Pittsburgh is getting a massive outdoor urban flea market this spring.
Pittsburgh Flea will start April 18 in the Strip District, at 21st and Railroad Streets. The event will run every Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Nov. 14, 2010--rain or shine.
The market will host about 120 individual vendors selling antiques, collectibles, handcrafted jewelry, vintage clothing, art and fresh produce and artisanal foods.
Pittsburgh Flea founder Janis Surman says the market will appeal to Pittsburghers' desire for things that are good for the environment and their personal finances. The market will present shoppers with fun, frugal opportunities to reuse and repurpose goods, from mid-century furniture to toys from their grandfather's youth, and to explore some of the region's food and craft finds.
Lots of vendors have already committed to the seasonal event, says Surman, including Franktuary, Zum Zum Pierogies, Mercurio's Mulberry Creamery gelato, Pretzel Crazy confectionery-covered carbs, My Goodies vegan bakery and The Goodie Truck. And to tempt your wallet: Third-Day Luxury Soaps & Healing Gardens, Joyful Noise Studio art, vintage recycled birdbaths by Foxglove Woodland Studio, Catherine's Creations jewelry and many more.
Surman was recently laid off from a high-ranking corporate position after 17 years with AT&T, and found herself looking for that "what's next" thing. She decided to offer a service that could provide a livelihood for herself as well as other small business owners, entrepreneurs and artisans.
"In this economy I see a flea market in the Strip as a win/win for everyone," says Surman. "Flea markets are a little economic engine all their own. I've always loved the quirky stuff you can find at flea markets, not to mention the prices. And I was shocked when it hit me that Pittsburgh didn't really have a centrally located, downtown flea market. The time has really come."
Surman decided to hold the Pittsburgh Flea in the Strip District because it is so centrally located, and is already a weekend destination for locals and visitors alike. The flea is also going to be held quite close to the Produce Terminal (on Smallman Street between 18th and 19th Streets), where the Pittsburgh Public Market will open this spring. That market will host about 42 vendors of fresh produce, prepared foods and crafts, and will be open Friday through Sunday each week. It will also include space for cooking demonstrations and community events.
Surman has worked closely with Neighbors in the Strip to ensure that the Pittsburgh Flea and the Pittsburgh Public Market do not replicate services, but instead, work together to create an economic and entertainment hub in the Strip District.
Sign up to receive Pop City each week.
Writer: Caralyn Green
Source: Janis Surman, Pittsburgh Flea
Image courtesy of Pittsburgh Flea