There no shortage of fun, food-filled fairs and fleas in New York City these days, from the great Brooklyn Fleas of Williamsburg and Fort Greene (as well as their food-only spin-off, Smorgasburg); to the shipping container “mall” in Downtown Brooklyn, the DeKalb Market; to the New Amsterdam Market, Sundays at the South Street Seaport.
And that doesn’t include the (totally essential) greenmarkets and (totally skippable) “tube socks and fried peppers” street fairs. That said, there’s always room for one more cool thing in this town, which in this case is the historic/recently revamped Hester Street Fair, Saturdays on the Lower East Side, all summer long.
I missed opening day of the Hester Street Fair, but was able to wander around for a bit on a recent Saturday, chatting with vendors, browsing the booths for both vintage and crafty goods, and snacking and sampling my way through the many, many tasty treats on hand.
The crowds were at a minimum, which was pleasant–the Hester Street Fair is held in a pretty, park-like setting, but it’s small, and can get a bit claustrophobic–because many of the usual fair-goings types (young, fun, and hungry) were otherwise engaged in Cinco de Mayo or Kentucky Derby Day festivities.
Anyway, the Hester Street Market 2012 is as excellent as ever, totally viable either as an alternative to the usual brunch-with-buddies plan, or a solid date spot, or a family stop-in, or anything else that works well with good shopping and/or good eating.
A few of my favorite vendors and wares at the Hester Street Fair 2012 would include the marshmallow concoctions–featuring some crazy sugary “peeps”–at Kitty Lee Thomas Sweets; the lovely notecards and seemingly incongruous but always welcome lego earrings at Pounou Hearts You; the chicken biscuit sandwiches from the guys at Pies-n-Thighs.
And if as if that weren’t enough, other faves include the vintage accessories–including some cool bottle-opener key chains–at Rubella Jewelry; the insanely intense baked goods at e.e cookies; the creative (and boozy) jams at the Jam Stand; the handmade soaps and scrubs and such at Honey and Cocoa; the savory, flaky treats at Pie Corps; and the cute silver necklaces at Serena.
There’s a DJ to keep things lively, pop-ups and special events all season long, and many vendors rotate in and out, so the place doesn’t get stale after a couple of visits. Go next weekend, go in late August, go any and all Saturdays in between, it’ll definitely be a good time.
The Hester Street Fair is located at the eastern end of Hester Street, at Essex Street, in Seward Park, and is open every Saturday from now through the fall from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Lots more info on their website.
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