I've discovered a new weekend street market for food lovers, and it isn't the Union Square Greenmarket. Lately I've been spending my Saturday or Sunday mornings browsing through the stalls of the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market, where many culinary relics are waiting to be discovered.
If you're on the prowl for dish and glass ware, cooking gadgets or food-related decorations, the flea market is a great option. What you find won't be shiny and new like a product from Williams Sonoma, but then again, your wallet won't suffer from "the post-Sonoma coma" as my friend likes to say. There's also the thrill of the hunt, the possibility that you will discover and claim something wonderful amidst the piles of odd-ends. I've come away with such jewels as antique beer mugs, pig-shaped salt and pepper shakers and a set of 1950's cookbooks from Good House Keeping Magazine. They're great little coffee table books as the recipes are absolutely horrifying and highly entertaining (Cheese Salmon Loaf, anyone?). I haven't always been successful in finding something to purchase, but I find it makes discovering something like the cook books all the more rewarding.
The Hell's Kitchen market is located on West 39th Street between 9th & 10th Avenues, and is open from 9 AM – 6 PM every Saturday and Sunday (except for when it's raining heavily, when most vendors aren't there). This flea market is associated with the equally fabulous Antiques Garage market in Chelsea (West 25th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues), which keeps the same days and hours, but is covered and never closed due to rain. On some days, there is even a shuttle between the two venues. Check out the official website for more information