Spend A Tasty Afternoon at the Bed Stuy Fly Market
My first clue about the nature of the Bed Stuy Fly Market was its name, a play on the term “flea market,” with a bit of the retro sense of the word “fly” and all the coolness that it implies. And trust me when I say that the name is right on.
Sponsored by Gather Brooklyn, the Bed Stuy Fly Market opened the first Sunday in August on Lewis Avenue at Decatur Street in Brooklyn. I spent the afternoon there last Sunday, and I see a promising future for this market. Granted, it’s early days, and the market is just starting to gain a toe hold in the neighborhood. That said, the management is doing things right: talented local vendors, delicious and innovative food, fun activities for kids, great music from DJ Barclay and others, and a distinct focus on the local community. Bread Stuy Fine Coffees & Cakes an anchor business on Lewis Avenue is a sponsoring partner of the market.
Photographer Rafer Leito displayed beautiful black and white photos of DUMBO, alongside images from his recent trip to Namibia. Designer Carmen Carriker is the masterful fiber artisan behind Crown Soul Creations. Her colorful crocheted bikinis would be sensational anywhere, including the beaches of Rio de Janeiro. She also makes clothing and jewelry using crochet and knitting techniques. At the market, she has a Creation Station, where, for a mere $4, you can make your own jewelry or hair ornaments using fibers, ribbons, sparkles, feathers, and more.
Shelly’s Original Jewelry Designs makes large, chunky statement pieces, many in necklace and earring sets, made from unusual stones combined with sparkly crystals. Two pieces struck me in particular, one a set made from green/black African Turquoise, and other made from carved cinnabar. Sharing the same tent is jewelry designer Evelyn Dorell, who also makes colorful jewelry using lovely color and texture combinations. I also liked her bookmarks with a wide variety of charms, from angels and pink Breast Cancer Awareness ribbons, to African elephants and the Eye of Horace, the Egyptian symbol of protection and royal power. Your book choices will have to live up to these clever and unique bookmarks.
When my friend Adrianne and I were ready for lunch, we sat down at the communal table with a quarter jerk chicken from the grill of Khem Brady, who recently graduated from the French Culinary Institute. The chicken was moist and flavorful, and spicy enough for me, although he’s happy to add a bit more heat if you’d like. We washed it all down with an incredibly refreshing large cup of icy cucumber lemonade from Ms. Dahlia’s Cafe. This drink is their signature creation, and they serve up wonderful locally made treats and bread from Balthazar in a bright and cheerful cafe at 449 Nostrand Avenue.
And then there was dessert. Patissier Sebastien and his partner Milene of La Table Exquise, bring flaky buttery croissants to the market, and trays and trays of amazing French tarts. These tarts clearly meet the high standards of classic French patisserie, but they are made using only the sugar from the fruit inside them. So the mango and the pineapple coconut tarts are perfectly sweetened, just like the fruits themselves. The raspberry tart has perfect plump specimens perched atop a crumbly crust. The pistachio tarts pair with cherries or raspberries to create colorful and delicious bite sized treasures. I can’t resist a pear tart, and so I brought some home along with some chocolate ganache tarts made from 72% chocolate for dinner that night with our our neighbors. Nary a crumb was left on the plates.
I look forward to seeing the Bed Stuy Fly Market grow and become a permanent part of this community, and destination for market enthusiasts. They are seeking vendors for upcoming events as well; visit the vendor page for more information.
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