Saturday, April 30, 2011

Love, Love, Love: Markets of New York City

If I had my way, I would spend every free weekend wandering through markets. The sight of handmade goods and used treasures, the smell of local foods, and the buzz of bargains-to-be-had get me jumping out of bed long before the caffeine kicks in. Being a Connecticut gal, I usually stick locally to the Elephant's Trunk in New Milford or Stormville Flea Market just over the border in New York. My market horizons broadened thanks to a gem of a book called Markets of New York City: A Guide to the Best Artisan, Farmer, Food, and Flea Markets by Karen Seiger. 

 Everything you ever needed to know...
Upon first glance, you will notice the book is perfect "pick me up and go" size which is ideal for both impromptu trips and planned excursions. Peel open the pages and you will see vivid photographs that really capture the uniqueness of markets and the colors and textures of otherworldly wares and foods. From boxes of vibrant Bakelite bangles to close ups of neatly stacked farm fresh produce, her photographs jump off the page and evoke that "please touch" feel of the market. Karen has traveled the globe visiting markets and she has used her experienced eye to find the best of the best markets in New York City.

Markets of New York kept me company at my recent trunk show.
The book is broken down into types of markets (Artisan and Flea, Food, and Farmers) and within the chapters you can find markets listed by the boroughs. Karen also features bios of local artisans like one of my faves, Grace Napoleon of Folk Couture (see page 91). Flip through the front for some great general tips on  bargaining, and some valuable do's and don'ts when traveling about the city. If you're new to the world of New York markets or just want to make the most of your time while there, I suggest checking out Karen's multiple market itineraries in the back. This book provides a guided peek into the flavor of each locale and inspiration to explore the great market wilderness.

Folk Couture (featured in Markets of New York) at Craft Boston Spring 2011

I had the pleasure of meeting Karen and her husband James at the Prospect Heights Fair back in March. Practically every weekend they visit markets, and cover events for the Markets of New York website. I got to hear Karen's great story of how a trip to Paris, discovery of a great Paris market guide, and job changes lead to this book and a new direction in her life. Her vast experiences have also lead to her new marketing and communications firm called Sirene MediaWorks, which will be sponsoring the Shop the Archway event for Brooklyn Craft Central coming up on May 21st. Gotta love a self-made gal with endless energy!

Mr. and Mrs. Marketplace
Karen's passion for supporting markets, artisans, and farmers is woven into everything she does and boy, am I thankful she's out there! Our chat at the fair was really a highlight to my day.  Through her support, she made me realize there are others out there who spread love, encourage adventure, and take the "Y" out of DIY. If it's a sunny weekend and you're reading this, STOP and head out to a market! And make sure you check out Karen's book/site on your way out.

Now that you're in the mood for markets, here are a few to come and check out:

Friday and Saturday, May 6th & 7th – Twist – Northampton, MA
Saturday, May 21st – Shop the Archway – DUMBO – Brooklyn, NY
 - Markets of New York is sponsoring the event!

Sunday, June 26th - Smith Street Sunday Fun Day - Brooklyn, NY

Saturday, July 9, August 6, August 13 - Greenway Open Markets - Boston, MA

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