The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer


Grand Bazaar NYC: A Philanthropic Flea Market

The oldest flea market in New York reflects the city’s originality, diversity and community
The Grand Bazaar NYC is one of the oldest flea markets in New York City, first established in 1979

Among the plethora of pop-ups and flea markets in New York City lies the charming and community-oriented Grand Bazaar NYC. Tucked in the nook behind MS M247 Dual Language Middle School on the corner of West 77th and Columbus Avenue, this eye-catching Upper West Side market features hundreds of artisans, up-and-coming food entrepreneurs and reputable independent vintage and antique dealers, resulting in a vibrant shopping experience. The weekly market takes place every Sunday, finishing with a whopping 51 open days in a year.

Founded in 1979 by neighborhood parents to raise money for their children’s public school education, all profits from the market are given back to the community, helping to support four local public schools. Grand Bazaar NYC is not only the oldest flea market in the city, but the most dedicated to its community. The structure of the market benefits all local shoppers, sellers and over two thousand public school students alike.

The market takes up roughly 43,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, with additional vendors lining the block outside. Once you maneuver through the thick crowds and maze of booths, however, hidden gems are aplenty and the vendors are just as interesting as their pieces.

Dina, a vendor at the market who preferred not to share her last name, owns a small business called Vintage-O-Rama. She has been a vendor at this flea market for two years now and resides in the neighborhood, close to the Fordham Lincoln Center campus. Her booth displayed a large variety of reworked vintage jewelry, which she takes a lot of pride in.

“My favorite part of the bazaar is seeing everyone’s own pieces,” Dina said. She added that they give her inspiration to continue her work. Dina loves the Grand Bazaar NYC predominantly for the fact it “supports the schools, and provided me the opportunity to continue selling jewelry after the craft store I used to work at went out of business.”

Apart from the unique vintage jewelry and clothing items, there are treasure troves of assorted antique collectibles and knick-knacks to sort through. Kim Bryant is the owner of one of these bric-à-brac booths. His collection spans from antique tea spoons to license plates, in a seemingly endless spread. 

There are treasure troves of assorted antique collectibles and knick-knacks to sort through.

“I have been collecting for years and years, but most pieces seem to find me now,” he said.

Bryant attends various estate sales, auctions and consignment shops, with pickers all over the area to curate his business. The hard work has clearly paid off. 

One shopper at Bryant’s booth said, “I came over because I thought it looked aesthetic to be honest … a lot of these pieces are one-of-a-kind and I don’t think I could find them anywhere else.”

Many of the vendors and their stalls feature unique tastes and curated inventory, intended to grab the attention of wandering shoppers, no matter their personal style or budget.

The Grand Bazaar NYC is a popular event for many reasons — buyers understand that the eccentric items and clothing they’re appreciating took hours to create or collect. It is clear this flea market has withstood the test of time and buyers can see why. Not only are the vendors distinctive, fairly priced and locally based, but the flea market donates 100% of its profits to Parents Associations to benefit local public schools. 

The next time you find yourself near the American Museum of Natural History, take a moment to cross the street and shop from the vendors. This quirky flea market experience provides the opportunity to not only improve your wardrobe with beautiful creations from local artisans and vendors, but to also give back to the community you live and go to school in. 

The Grand Bazaar NYC opens every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m with different exciting themes featured every week.

This Sunday, March 3, the market’s theme will feature “Sweet, Hot & Spicy” eatables. Vendors are encouraged to sell items in accordance with the theme, however, nothing is mandatory, so there is still something appealing for everyone.

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About the Contributors
SARAH SULLIVAN, Contributing Writer
TARA LENTELL, Creative Director
Tara Lentell (she/her), FCLC ’25, is the creative director for The Observer. She is originally from Kansas City and is majoring in international political economy on the pre-law track. When not making graphics or working on The Observer, she can be found watching television, reading a book or exploring a new museum in New York City.

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    F SullivanMar 5, 2024 at 4:28 pm

    Great insight on a cool venue!