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Normally a shopping review wouldn’t make it onto the Making Places Blog, but today’s NY Times review of the Brooklyn Flea merits a post. Naturally, the review focuses on this relatively new flea market’s vintage jewelry and ubiquitous graphic tees, but the real heart of the article is not products and prices, but the social connections that are made in the market. Of course, quality is still important to the Flea’s customers and the price that the vendors get is vital to their economic well-being, but just as important to the market’s success is the DJ spinning tunes in the corner and the conversations happening between customer and customer, vendor and vendor, and customer and vendor. The Flea, and markets like it around the world, is not just a place of business but in the words of Time’s reporter Mike Albo, “more weekend hang out than retail zone”.  At a time when we are shying away from bling, markets such as the Brooklyn Flea are creating communities out of commerce.

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