It's Back Baby! Jersey City's Pacific Flea is Back!
It was everywhere yesterday, and in the days and weeks leading up (maybe even months, but the frenzy really built as yesterday drew closer). If you are tuned into the #JerseyCity scene on social media you saw it coming, moment by moment (and if you're not tuned in but would like to be, start on Twitter here by subscribing to my Jersey City Lovin' Crew list). What exactly is the it I'm referring to? Why the Pacific Flea, of course! While most markets in Jersey City don't begin until early May (I'm counting the seconds), the Pacific Flea got a jump on things and picked one of the most beautiful days of the season so far to celebrate a new year of new fleas. The temperatures rose above 60 degrees and skies were clear, bright blue and sunny. Jersey City's spirits seemed to match.
I was super excited leading up to yesterday's market because there's a slew of folks (aka those on my Jersey City Lovin' list linked above) who I've been speaking to virtually almost daily on Twitter or Instagram, but for one reason or another have never met in person. Even amazing folks I've interviewed, like ChicpeaJC or Leslie of JC Eats. I knew everyone would be at the Pacific Flea. I didn't, however, take into account that the market was from 11 AM-6 PM and therefore the chances of us running into each other at the same moment over a seven hour period was perhaps not so good. Though I didn't end up running into most of them, I did get to meet Joel Maffei (also known as @Nemobeatz), one of the organizers behind the Pacific Flea and the man who got everyone talking about it (he does their social media), who is an absolute sweetheart and full of positive energy, even amongst an exhausting event.
Because of a mystery illness that I've been battling all week -- and which kept me in bed all morning -- as well as an appointment for balayage highlights with Christina (aka Xtina) at ShampooJC mid-day yesterday (that I had to rally out of bed for -- if you go to Xtina, you know that you don't give up that appointment once you get it! Even for the mystery illness. Even for the first flea of the season. Those appointments are like pure solid gold), I didn't get to the Pacific Flea until 4 PM.
Girl, let's just say you should not delay on Pacific Flea day. Mordi's Food Truck (which serves Israeli street food like schnitzel, falafel, sabikh and more) had just sold out and Taproot Organics (which makes Jersey City-local, handmade soaps and body products using real food) was about to sell out, as well. I panicked in my car ride over thinking, "Dammit, I've missed it all!"
Thankfully I had not missed it all, at all. Second-most thankfully, this market happens every second Saturday of the month throughout the warm weather months. So mama's chance was not, and is not, lost. I made it, and will again all summer and fall.
My first stop was a beeline for Taproot, who had the primo spot right under the Pacific Flea sign. Talk about made-in-the-shade brand advertising! Good job, guys. I tweeted to Zaida (half of the husband-wife team of Zaida and Daniel, who founded and run the company) in the car to please save me a deodorant stick, which was -- I cannot lie -- a major reason I did not miss the market, despite my illness. I ran up to Daniel and said nonsensically, "The deoderant stick! I tweeted! You have it?" He shook his head as though to say, "What are you talking about?" Then he laughed and explained that Zaida (wo)mans the social webs while he mans the markets. She had told him I wanted one, but he wasn't sure which kind. I snatched up the second-to-last lavender stick, shook it high in glory and sighed in relief. If you've read this, you know it's one of my staples (and that my only gripe used to be putting it on with your fingers, and now you don't have to!).
With my precious stank-protector safely in hand, I began to browse the rest of the wares. The place was packed with a variety of really fun, diverse vendors, like All For You vintage, Antisocial Jewelry Company and more. Even E.Tittlemouse & Co. (a local amazing vintage shop and definitely a top Jersey City Lover) had a presence. Check out all the vendors here.
The wares are most certainly quirky. Local yoga teacher Sarah Welt posted the following picture with the caption, "How has this not sold yet?" I cracked up, as I had wondered the exact.same.thing.
But that's a flea market, right? The fun is in marveling at all of the treasures (the quirkier the better), and the fact that they've really upped the vintage vendors with tons of great jewelry, clothes, art and more makes it a definite must-visit once per month.
When all was done, I hopped in my free @Lyft ride home (Pacific Flea organized a free ride up to $20 for new users of the Lyft app with the code PACFLEA. Isn't that cool, and very thoughtful of them?). I tried to take it there, but all the drivers were busy (Uber fares were also 2.1x the price because of demand, so fair enough). Thankfully I was able on the way back, or I wouldn't have thought it was so cool (of Lyft).
Check out #PacificFlea for all the follow-up buzz and lots of photos, check out the market soon for your own beats, eats and antiques experience, and be sure to support these flea bags (see what I did there?) all summer long! I'll see you out there.
They are better to find in person, but you can still find the Pacific Flea on the interwebs here: