>Flea Markets- Hell's Kitchen NYC

>Hello, hello!  After procrastinating for quite a bit, I am here and alive and all’s well! Just plugging along with sewing projects for my first fashion show in about two weeks and been somewhat lazy in regards to nearly everything else. Ho hum!  Spring is here now, and so ho-hum.
Last weekend was quite out of the ordinary as my husband and I got a chance to go back and visit his family in New York.  Oh my, how different New York is from sleepy San Diego! This slow moving Westerner was somewhat agape at the difference, especially in the cities, but it was quite fun.  This was my third or fourth time going back there and every time we find some sort of new adventure.
Our adventure this time took us back for the second time to the Hell’s Kitchen flea market in NYC.  We were somewhat lazy in getting there on a Sunday and arrived sometime around noon to the West 39th Street location.

Although somewhat taken aback by the name of this market it resembles anything but- although a giant inflatable demon did let us know we were on the right path (which is somewhat contradictory to normal for this Christian gal), and we found ourselves on a very sunny and warm few blocks of booths and awnings filled with all sorts of goodies.

 A trunk with absolutely lovely old travel labels

Usually “flea markets” are a general hodge-podge of junk and joy, but this was slightly more up our alley in terms of offering than the normal smallish flea market.  There were lots of booths of clothing and antiques, and junk-tiques (or 60s to modern things, with a little shabby chic thrown in for good measure).  The prices were decent.  We did arrive at noon so the good pickings were probably already gone but we did find a few hidden treasures for reasonable prices.  I wish I would have taken more photographs but I am always somewhat hesitant at flea markets to whip out the camera, as I think it labels me as tourist (aka sucker).

 A quite unusual booth filled with only men’s vintage uniforms and such

There were quite a few booths with offerings of women’s clothing, as well as hats.  One person had a table laden with probably 50 or more hats from the mid-century to the 70s, but all priced in the $30 and up range and many mis-dated as earlier, but that’s generally to be expected now that vintage is “posh” again.  Things I awed over included a frothy yellow 50s formal ($125), a really fun 50s unopened set of an apron, pot holder, and other kitchen odds and ends complete with atomic print fabric and a fun 50s gal modeling on the cover.  I did pick up a really lovely red plaid 50s dress from that same gal for only $10 with just a little hole that needs a mend so not too shabby.  She had loads of old store stock clothing and slips all in the $10-$25 range.  I should have brought more room to pack as I probably would have been outfitted for summer!  My favorite find I left behind, however, was a mid-30s Agnes “Paris Adaption” hat with an old Macy’s label inside.  Seems it came from an estate of a lady who got all  her clothing custom made and had very good taste.  The seller was a dear and told me all about it- in fact one of the purses from the estate is going to some big auction house as it’s encrusted on the inside with Swavorski (sp?) crystals (so she says, I didn’t see the purse).  The hat was a very good price for what it was at $45, but it was still $45 and it didn’t make my heart sing other than the alluring label.  It was a plain black open weave with white flowers at the back but somewhat too matronly for me, unfortunately.

Ah, and then there’s the very posh booths of “distressed” things that will probably find their way into a posh studio loft somewhere and seen as art objects.  Of course I’m eying the jars of buttons meant to be decorations on the table, but my seamstress self is always appalled that they won’t let you match the pairs in different jars (or at least that’s been my experience in the past, though I didn’t test it on this seller).
Overall a fun little market and one which I’ll definitely visit again.We did come away with a 50s dress and glass hankie holder decorated with ribbons for me and a WWII sailor suit with a mine sweeper patch for my husband.
Since it was a Sunday we missed out on a few things on my wish list.  I wanted to see FIT’s Night and Day exhibit and also check out some of the fabric stores (including Mood) in the garment district, but here’s a dorky picture of yours truly in the garment district with a giant button and needle in the background.  I consoled any disappointment with French Macarons from Le Maison Du Chocolat, and a quick run around the Egyptian wing of the Met.  Fun, fun!

Hope everyone’s having a lovely weekend!

3 Comments on >Flea Markets- Hell's Kitchen NYC

  1. melina bee
    April 18, 2010 at 8:47 pm (14 years ago)

    >what a wonderful post! I used to live in nyc and one of the things I miss most are the amazing flea markets. Always made me feel like I had travelled back in time to 17th century Amsterdam on one of my merchant voyages…melina bee

  2. Lauren
    April 19, 2010 at 4:19 pm (14 years ago)

    >What a fun trip!!!

  3. Miss Jess
    April 19, 2010 at 5:27 pm (14 years ago)

    >One of my favorite flea markets! I found one of my best vintage dancing dresses there for $20 when I was a student at FIT. I miss those sunny days of flea market crawling. Glad to see you had fun, and that you got check out the Night and Day exhibit! I'm envious!

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