Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fenton Street Market: A Good Start

I hit up the inaugural Fenton Street Market this morning, and while I didn't end up finding anything myself, it was definitely a decent start for what will hopefully become a regular event.

The parking lot that serves as the market's home was mostly filled up with tents, though a few of the spaces designated for vendors remained empty. There was certainly nowhere near the 80-odd vendors listed on the market's website, but perhaps that list included those who will be at the next scheduled market on October 3rd. I don't even know how you'd fit 80 tents in that parking lot. I was particularly disappointed in the absence of the architecture book vendor listed on the website, but perhaps they'll be there next time (though I can't make it myself.)

The word definitely got out about the market, as there was a steady flow of people (all with strollers) headed south down Fenton Street, presumably coming from the farmers market. Scheduling these two events concurrently was a wise idea. There was plenty of signage posted on telephone poles up and down the street, and discarded flyers lead me to believe that it was also being promoted in the DTSS area.



The things offered for sale included antiques, handmade jewelry, t-shirts, vintage clothing and more. Though what I saw wasn't necessarily my cup of tea, I'm sure some these things were of interest to others.

Some of the other things for sale included "vintage" bicycles...



original artwork...



miscellaneous furniture...



and handmade wooden toys.



I didn't find anything for myself today, but these things are always like a box of chocolates. Maybe next time. Hell, I'd even set up a stand myself if I could think of anything I could hock.

The Fenton Street Market has a ways to go before it rivals Eastern Market or the Georgetown Flea Market, but let's hope that these first couple events prove successful enough to keep the market running into next year. Maybe if demand is high enough from vendors, it can even spread out into some of the surrounding public lots, which probably don't get much use on Saturday mornings.





6 comments:

WashingtonGardener said...

Maybe the 80 count included shared booths plus of course the no-shows? Folks selling fragile ephemera like the book guy have to play it be weather and if any rain is predicted it is better for them to cancel.

If we don't BUY - why would vendors return? I go to events like this thinking more in frame of gifts - only 103 days left until Christmas! It will fly by...

Anonymous said...

I appreciated the effort that went into planning this, and I certainly like the idea of the Fenton Street Market, but the reality was that the quality (and quantity) of vendors was generally very poor. There were of course a couple of exceptions, although to be honest I don't remember their names. I was really hoping for more in the way of antiques rather than cheap jewelry and random junk. However, I'm hopeful that since this was the inaugural market they'll improve things with the next one.
On the positive side of things - the music was fairly good, and the market did bring out a lot of people to an area of SS that usually doesn't see a whole lot of foot traffic. It also allowed us the opportunity to lunch at Negril on Thayer Ave, which was fairly good and very reasonably priced.
Again, kudos to everyone involved in arranging this, but let's hope better vendors show up for Fenton Street Market 2.0

Sligo said...

I would like the organizers to market to some of the vendors that regularly set up at the various Sunday flea markets around the area. I dunno, maybe they're busy on Saturdays, but if not, perhaps this would be a new opportunity for them.

Molly said...

i'll have to disagree with anonymous in hoping for less "cheap jewelry and random junk." i guess it's personal taste, but i think random junk is what makes flea markets amazing. you can find antiques or sea glass crafts anywhere, but how often do you see a two-headed troll? (for real, it was there.)

i loved the fenton market and appreciated the variety of vendors. hope it stays & grows - bring on the junk!

Anonymous said...

I attended the flea market this weekend and found it a nice little outing. Of course I didn't read the announcement close enough and went to Ellsworth expecting to find it and thought I'd found the worst flea market I had ever seen since all they had was a bunch of farmers. Anyway, thought the market was okay. Could have used less artists and more junk, I mean, antiques. How much jewelry does one really need? Add a car show style swapmeet and I'll be in heaven. This is not a good location for a permanent market as it's way too small. I wonder if the county would let them appropriate space in the parking garages? I'm sure MoCo would be very open and reasonable about that. (hahahaha).

I did pick up a nice wrought iron towel rack I like a lot and it was nice to talk to the Community Forklift people as I had never heard of them and now plan on using the first chance I get. Kudos for the used bike vendor too. Oh and who was that Physic Reader? Is she single? I almost paid for a reading just so I could stare at her for 5 minutes.

Anonymous said...

I hope the market manages to persist until it finds its character and niche market.