Thursday, May 03, 2007

Tube Socks Time: The Street Fairs Cometh

Running low on tube socks? Be not afraid, for Street Fair Season cometh. The first South Brooklyn expression of the phenomenon is the Court Street Fair, which happens this Sunday (5/6). It's actually one of the ones we like, along with the Fifth Avenue Fair, possibly because they come early in the season. By the time June rolls around, our instinctive reaction is more along the lines of, "Crap, another street fair." This is not because we dislike street fairs in principle, but because as has been documented, they are all virtually controlled and programmed by the same company, drawing the same groups of vendors.

Inject some neighborhood flavor into these things by loosening the vice-like grip of the company that produces most of them, Mardi Gras Productions, and they would morph from annoyance to something fun. A couple of years ago, WNYC's Brian Lehrer provoked some discussion of the generic nature of street fairs in a NY Times op-ed in which he called the fairs "another cog in the economy, posing as part of the neighborhood." Our favorite analysis comes from the Center for an Urban Future, which concludedthat street fairs are generic and bland.

In the meantime, now that we're done with the burst of negativity, here's a very selective list of some of the notable ones, courtesy of the Community Board 6 calendar and a couple of other sources:

May 6--Court Street Fair, Sponsored by the Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation (GCCDC) on Court Street between President and West 9th Streets. 10AM-6PM

May 20--Fifth Avenue Fair. Fifth Avenue between Flatbush Avenue and 14th Street.

June 9--Brooklyn Pride Street Fair. Prospect Park West between 9th and 15th Streets.

June 17--Seventh Avenue "Seventh Heaven" Street Fair. 7th Avenue between Flatbush Avenue and 15th Street.

June 24--Smith Street Fair. Presented by the South Brooklyn Local Development Corporation on Smith Street between Bergen and Union Streets.

September 30--The 33rd Annual Atlantic Antic on Atlantic Avenue.

Related Post:
Think Tank Affirms That NYC Street Fairs Suck



Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do we subvert this? What's the legality of putting out a blanket on the sidewalk along the street fair or on an adjoining corner with my stoop sale vintage clothes and my artwork and maybe adding some local flavor?

5:17 PM  

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