessly inspiring. Plus… the energy is unmatched.
So while you’re out and about living your best life in New York City this summer, I think you’ll find something really special about shopping the streets. Here are four of my favorites flea and street markets (and some other things you can check out while you’re in the neighborhood):
The Market: Hester Street Fair
Where: Pier 17
When: Every-other Saturday 11-6
What You’ll Find: Really cool stuff. I mean some of the most creative small businesses all over the pier. It’s clothing/accessory forward with a variety of apothecary and culinary goods. It’s all right on the water– which automatically earns it vibe points. There’s a live DJ, so tack on a little extra for that. And next to the DJ tent are food vendors and tables where you can snack and enjoy the salty breeze. I mean they just don’t miss a beat here.
While You’re At It: The Southstreet Seaport is actually a really fun spot to hang out especially on a nice day. There are awesome cafes, bars, restaurants, and stores to mill through. I recommend checking out Club Vintage and the Black Gotham Experience.
They’re also hosting a Summer Concert Series on the Pier 17 rooftop! And man does it look fun. End your day on Pier 17 just as awesome as you started it with live music.
The Market: Grand Bazaar
Where: 100 West 77th St
When: Sundays 10am-5pm
What You’ll Find: Treasures old, new, and repurposed. You’ll browse antiques, but you’ll also find your favorite new local creators across art, fashion, and furniture. You can come hungry to this one– there are plenty of awesome international treats to snack on in the food section. Grand Bazaar really fosters community. That is part of the draw of these things in general, but it’s made even more visceral at Grand Bazaar because proceeds from the market all go to support local schools.
While You’re At It: Have yourself a nice, classic New York City afternoon on the Upper West Side. It still has that classic yellow cab vibe. So even if you live in the city, it’s a good place to be a tourist for a day. That means we’re strolling the Green Market and snacking on your finds in Central Park. It also could mean hitting the iconic Zabars for lunch and Levain Cookies for dessert.
The Market: Chelsea Flea
Where: 29 West 25th Street
When: Weekends 8-5
What You’ll Find: Little treasures for surprisingly cheap prices. This is the best one for those of you looking to fill your home with statement antiques that seem to tell a story of their lives past. I mean you could spend hours looking through these things. Also, if you’re looking for vintage jewelry or affordable vinyl, this is definitely your spot.
While You’re At It: Take a stroll on 28th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues it is absolutely blooming (and when I say blooming I mean it literally) with plants and botanics. It smells so dang good and gives you that dose of fresh oxygen straight from the leaves and soil.
Also, three of my all time favorite NYC museums are nearby. Museum at FIT has excellent fashion exhibits for free. Poster Haus is this really vibrant, unique space with shows that trace design movements through their posters… so cool. And Fotografiska has several floors of innovative, mold-breaking photography exhibitions as well as the lovely cafe and bookstore space. You can’t go wrong.
The Market: Greenpoint Terminal Market
Where: 2 Noble Street
When: Weekends 10-6
What You’ll Find: Vibes on vibes on vibes. Remember how Hester got points for being on the water and having music? Same rule applies here. Food too. And when I say food, I mean really good food. Lookin at you, Don Ceviche. The space is so wide open and the views kind of take your breath away. There’s something about being surrounded by all that sky at the end of a New York week that feels like it’s just what the doctor ordered. And of course, some of the most resourceful and creative New Yorkers are selling here. Let the day float away as you browse their goods.
While You’re At It: Okay so there are a couple directions you could go with this. If you’re over strolling through tents along the river, you could switch it up by drinking beers and throwing axes at Bury The Hatchet. The ax-throwing bar is located directly next to the market and a very fun time. But if you’re not done shopping, I don’t blame you– Greenpoint is a beautiful place to spend a day vintage shopping. I recommend starting at Academy Record Annex and then making your way to Dobbin St Vintage.
If New York truly is the greatest city in the world, we owe it to the people. There is a vibrant spirit of grit and creativity. There are so many ways to experience that when you’re here and to me, supporting and interacting with local creatives and small businesses is a really special one. Especially after these past few years. I feel quite confident in saying that simply by browsing these spots on a summer day, you will stumble into something truly inspiring.
Enjoy every step, every unique find, and every dose of sunshine this summer!