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Shop In Hell

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Here’s a first: Spending a weekend afternoon around the Port Authority Bus Terminal by choice. We were drawn by reports of the new Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market, the neighborhood’s answer to the Union Square Greenmarket and the Chelsea flea. Opened in May and running every weekend between Ninth and Tenth Avenues on 39th Street, it’s a nice, and so far uncrowded, mix of antiques sellers, vintage-housewares hawkers, local-produce stands, and street-food vendors, improbably tucked beside the terminal’s bus ramps. While the number of vendors is still modest, the furniture and vintage housewares are substantially less expensive than they’d be in Chelsea. We spotted a refinished glass-front bookcase for $350, and our companion took home a handsome set of antique ceramic pharmacy jars for $45. On a recent Saturday, perhaps the most attention-getting vendor was Michael Sheafe, the proprietor of Toaster Central, a business selling antique toasters (as well as the odd waffle iron). Our advice: Visit him for a nickel-plated beauty, then proceed to the Amish farm stand for a loaf of fresh bread and a jar of jam. Grab some peonies from a flower stand and maybe a set of vintage juice glasses. Then head home, set your table, and have a proper summer brunch.

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