I love looking through other peoples trash. It can be furniture thats been curbed, the free tag on Craigslist, or a dollar bin at a thrift store. The very fact that someone chose and purchased these items and later discarded them carries a lot of weight for me. Something changed in the eye of the beholder and we’re generally talking taste rather than function. We’re all guilty of saying that something is a “forever piece” and using that rational for making a hefty purchase, but the truth is that very little of what we purchase ends up sticking around forever. We divorce people and while people are not objects (#slavery), it seems that objects aren’t treated all that differently than people. Still, I love things a little bit more when there’s some baggage attached and I know I’m not alone. If you’re in New York and also addicted to trolling stoop sales for the perfect find then oh boy, do I have a treat for you. It’s called the Bellmore Flea Market.
The key to staying sane in New York City is a healthy dose of GTFO. Sure the city is great in the summer but it also smells like a three year old Old Navy flat. The summer makes us yearn for mountains of dirt encrusted snow, rivers of slush, and you know, cool air. Apparently breezes aren’t a “New York thing”. So day trips become a way of life for the New Yorker. Old favorites are Beacon, Cold Spring, and Woodstock. You’d think we had a magnetic pull towards the north west because most of us forget there’s a whole island to the east of us. Yes, it’s Long Island, a verifiable reminder of why we left our hometowns to begin with but there’s a lot of good junk to be had there. Trust me.
New York City can be brutal on the thrift obsessed consumer. We have artisanal flea markets galore but very few spots to actually leave with an armful of someone else’s discards for less than the cost of 5 cold brew coffees. That’s approximately $20 in our current cold brew economy. The age-old adage is true, the rent is too damned high. Consignment shops, boutiques, and antique stores have to charge an arm and a leg to play their carnivorous landlords. Guess what? No one wants to live in LI, so the rent their is pretty cheap. This means that some guy named Tony can sell you stuff that some other guy named Tony used to own for a price that you can actually afford. You just gotta get there first.
Bellmore is about an hour outside of Brooklyn for those of us with cars (aka the chosen ones). If you’ve yet to transition to this higher plain of existence than lucky for you- the flea market is right in the parking lot of the Bellmore LIRR station. Sure you’ll still have the shlep your treasures home but that’s fine- you’re a New Yorker. You were born for this. It’s off the Babylon line and the Bellmore Flea Market is held every other Sunday until gets too damned cold to stand around in an LIRR parking lot. Bellmore has your regular range of flea market merchandise including socks (cause always), CDs, geekery, and tons of antiques. The most common vintage finds include ceramics, art, textiles, tchotchkes, toys, clothing, and jewelry. There’s not too much furniture or larger scale items. Which is good news for you if your schlepping. Bad news if your in the market for a couple of chairs- like this gal.
I tend to gravitate towards ceramics and art. On our most recent trip to the Bellmore Flea Market I was really looking for a vintage mirror but ending up buying more ceramics and art, because change is hard and stuff is cheap. This was my haul last weekend.
Do you want to guess what this set me back? Is any answer probably going to piss you off? Probably. In total it was $17- breaking down as such, large painting $5, small print $4, large bowl $5, tall ceramic container $2, and small ceramic dish $1. I’d like to just pause and think of what this would potentially cost me at Ye Olde Brooklyn Flea – like $40? $60? $80? For that you can definitely afford the LIRR ticket (roughly $10) to find your own damned vintage pieces that haven’t been careful curated by some dame with 12k followers on Instagram.
Since I like to mock people obsessed with their Instagram pages but am also someone obsessed with their own Instagram page you know I had to get that stuff home ASAP and style it out for maximum likes. So here we are in the foyer. At last update she got freshly painted and a rug for coziness. Now we have some stuff on the walls (!!) and some furniture (!!!). It’s all very exciting.
Oh and that trunk is actually hiding the litter box. I was going to plan a DIY for that except I didn’t DIY it, Danny did- and the DIY would go like this: cut hole on the side of the trunk. Simple, and HIGHLY effective. We’ve had the trunk for a while and it almost got tossed in the move but we decided to keep it just in case. More evidence that you should not throw away everything you own before you move.
We made a desk space in the foyer so that Danny can grab a chair from the kitchen and use it to do his school work. Otherwise it basically acts a landing strip (oh boy how that phrase was destroyed by the waxing industry) for our mail, bags, and stuff. I’ve had this desk since Florida times and I believe I paid $180 at the time. She’s a bit beat up but oh boy- she’s one divorcee I sure fell in love with. The second is my husband.