Looking to check off your holiday shopping list while also making a difference for local business owners? Skip the big-box stores and try these shops around Brooklyn for unique gifts for all occasions.
Thinks of it as a holiday potluck for your clothing!
Friends had told us we could furnish our entire house for about the price of a new Apple computer at the Madison-Bouckville antique show in Bouckville, N.Y., about a five hour drive from Brooklyn. So we rented a cargo van in Crown Heights and set off on the road. Similar to Brimfield, the show consists of tents in fields. Fortunately, the weather was beautiful. The pay field ($5) was the best with oodles of fine antiques at great prices. The other fields were a little bit more like a flea market, but there were some great finds there too. If you are looking for Empire furniture — a big period in New York state history — you will find it here.
Shopping blog Racked came out with its list of the 38 Top Independent Boutiques in New York City this week and Brooklyn appears to have held its own. Thirteen Brooklyn spots made the cut, with the lion’s share of those being in Greenpoint and Williamsburg. In addition to North Brooklyn staples like Bird and In God We Trust, Fort Greene stalwart Stuart & Wright were highlighted as well as a handful of places on Smith Street like Epaulet and Dear Fieldbinder.
Today The Daily News reports that a flea market is planned for Coney Island this year that’s claiming it will be New York’s biggest such market. While details about the venture are scantâ€”its organizers wouldn’t answer a reporter’s questions, so it’s unclear, for example, where in Coney it would be set upâ€”the event is being organized by management from the former Aqueduct Flea Market in South Ozone Park, which has been displaced from the Aqueduct’s parking lot. The flea market is going by the name “BK Festival,” and a teaser website for it says it will have a “festival style” and have a “free shuttle bus” for tourists. In other Coney Island news, The Eagle notes that the Wonder Wheel will open in mid-April.
Aqueduct Flea Vendors Eying Move to Coney Island [NY Daily News]
BK Festival [Official Site]
The map above is part of a Country Living feature called “Brooklyn’s Small-Town Charms.” Here’s part of the piece’s intro: “Today, Brooklyn still feels more heartland than Big Apple, with ribbon-worthy pie cafÃ©s hanging out shingles next to soda shops and general stores. To make navigating this supersized Mayberry manageable, we planned day trips around three of our favorite areas â€” Greenpoint and Williamsburg; Atlantic Avenue, Carroll Gardens, and Red Hook; and Prospect Park and Park Slope (highlighted on map) â€” then homed in on the best spots to shop, eat, and explore.” Brooklyn as a “supersized Mayberry”? OK.
Brooklyn’s Small-Town Charms [Country Living]
Fresh off the news that the Greene Hill Food Co-Op signed its lease at 18-24 Putnam Avenue, Fortune takes a look at “the rise of the grocery co-op,” focusing specifically on the Park Slope location. The PSFC is the largest consumer-owned co-op by sales in the United States, raking in $39.4 million dollars (or $6,500 per square foot) last year. The reason for success and the big savings? Inventory based on customer demand, requiring all members to work at the store and only allowing members to shop, and a limited selection of items within a small store footprint. And while the article says competing grocery stores have brushed off the PSFC as a one-time success story, it also notes that 200 co-ops are currently in start-up mode. That’s the largest number since the 70s!
The Rise of the Grocery Store Co-Op [Fortune]
Photo by nancyscola
Yona Lee, the latest vintage shop on 5th Avenue, is open for business. The owner of the store used to have an outpost in the East Village that she sold off a few years ago. According to a salesperson, the store primarily specializes in threads from the
’70s, ’80s and ’90s ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, with prices starting at around $25 for shirts. It’s between Sackett and Degraw.
5th Ave Transforming Into Vintage Row [Brownstoner] GMAP
As if on cue, today’s snow is a perfect illustration for the use of the Snow Wovel. This ergonomic snow removal device is designed to eliminate stress of the back, and make snow removal easy and dare I say fun! Having one of these babies in Brooklyn will make you either the envy, or the laughingstock of your block, but have we ever cared what other people think? It is easy to assemble, folds up small for off-season storage, and the $120 price is cheaper than a doctor’s visit for throwing your back out. You could probably make the money back renting it to the neighbors, but you might want to Lojack it first. Watch the video on their website. I want one.
Wovel: World’s Safest Snow Shovel
An awning has gone up on the old Celine clothing store space on 5th Avenue between Sackett and Degraw saying a vintage shop named Yona Lee is going to fill the storefront. Per a reader, the vintage store will be the fourth such business on this stretch of 5th Avenue: “This strip is becoming quite the vintage row…Beacon’s Closet up on Warren and 5th, Odd Twin on Lincoln and 5th…Monkeys’ Whistles & Motorbikes is also on this block between Lincoln and Berkeley.” GMAP