I Just Want Brooklyn Flea To Understand Pain

Published November 16, 2013 by Larry Fisher

I just want to help. I want Brooklyn Flea  to understand that when you mess with people, sometimes you get messed up back in return. We would be doing them a big service not to give them the park to sell in next year.

I am here to give Brooklyn Flea a hard time on getting their ability to sell in the State Park in Williamsburg. I am not here as a resident of Williamsburg. I am here for revenge against them.

People have asked me to speak at Community Board 1 executive meeting because they believe that I could help turn the Board against Brooklyn Flea. I admit that I will try to do my best. It is obvious that I have a chip on my shoulder. I admit it. I hate the spin and dishonestly in which I and many of the vendors of P.S. 321 have had to endure by snot nosed greedy Brooklyn Flea.

Some of you will ignore what I have to say because I am not a resident of Williamsburg. I don’t have my weekends free to go to a State Park and just sit and meditate by the water  like I do when I go hiking in other parts of the state. I do know that when I go hiking and go to State Parks, I like the isolation and the ability to feel that I am getting away from everything. I would not like noise, or garbage, or the constant smells of meat, even if it is artisan and curated meat.

I just want my trader joe jerky and some nuts, and some peace and quiet.

I do like going hiking and getting away from the noise and the hub bub of the city and so I can imagine what it is like to be a resident near  a State Park that has the tumult and circus  which Brooklyn Flea brings every weekend from the Spring to the Fall. I wouldn’t want it. It must be infuriating to wake to cars honking and traffic jams on an early Saturday or Sunday morning after I have worked all week in the city. Suddenly, Brooklyn Flea comes in on the weekend with their tents and lemmings and I am supposed to take it. Why? I paid to be by the water and relax and now I have to listen to this nonsense. Take it away!

Look, like I said, I have it in for Brooklyn Flea, cause they are not nice people. They talk community and they talk recycling, and they talk and spin, but they don’t walk the walk.

I sold at Brooklyn Flea from the very beginning at Ft. Greene, and then at the Williamsburg location.

There was always issues with them. The costs were high, and if it rained, they said it didn’t.

“It’s raining.”

“No, it isn’t. ”

“It’s raining.”

“No it isn’t under your tent.”

“I don’t want to sell today, it’s raining.”

“You don’t have to sell, but you have to pay.”

“The wind and the dust. It’s all blowing away.”

“You have to pay.”

Eventually, I started selling more and more at P.S. 321 in Park Slope. The manager sometimes would call me,”It looks like a bad day rain wise. Don’t come. If you come, I will only charge you if you make money.”

What a difference. I became friends with Paul  the Manager at P.S. 321 and I realized that the anxiety that Brooklyn Flea put me under wasn’t worth it. I could make less money, but not really because I only had to work when I wanted to.

I decided to go with Paul full time. No matter what, I showed up. Heat, cold…I wanted to support Paul and his small market. We became friends.

When Brooklyn Flea took over. They won the bid fair and square (I think). I can’t be sure  and The Village Voice Writer was not able to find out what the bidding was about. there were unanswered questions, that the school was not even able to give her.

The vendors who sold at P.S. 321, were not offered spots. We were told there is a waiting list to get in toBrooklyn Flea, even though we obviously sold there for years and knew our customers. . Brooklyn Fkea did not come to us and care about 40 vendors who sold there on a regular basis. After they discovered that nobody wanted to sell at P.S. 321 from their waiting list they scrambled to accommodate a few of the vendors who used to sell there.

And then there was Paul. He had been the manager for over 10 years. He had sold in that market for 32 years. Brooklyn Flea did not approach him. That flea market at 321  was all he knew. It was everything for him. So, when he told me he was starting a new flea market, where was I supposed to go? What was I supposed to do.?Was I supposed to grovel to Brooklyn Flea who mistreat their vendors and pretended they are some know it alls about what sells and what is good for Brooklyn. Oh they are sharp foodies, but they don’t really know  Brooklyn, they don’t know what real  Brooklyn is about because they and none of their vendors are from Brooklyn. Most of the 40 vendors who were not invited to the new Brooklyn Flea in Brooklyn were actually born and bred in Brooklyn.( I was born in Brooklyn but when my parents split up, I was raised more in the Bronx, and only traveled to Brooklyn on weekends.)

Brooklyn Flea is actually an embarrassment for Brooklyn in the way they handle their affairs. They attempt a market in Philadelphia and try to call it “Brooklyn Flea!” That is a joke if you know anyone in Philly. They hate everything New York. The Phillies fans, The Eagles Fans, The Flyers fans, are they going to a market that is called “Brooklyn?”

So, it doesn’t work out  in Philly and they end their run in Philly with a tweet. That was it. What a slap in the face to the Philly vendors.  How were the Philly vendors supposed to feel when Brooklyn Flea just cut them loose without any notice.

And so I am begging you for Brooklyn Fleas own sake, not to let them have the State Park to sell in next year. Cut them off.  They need to learn how to treat people better, and the only way for them is to hurt their pocketbook… If you cut them out of Williamsburg next year, maybe they will begin to think about what it is like for vendors to be without an income when they just cut people out. Maybe their own vendors won’t hate them as much if they show some compassion on an obvious bad weather day . They only know their bottom line, but they are always ready with a cute spin on community and “direction of a city” statement.

I have a family to feed and support. I have an 8 year old daughter and a 6 year old son who are counting on me to figure out how to get them holiday gifts. Believe me, if you stop Brooklyn Flea from getting the State Park, it will teach them a little humility. They won’t be hurting from giving  presents for their kids, or for paying for their mortgage, but maybe, and maybe even my attempts to teach them something about how to treat other people fairly will sink in, even if they don’t want to.  You can teach them a moral lesson and let the residents of Williamsburg sleep in on the weekends without being harassed with tourists, vendors,  and screaming Brooklyn Flea employees.

And I am sure, that if you get them to not have a market, that State Park will be used by people to breathe a little fresh air, and not make them think they are stuck on a subway platform. They paid for the right to live near a park, let people use it. Of course, there is also the issue of what Brooklyn Flea actually did pay to to have that right to sell there. That seems to be a big issue as well, am I not right? I hear it is a pittance of what should really be asked. How did that happen?

At the very least, the new mayor needs to get involved and an investigation needs to be pending. Should I go try to submit my application to Brooklyn Flea now or wait till the spring?



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