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Beyond the Bright Lights

Annex Markets

Much of what draws the mass exodus of people to NYC as transplants or tourists is the bright light appeal. It may not necessarily be a desire to be on the stage or in the spotlight, although that drives some,  it’s ultimately the opportunities that exist in a big city like NYC that feed the bright lights of the city whether it’s in an office or billboard.

But after a while, even the brightest light in Time Square loses its appeal and you may be left thinking, is this all there is to see of this place? What about the quirky, artsy, indie side of NYC that the movies and travel writers depicted? How do you find this aspect of the city when so many neighborhood spots are being gentrified, driven out and replaced with the staunch, sterile, corporate retail stores? Then you stumble across the flea markets. There are no bright lights, except for the sun, city pavement instead of marble flooring, and tents and tables holding merchandise instead of retail shelves. Take a deep breath of fresh air (you’re outdoors after all) and shop beyond the bright lights.

Nestled on West 39th Street between 9th & 10th Avenue, Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market is often mistaken for a street fair but insiders know it’s far more than that. In the heart of Manhattan’s infamous Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood this flea market caters to locals and tourists alike. From antiques, to vintage clothing, to art, you can find a wealth of treasures that can range from $1 to $1,000 and everything in between.

Chelsea Flea Market, aka West 25th Street Flea Market, takes over a parking lot each weekend on West 25th Street between 6th Avenue & Broadway. Every Friday night the cars leave and in come the flea marketers to set up for a bustling Saturday and Sunday market. As you walk down 25th Street look up and you’ll see the large red and white ‘Park Here’ sign. As you approach you’ll see a sea of white pop-up tents & tables filled with treasures.

As one of the New York City’s oldest fleas and true to an original flea market, at Chelsea Flea Market you’ll findeverything from rare antiques to vintage furnishings that need a little elbow grease, a rare comic book or even a thousand dollar sterling silver collection.

The diversity of the people is just as diverse as the merchandise. Shoppers and vendors from cultures all around the world speak to the multi-cultural demographic of New York City and create a welcoming environment for anyone that wants to browse, shop and spend a day at the market.