If you haven’t been to the Flea yet this winter while it takes up residence in the former Williamsburg Savings Bank Tower, then do yourself a favor and make your way over there. The building lobby is absolutely stunning and creates the perfect backdrop to the Flea in a way that no interior has been able to so far. The stain glass windows, the remarkable mosaic tiles on the ceilings, the metalwork, the Art Deco architectural detail – I don’t know, but the Flea just fits in well with this space. In contrast to the harsh glare of mid-day sunlight or the fluorescent lighting of some of the boxy retail storefronts that the Flea has taken residency in the past, the 1 Hanson Building just gives everything class and a warm rosy glow. I’m telling you, that vintage spool of thread never looked better.
All the food vendors are downstairs in the bank vault. Pretty cool, huh? But it’s got little of the ambience of the majestic space upstairs. The vault is as you imagine it might be – gray, heavy concrete walls – but perhaps bigger than what you may have envisioned. Still, it’s a pretty unique setting and the Flea’s been packed every weekend.
Mark thought that it might be nice for Mia to be with him at the Flea all day (huh). I wasn’t so convinced, but he was willing to bring her in the morning and see how it went. Mia, of course, was excited to take up her guest salesgirl post again and drew up little pictures of all the products along with their prices so she can study them. This was her cheat sheet.
So there is this one disadvantage to being down in the vault – no cell service. As the morning progressed, I had no idea if Mia was behaving or driving Mark crazy. I tried getting information on twitter from people who had just visited Mark at the Flea. I envisioned him tying her up in the chair with bungee cords to prevent her from running off all the time. Or maybe he was continuously feeding her a line of snacks and sweets just so that she wouldn’t harass the other vendors. I just couldn’t get a hold of him and Claudine decided to take a nap mid-day so we didn’t get down there until after 3. When we got there Mark reported that she was “pretty good” for most of the day, but started to get antsy in the last hour or so. Really, can you expect much more from a 5 year old? I think it’s remarkable that she lasted that long and I’m not really sure what made Mark think she can make it from 8:30am – 5pm at the Flea all day, but there you have it: Mia’s first “full day” at work. Will she be making another all-day appearance again? Yeah, now about that…