Braddock newcomers create Saturday flea markets
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When Weenta Girmay and Benjamin Frazier moved to Braddock last year, they wanted to start something that would draw others to the borough.
Ms. Girmay said the idea of a flea market seemed perfect because people will come from far and wide searching for antiques or crafts.
"I want people here, long-time residents, to enjoy Braddock and see all of its potential, and I want people from outside Braddock to do the same," she said.
After months of planning and securing the necessary permits and insurance to hold the market, the first Braddock Flea Market will be held 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot at Woodlawn Avenue and Seventh Street.
Ms. Girmay said she and Mr. Frazier are still readying the lot for Saturday's market, but they've already removed weeds and brush and they converted tires found at a dump into bright green planters to beautify the space. They repainted an old Parking Authority booth bright orange, added a counter top and got the electricity working.
They plan to sell waffle sandwiches from the stand "because they're an early-morning type of food," Ms. Girmay said. The stand will also offer coffee, soda and water.
Vendors pay $10 for a table and space at the market and Ms. Girmay said 20 people have already signed up.
She said she welcomes more vendors and would like the space to be packed with tables.
"I would like that to happen because that would give it more of a flea market feel ... because everything would be right up against everything else," she said.
Right now, she has vendors selling everything from antiques to herbs, and there will be food and drink vendors as well. She also said there will be a live band playing.
Also on Saturdays, a farmers market with produce from Braddock Farms is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Braddock Avenue next to Bell's Market. Ms. Girmay said you can see the farmer's market from the flea market site, and she hopes that the two events will "bring business to the other."
She and Mr. Frazier decided to start the market because they wanted to contribute something to their new home.
"We're both recent transplants to Braddock," she said. "I guess we have all of this new-kid-on-the-block-type energy that's percolating right now."
Ms. Girmay works at 4 Kids Early Learning Center in the borough and Mr. Frazier works for Habitat for Humanity through AmeriCorps. Ms. Girmay said moving to Braddock made sense because she could walk to work, but it's also "an exciting time to move here," for those who have an interest in urban revitalization.
"Braddock has a very small town, community-oriented feel," she said. "Everybody knows your name."
Ms. Girmay said other residents have noticed her walking down Braddock Avenue to work and they're always quick to say hello.
Markets will be held Saturdays through Sept. 29. For details: firstname.lastname@example.org.
First Published June 28, 2012 4:53 am