The Antiques Garage: It’s Like 100 Grandma’s Jewelry Boxes Exploded in a Parking Structure
Growing up in San Diego county, my mom and I spent many weekends at las pulgas, the flea markets overcrowded with ceramic piggy banks from South-of-the-border, monogrammed jewelry, and people giving away free kittens (which is probably how we ended up with 7 cats at my mom’s house… can one be genetically predisposed to becoming a Crazy Cat Lady?). This, combined with the various garage sales we visited religiously every Saturday, led to a love of digging through other people’s stuff, searching amidst the junk for that perfect treasure. To this day, I still have the stamina to search through every item on the rack at a thrift store, while others quickly rush in and out, no pre-styled mannequins to tell them what to buy.
One will need this stamina when visiting NYC’s Antiques Garage, an indoor flea market in The Fashion District. Exactly what the name implies, The Antiques Garage consists of two floors of knick-knacks, clothing and furniture inside of an old parking garage. Not as crowded or touristy as its Hell’s Kitchen counterpart (and with lower prices!), The Garage caters to more serious vendors and shoppers– lemme tell you, these people really know their stuff! As soon as my friend picked up an old video camera to consider it for her brother’s graduation gift, the vendor swooped over and told her the year it was made, where it came from, and how to use it– and not in an oily, car salesman-like way. He was just really passionate about antiques!
This same passion carries over to the clothing and jewelry vendors, of which there are tons. This place looks like a hundred grannies’ jewelry boxes exploded in Manhattan! For a costume jewelry-lover such as myself, it was truly what my dreams are made of. Brooches-galore, turquoise rings, 1960s geometric earrings, they’re all here along with plenty of knowledgeable and quirky grannies to tell you all about histories of the pieces. My favorite booth was (wo)manned by a fabulous elderly lady named Lulu, who sold everything from gold-sequinned cropped jackets, to a plethora of bow ties, to floral print vintage dresses.
So if you want a great selection of products without all of the hubbub and high prices of the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market, The Antiques Garage is a great place to visit on weekends. But as mentioned before, go with a patient mindset– the market is quite large and can be overwhelming if you are not prepared to sift through tons of stuff. If you have the patience, you will surely find some one-of-a-kind gems, and make some entertaining senior friends to match!
Find out more about times and location. Happy hunting!