Not everyone can appreciate the skill it takes to hunt down a good flea-market find. It takes real effort.
Figuring out where in the world flea markets exist comes first. Then comes driving all over creation to get to them. Combing through table after table of bits and baubles, disorganized rubbish, and bins of junk from vendor to vendor comes next. Patience searching to find an item is not everyone’s favorite pastime. But it’s required.
Is that item in your price range? Can you haggle? Etc, etc. Flea markets are a far cry from a sterilized environment with brand-new items ordered by size, with multiples of the same exact product in many colors. However, if you want a piece of history, a one-of-a-kind item, something that has been weathered and appreciated over the years, then flea markets are perfect for you.
Flea markets can range from wildly expensive to incredibly cheap. Price is all up to the attachment and value of a collector who, although at a market presumably selling stuff, may or may not want actually to sell their objects. Dealers may or may not put price tags on their items.
Value is determined by the transaction between seller and the buyer. Either you can come to an agreement or you can’t. C’est la vie. On to the next table if the offer is not accepted or the seller won’t budge.
It is a task, an art form, a hobby and a delight to some and a tiring waste of time to others.
Over the years I have honed my skills. Rusty objects are my jam. Your garbage is my big find. I love a good flea market!
My affection for a good flea market may have something to do with the fact that my home is 200 years old. New objects just don’t look right in a house with wood beams and rooms that lead from one to the next in an odd array without a single right angle to be found.
Visitors who cannot understand the value of an old house often say something like, “It certainly has a lot of character.” Yes, it does have character. Objects that are manufactured by the thousands don’t look right inside it. Even new objects made to look old come through as inauthentic in my home. My house screams for genuine old stuff, 200-year-old stuff. |
I don’t have the money to walk into a posh antique store, throw $500, $1000, $2000, $5000 down, and buy the items displayed so perfectly that I drool at the sight of them. I do, however, like to find similar items at a fraction of the cost by doing the work.
And so the hunt begins.
High Falls Flea Market
This market, like the hamlet of High Falls itself, is small, quaint and cute. The flea market is in a little nook on Route 213 at the middle of town. History surrounds it with the improved D&H Canal Museum opening this summer a short meander away. It feels right to spend a little time looking to find some old, possibly historical object in such a setting. It is open on Saturdays and Sundays, 9 to 4 from the second Saturday in April to the last Sunday in October. www.canalmuseum.org/market
Mower’s Saturday & Sunday Market
Mower’s is a Woodstock institution. For 45 years Janine and John Mower have been holding down the fort at their weekend flea market. This flea market has a little bit of everything so if you are with someone who isn’t interested in antiques they can easily spend time looking through jewelry, clothes and books while you dig for rusty old antiques. Open every Saturday and Sunday from mid-May until November. It is conveniently located in walking distance to the center of town on Maple Lane in Woodstock. www.mowerssaturdayfleamarket.com
Original Flea Outdoor Market at Newburgh Vintage Emporium
There are two huge warehouses: the original Vintage Emporium and then, added a couple years later, the Warehouse Vintage Emporium. Each location is gigantic. Special items can be searched out on any day. They have now added an outdoor flea market to the game, vendors out in the fresh air.
They boast of over 30 vendors including “vintage, antiques, local makers & food trucks!” The plan for the day can consist of fueling up at the food truck and then making your rounds through the maze of tables. Sounds like an awesome day out. There are only a few dates, so mark them down: June 18, September 10, October 15, 2022. The market is from 9 to 6 on each of these days. The address is 5006 Route 9, Newburgh. www.newburghvintageemporium.com/outdoormarket
209 Flea is brand-new this season. While long-standing flea markets provide a sense of familiarity, in that you begin to know the vendors and can head right to your favorites, new flea markets allow for that element of surprise. Sometimes it take a little while for new flea markets to develop, so it is always fun to stop by throughout the season to see what is new and different.
209 Flea will be open every Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 5. It is located at Route 209 and the corner of Samsonville Road in Kerhonkson. www.209flea.com
Stormville Airport Flea Market
Stormville Airport Flea Market is the largest around by a mile, meaning they probably have a true mile more of tables. There are several hundred tables of new items from music to socks to jewelry and so much more. There’s also an exclusive antiques section, also consisting of hundreds of tables. You can get furniture, tools, old industry, pottery, etc.
If you can dream it, you can find it here. However, it could take hours and hours. You really have to ready yourself for this flea market. It can easily take a full day to wade through the tables.
The upcoming flea market dates are July 9, September 3 and 4, October 8 and 9, and November 5. They also have a gigantic yard sale on June 18 and September 17. They are located at 428 Route 216, Stormville. www.stormvilleairportfleamarket.com