I have a cool sister. She’s in high school and she likes vintage stuff.  It could be a  jacket from the 80s, a purse from the 60s or a necklace from the 20s.  Everything’s fine as long as it comes from the previous century. She is fond of old things in general and so am I. She really loves antiques, like old prints and strange collectibles. Since she is turning 19 soon, I decided it was time to find a present for her. Luckily, you have plenty of flea market options in New York City if you like digging up that kind of stuff. There are always people who are trying to get rid of their past lives, you just have to go to the right place to meet them.


flea market clock and fan

Vintage clock and fan in New York


An easy place to start is the Antiques Garage (the name says it all) located at 112 West 25th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. It is currently still in use as a two-floor parking garage, so if you go there on the wrong day all you will find are cars; however, during the weekend it becomes a market with more than one hundred vendors. As soon as I entered, I got lost in old times. That place has some really nice stuff.  It’s full of vintage items from clothes to jewelry, prints and furniture. The best piece of the collection? The strange old man in shorts, with two pairs of glasses and a beard that was painted green, who was reading an out-of-print magazine (see picture). Too bad he wasn’t on sale.


manwithbeard flea market

The strange old man with green beard


Anyway, after that epic encounter, I decided I had seen enough. I was still looking for something pretty for my sister though, so I went to the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market. It is located on 39th Street between 9th & 10th Avenues and it is considered one of the best street markets in the United States. It’s open every Saturday and Sunday, except in the case of bad weather (it’s an open air market). If I had had money, I would have bought at least half of the stuff on display: old cameras, used baseball and boxing gloves, prints and plates – oh, plates! I would love to have some of those hanging from my walls.



Boxing and baseball gloves


Truth is the market isn’t that big, but it’s stuffed with antiques. I could spend hours imagining the story behind a single object, like a toy, a hat, or a piece of furniture.



Old phones and lamps


Over the next few hours, I was so busy rummaging through the stands that I almost forgot the reason why I went there in the first place. The last thing I could do was come back empty handed without a present for my sister (never make a sister angry!), so I started looking through vintage clothes and jewelry.  Eventually I chose a pair of dark yellow earrings from the thirties, cut by hand and made of Bakelite. Cool, aren’t they? What do you think, will she like them?



30' Earrings


Vintage camera and license plate


Vintage seltzer bottles and an old Car