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Exploring Hester Flea

A new outdoor shopping experience has arrived on the Lower East Side: Hester Flea. It was created by Smorgasburg — the people behind flea markets in Brooklyn and Chelsea. The next time you have a spare hour or two on a Saturday, take the trip from your One Manhattan Square condo, and see what bargains you can find.

NYC’s Love of Fleas

New Yorkers can’t resist a good flea market. It’s like the old adage says: “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” Few weekend pursuits are more satisfying than perusing tables of bric-a-brac, falling in love with a trinket, dress, or piece of art, and then giving it a new home. Flea markets are perfect for picking up unique gifts, too — from secondhand books to period jewelry.

What’s Hester Flea All About?

Hester Flea has arrived at just the right time. The summer sunshine is here, and open-air markets are all the more appealing at the moment. You can expect to find around 15 stalls set up in the section of Seward Park where Hester and Essex Streets meet — more are expected to join them in the near future. Vendors sell vintage clothing and jewelry; antiques (great for personalizing your condo); local art and craft pieces; and various other curios. And when you’ve worked up an appetite from all the rummaging and haggling, there are a handful of food trucks and stands to feed you.

What Else Is Nearby?

Looking to make a morning or afternoon of it? Seward Park has tennis courts, should you be in the mood for a few post-flea rallies, and there is a playground for kids. Take a trip back in time at the nearby Tenement Museum, which recreates the homes of New Yorkers past, or call in at the International Center of Photography for eye-opening exhibitions. Round off the afternoon with rooftop cocktails and live music at The Delancey. Not a bad way to spend your Saturday.

Other NYC Fleas?

Been bitten by the flea bug? Smorgasburg also hosts markets in Chelsea, Dumbo, and Williamsburg. Gradually tick them off your list, or, if you’re feeling especially ambitious, get up early and visit them all on the same Saturday.

When’s It On?

Hester Flea takes place every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Soon, it will run on Sundays, too. (Stay posted using the website.) The market runs all through the summer months, and Time Out says it will also take place over Hanukkah and Christmas — giving you festive gift shopping opportunities.