A Flea Grows in Brooklyn


It's not an exaggeration to say that the Brooklyn Flea -- an immense artisan market at the crossroads of Ft. Greene and Clinton Hill in Brooklyn, N.Y. -- has transformed Saturday mornings in the neighborhood. "For one thing, I've been told we've changed the primary brunch day from Sunday to Saturday," jokes Eric Demby, who co-founded the Flea, as it's affectionately known, in 2007 with Jonathan Butler, author of the popular Brooklyn blog Brownstoner.

But the market, which draws thousands of visitors every weekend, is also having an impact on the neighborhood itself, helping to fill the coffers of local businesses and exposing a whole new generation of young artists to the borough's charms. "Bringing four or five thousand people to a neighborhood every weekend is going to have some kind of obvious impact," says Demby. "It's great to have a business that has a ripple effect."

It's also bringing neighbors out of their houses. "There's a cottage industry that has sprouted up around the Flea," Demby points out. "You will now find a stoop sale on every block in a three-block radius."