Most city markets wrap up in the afternoon, but on Sunday, October 9, the Dekalb Market buzzed late into the night thanks to the Brooklyn Night Bazaar. Inspired by night markets across Asia, the Bazaar drew a crowd excited to experience the smells, sights and sounds on offer. Live bands, DJs, artisans and an array of food vendors came out in full force on an unexpectedly warm October night, and we were there to enjoy all the fun!
The concept for the Night Bazaar was initiated by Aaron Broudo and made possible in part through a Kickstarter campaign. The one-night experiment is part of a larger dream to make it a regular feature of city markets. Ideally, it would allow people to enjoy the animated setting on Friday and Saturday nights throughout the summer.
The careful planning behind the Bazaar encouraged visitors to choose between several sustainable transportation options. A valet bike service was available at the entrance to the market where riders could securely leave their bikes and the nearest subway exit left visitors directly in front of the main entrance. Of course the defining feature of the Dekalb Market, the retrofitted cargo containers, also showcased an inventive use of recycled materials.
Some special features were added that made the Bazaar shine. Brooklyn-based Jason Krugman Studios produced an installation with his Living Objects sculptures that were placed on top of several shipping containers. Playing on our innate reaction to the human form, Krugman’s three to five foot sculptures drew eyes to the night sky with their LED radiated, semi-opaque skin. They are constructed from LED light strands, wood, chicken wire and plastic wrap keeping them relatively light. Weighing 120 pounds or less, they are easily transportable and have already traveled to the likes of the East Village, Asheville, North Carolina, and Summit, New Jersey.
Local artisans sold a variety of homemade goods. Thanks to help from the Kickstarter campaign that raised over $8,300, the endless regulatory hurdles and registration costs for vendors were minimal. Several artists had eco-minded products, like the home-spun yarn creatsions by Faune Yerby. Her yarns are made with materials grown on her rooftop in Brooklyn, and she is making a conscious effort to source her wool from local farms. Yerby shared a booth with Nguyen Le of knitknit, who featured scarves, colorful skeins of yarn and handmade books. The yarn was made from a combination of factory waste merino wool and recycled silk saris. Several of the scarves were also treated in an eco-friendly manner using tea as a natural dye. Inspired by the work of the Mobile Textile Lab, Yerby hopes to learn more about plant dyes and eventually use them as the base for all her dye work.
The Bazaar also featured the work of Brooklyn-based Sans Map by Corey Dergazarian. Her unique collection of bags and accessories are constructed from vintage fabrics, reclaimed remnants, and re-purposed vintage clothing. Twin sisters Kelly and Veronica of Hail the Right Brain showcased their durable, duct-tape, bifold wallets that each feature a unique piece of original art created by the team, making no two designs alike.
Food vendors filled the central area with everything from Caribbean vegan wraps to Filipino food to lobster rolls. Music infused the space with sounds from the likes of YACHT, Monogold, Trouble Andrew and DJ sets. While the concert area had a cover fee and offered solace from the crowded market, the music could be still experienced throughout the bazaar.
A sure sign of success, several of the food booths ran out of dishes or temporarily closed down to re-group due to the overwhelming number of people in attendance. The 3,000 wristbands that were printed for those over 21 ran out at 9:30pm and hands were then stamped instead. Perhaps Broudo’s original dream will soon become a reality with the Night Bazaar bringing weekly entertainment to summer markets throughout the five boroughs.
Images © Amanda Silvana Coen for Inhabitat