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Brooklyn Flea's Innovative Take on an Old Idea A flea market as restaurant incubator, hipster destination and, yes, great place to find a lamp.

By Jenna Schnuer

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In 2007 an event called Salvage Fest transformed a Brooklyn public-school playground into a one-time market where renovation-happy locals could buy wares from salvage dealers.

The event caught the attention of Eric Demby, former communications director for Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz. Demby sought out Jonathan Butler, the man behind Salvage Fest and the Brooklyn-centric real-estate blog Brownstoner, and together they turned that one-time sale into an ongoing event. The Brooklyn Flea launched in April 2008.

Now the Flea, which is short on the schlock that most flea markets stock, runs destination markets in Brooklyn year-round; occasionally it also leaps across the river to Manhattan for holiday markets and other indoor and outdoor pop-up events. The offerings, a blend of locally made crafts, vintage goods and made-in-NYC food items, are popular with tourists and residents alike.

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