Best for furniture: Hell's Kitchen Flea Market and Meeker Avenue Flea Market

  • Hell's Kitchen Flea Market

  • Meeker Avenue Flea Market

Hell's Kitchen Flea Market

Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market | Meeker Avenue Flea Market

1. A flea with a solid pedigree
Industry vet Alan Boss (of the Annex Antique Fair & Flea Market) opened this popular outdoor bazaar on 39th Street in 2003. Each weekend, the closed-off thoroughfare hosts more than 100 vendors offering enough vintage garb, furniture and home accents to fill a department store.

2. Meet the lighting-fixture fixer-upper
Known throughout the market as “The Lamp Lady,” Diana Kaye can refurbish and repair any faulty lighting in a matter of hours for $25. You’ll find her on Saturdays, when she sells 1920s to 1960s American furniture, like a rustic white dresser ($250). There’s always an assortment of dainty wooden chairs ($10--$45) and end tables ($25--$65), with the occasional pricier antique piece (say, a circa-1890 marble-top dresser, $600) thrown in the mix. The bulk of her offerings are smalls (what market insiders call tiny items like pottery, silverware, ceramics, figurines and other knickknacks), such as 1940s porcelain, glass and copper doorknobs ($5 each).

3. Get Addams Family--worthy furniture
For the past 55 years, Jim and Peter, who collectively go by “The Bad Boys of 39th Street,” have devoted their weekdays to sourcing collectibles from estate sales; these days, you can find them every Saturday and Sunday at the HKFM. The duo specializes in what they call “mantiques,” which span the 19th to mid-20th centuries. Fellas might want to make this booth their first stop for kooky furniture like a reclining dentist chair from the 1880s ($275) and refurbished phones ($50--$300)—our visit turned up a 1900s candlestick telephone, a 1930s rotary and a 1950s coin-operated version. This is also the money spot for gawking at phonographs, like a working Edison Cylinder from 1905 ($650).

4. Look just like Buddy Holly
Though this market is chock full of great Americana and wartime collectibles, we must tip our hat to Bobby Pannullo, who has spent more than ten years collecting old war memorabilia and clothing. Expect to find authentic hunting and military jackets ($35--$150), 1950s schoolboy varsity sweaters ($75--$175), and vintage horn- and wire-rim eyeglasses ($35--$175) that would make Buddy Holly proud. Since his offerings are all outerwear and accessories, you’ll forgive the lack of fitting rooms.
TONY deal: Mention TONY for a 15 percent discount off all products through August 31.

5. Tell ABC Carpet to suck it
Depending on the weather, you’ll spot Dave the antique-furniture guy on alternating Saturdays or Sundays. If your timing is right, you’re in luck: he offers goods from the early 1900s through the 1980s ($20--$300) that look like the finds you’d expect from ABC Carpet & Home—minus a few zeros on the price tag. Spruce up your pad with a 1940s pastel-pink steel medical cabinet ($130), a 1970s mirrored umbrella stand ($75) or 1970s leather barstools ($100 each).

6. Discover the ultimate reusable bag
Tony Borgese of Triple A Collectibles vends a consistent selection of flat-top and humpback wooden steamer trunks from the late 1800s ($45--$255)—great for lugging your bounty home, though his furniture offerings, such as a Danish midcentury slab coffee table ($100--$375), might be a tough fit. But Borgese’s other vintage decorative items, like mirrors, lamps and colorful glass pottery ($15--$150), are easy enough to tote back to your pad.

7. Stuff your face
If you missed out on May’s Gourmet Food Truck Bazaar, when nouveau food trucks including Calexico, Frites ’n’ Meats and Go Burger joined forces at this market, you’ll have a second chance on August 8, when they’ll once again assemble on Tenth Avenue to feed hungry shoppers with burritos, burgers and more.

8. Buy your ride home
Each weekend, Joe Matos carts his wares in from Paterson, New Jersey, to sell vintage Schwinn and Columbia bikes ($75--$150) and decorative items like glass display domes ($75 each) and column-shaped mahogany pedestals ($75 each). You’ll want to spend your time combing through everything carefully: As we discovered the hard way, some of Matos’s goods are worth much more than face value (we are kicking ourselves for passing up a 1970s Lucite and chrome eyeball lamp for $50, which was similar to one we later spotted on 1stdibs.com for $550).

Postflea: Reward yourself for a hard day’s work of haggling with a chocolate buttercream cupcake ($2.50) at the Cupcake Caf (545 Ninth Ave between 40th and 41st Sts; 212-268-9975, cupcakecafe.com).

GO THERE NOW!
Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market, W 39th St between Ninth and Tenth Aves (hellskitchenfleamarket.com). Year-round. Sat, Sun 9am--6pm.

Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market | Meeker Avenue Flea Market

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Best markets in New York City
It’s flea market season in NYC—go hunting for vintage and designer treasures so good, you won’t miss the air-conditioning.

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