NEW YORK – With the haggling prices of Chelsea real estate reaching the sky and all the space in between, the last of the neighborhood’s beloved antiques flea markets will close Fall 2009. For 15 years, The Garage has been the answer to inclement weather otherwise dampening the shopping experience at outdoor markets. On Sunday, Nov. 30, 2008, The Garage will make the fated journey north to sister flea Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market where the fashion éclat and top-notch hagglers still delight at fine old things, memorabilia, original art and antiques.
Since 1993, The Antiques Garage has had its weekend home in a New York City parking structure on West 25th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. With rummaging starting as early as 6 a.m. Saturday morning, day-trippers marveled over an array of paintings, 19th-century jewelry, handbags, furniture, fabrics and rugs.
Started in 1976 as a “penny-jar” investment in an empty parking lot on an estranged corner in Chelsea, entrepreneur Alan Boss marshaled 11 vendors to single-handedly shape the outdoor mecca that became known by treasure hunters worldwide as The Annex Antiques Fair & Flea Market. This investment grew to include The Antiques Garage, and many imitators in the neighborhood, becoming an important center of the cultural fabric of the city. Shopped by the likes of Andy Warhol and Donna Karan, the fleas have been featured in films and magazines across the globe. In 2006, after almost 30 years of outdoor commerce-delight and top-notch haggling, The Annex made the journey to Hell’s Kitchen after being displaced by a high-rise residential building.
Named one of the Top Ten Shopping Streets in the World by National Geographic, Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market will again be the answer to the fragility of NYC locations that serve as outdoor markets. As the temperature continues to rise in Manhattan real estate markets, the inevitable development of any vacant parcel in New York City is gambled in the hearts of market vendors and shoppers alike. Foreseeing the gentrification of Chelsea, Boss harkened the spirit of Hell’s Kitchen’s legendary Paddy’s Market, a massive outdoor pushcart mart that thrived through the 1930s at the same location.
Located for six years at the crossroads of the recently desolate neighborhood, Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market is prepared for the destinies of the future of outdoor commerce with substantial space to accommodate every vendor in need of a new home.
“As markets are an institutional part of the cultural fabric of New York City, this established bazaar serves as a vital component to the community, attracting shoppers to the commercial district of Hell’s Kitchen and providing affordable retail opportunities to small businesses. The inevitability of change is guaranteed, but as the door to one opportunity closes, another one opens.”
–Alan Boss, Founder of The Annex, The Garage, and Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market
Setting the standard for distinctive and reputed vendors, this rich pavilion attracts New York’s fashion coterie, collectors and bargain hunters alike. Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market is open year-round, running the block of West 39th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues, every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.