A new flea market on New York’s Coney Island has opened to mixed reviews. On one hand, the BK Festival has attracted crowds with a full array of over 100 vendors, in addition to fairgrounds-style food stands, a petting zoo, carnival games, and a pony ride. It got a favorable mention in a New York Times article. On the other hand, the area is zoned for amusement parks, not retail, and local bloggers and opinionators are looking down on a market that sells toothpaste and laundry soap where once-beloved roller coasters and amusement park rides stood. These historical purists want a return to Coney Island’s heyday. It does not help that the market developer, a real estate mogul named Joe Sitt, has a history of buying land in the neighborhood, shuttering run-down attractions, and leaving the land vacant. Sitt tried and failed to start a flea market here in 2009.
According to the market Web site, “BK Festival is designed like a state fair offering something special for the whole family. With over 50-plus years of collective experience together, BK Festival’s management team comes together to offer the best in family entertainment and amusement.”
The market has also given a new home to a number of former Aqueduct Flea Market vendors who were displaced when that market shut down in January. The market is open Saturdays and Sundays, from 10 am to 8 pm. For more information, visit BK Festival’s Web site or call (347) 730-4237.
Photo credits, with thanks: Tricia Vita of AmusingTheZillions.com.