Finding unique souvenirs these days can be tough. Instead of picking up yet another mug, try scoping out a local flea market.
In New York, for example, the Brooklyn Flea Market has moved indoors for the winter so you can take your time sifting through another person’s junk in search of your treasure.
I recently spent a rainy Sunday afternoon at the old Williamsburgh Savings Bank combing through the racks and tables. Presentation is everything–items that would otherwise look drab seemed more appealing when neatly organized and labeled. Among the vintage jewelry and clothing, I spotted some retro travel bags ($15), including this blue tote from the posh Fontainebleau resort in Miami.
Days later, I’m kicking myself for not buying that bag. I contacted the hotel to see if they might sell any similar totes. A spokesperson tells me that while the hotel only has newer versions right now, they’re looking into bringing back the design of this bag, estimated to date back to the 1950s. Until then, I guess I’ll have to look on eBay.
Details: One Hanson Place at Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays now through March 28.
Tip: After browsing in the main hall, head downstairs into the vault to sample the food: Asia Dogs sells beef, chicken, or veggie hot dogs with unexpected toppings like kimchi, Japanese curry, or barbecue pork belly (from $4).