the flea at 1 hanson, and what were we thinking?

February 1, 2010 |  Category:   nyc the biz




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…



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  • Christy February 1, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    I love that Mia drew up a cheat sheet—that’s smart learning!! I bet you guys had a really good day with Mia being the salesperson!! Oh, and that space looks awesome….how beautiful!!

  • nichole Robertson February 1, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Those shots! Wow, Jenna, you captured the Flea, and your family just beautifully.

  • emmy February 1, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    Man, your kids are sooooo freakin’ cute!!!

  • Golubka February 1, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    That cheat sheet! What a smart girl! They are both beautiful.

  • mrs boo radley February 1, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    1. Amazing space and amazing photos of that space.

    2. I hope you keep that cheat sheet FOREVER.

    3. If I find myself in NYC, this is on my to-do/to-see list.

  • Sara Jensen February 1, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    ahh! so cute!!

  • Lola February 1, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    Wow, I think Claudine is the most beautiful little girl ever!

  • nath February 2, 2010 at 7:29 am

    those girls! they are such beauties.

    that Flea looks amazing, i’m in a thrifting drought right now and a root around is just what i need.

  • annette February 2, 2010 at 11:23 am

    will you guys be at the flea on 2/13?

  • Jenna February 2, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Annette, we will!!

  • Kate February 2, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    It’s so damn annoying that the G train has been shut down every weekend! I really want to visit, but taking the lovely shuttle bus from Queens is my idea of hell. Just two more weeks and it’s over!

  • Cicilia February 2, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    i dream to have girls like yours! 🙂

  • Lani February 2, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Great pictures! Mia’s my idol….whatta girl.

  • lauren February 2, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    I have to agree with everyone – that collection of photos is fantastic!
    I also have to laugh at Mark’s description of Mia doing “pretty good”. That’s exactly how I would describe my performance at shows/markets; anxious, restless, sleepy, hungry, smiled-out…

  • mixette February 2, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    There’s a little girl who comes with her grandma (I think?) to her booth at our version of the Flea. She has her own desk. I always make sure to stop, shop, and have a little chat.

  • patricia February 2, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Love, love all these photos Jenna. That cheat cheat sheet is just precious and your family is beautiful.

  • Chai Ling (Singapore) February 2, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    Mia is so adorable! Love her xD

  • alexandra February 3, 2010 at 3:46 am

    uau, jenna what amazing photographs! and i must tell flee has some kind of potential… sure you don’t want to come to portugal in october and photograph our wedding? 😉

    p.s mia really deserves a yeah, the girl is an amazing keeper, so many hours. *

  • montague February 3, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    must make it this weekend!
    also – can we take a moment and contemplate how CUTE those kids of yours are? utterly adorable!

  • Kristen February 3, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    Love all these pictures — that lobby looks amazing and the pictures of the girls are so cute!

  • angie February 3, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Will you be there this weekend? I haven’t been and although it’s an hour ride from Nyack, I’d love to check out the flea but especially W&S goodies!