My earliest memories of going to the Aqueduct Flea Market (spanning more than 30 years in the Spring to early Fall: Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, & Sundays?) with my parents and sister, was when I was 10 years old. It was thrilling, fun, something that put us all in good spirits. To think, all the great wears we would find and bring back home! There were elbow to elbow hungry shoppers but we didn’t mind the crowds or the heat or even the fatigue from walking through the long aisles all those hours. My favorite booths: cosmetics; which I never bought anything from because I was “too young” then but liked to go through the boxes anyway helping my mom find blush or whatever else she was running low on… the intoxicating aroma of gyros and ice cream… the fabrics and sweaters booths [in which my mom was a patient bargain hunter but unfortunately an intense haggler; so much that she was shooed away by a few vendors =( ].
My funny and pathetic little anecdote: my Aunt Allison had to be sent back by my mom to purchase a sweater from a seller who my mom had minutes ago offended. My mom was hoping he wouldn’t recognize that our aunt had been with us during their argument.
Years later (a few years ago), when I heard about the inevitable closing of my hometown’s beloved flea market, I was very sad. What a terrible tragedy! The last time I was there must have been during my late teens and then it was off to college. At that time I was mildly aware of the difference in product quality and the decline of product variety; however, the population of shoppers seemed unchanged from what I remembered. I wish they had somehow been able to breathe new life into the flea market in order to save it- to consider it again as a profitable presence. I do not support the presence of the new casino (especially not over the flea market) because to me the flea market was a much more positive force unifying the community. As much as I love horses, I also never loved the racetrack either. I wish I had taken the opportunity to visit it one last time and hope all the vendors have been able to find a new permanent home.
To the Aqueduct Flea Market, thanks so much for all my wonderful childhood memories ♥
*Addendum: Through further research, I’ve learned that many of the Aqueduct vendors have moved to the Merrick Flea Market in Springfield Gardens, Queens. Yipeee, all is not lost!!!!! Something to look forward to! Got to tell mom and dad; they’ll be delighted! =)
*Photocredit: FleaMarketZone.com & The New York Times