Tuesday, September 24, 2019

A Few Thoughts on the 2019 Broadway Flea Market

As Mike said as we hit the Lincoln Tunnel, another Broadway Flea Market is in the books. $870,167 was the final tally - way to go, theater fans! We all braved the heat, the crowds and the scaffolding, and hopefully most of us came away with some new and beloved treasures. We're already looking forward to next year! How about you?

Here's what I came away with:

  • It seemed both less crowded and more crowded than usual. Even with all the scaffolding, Shubert Alley seemed easier to navigate all day. And yet, at some tables, it was uncomfortably tight. Seems all of the most important people in the world came to the flea market. You know the ones - they have no regard for anyone but themselves. Taking up coveted space long after they've made their purchases so they can chat with their friends. Move away from the tables to have conversations, huh? This seemed to be the norm at several booths I visited.

  • Speaking of those folks (though this applies everywhere these days, not just at the flea), am I getting to be a cranky old man when I am annoyed at people with no regard to their surroundings who stop dead in the middle of traffic flow to chat/hug/squeal in delight?

  • I miss the flea markets of yesteryear when they blocked off 44th Street and booths were on both sides of the street than around the block on half the street. I know...traffic...blah, blah, blah...

  • I would love to be the person who figures out a way to spread out those bins full of Playbills/Posters/Programs so that more than six people at at time can look through them.

  • Add me to the list of people disappointed with the Moulin Rouge table. Talk about a missed opportunity! Broadway's hottest new show had almost nothing left at 10:45 AM. I was ready to drop some serious cash for the cause for a little piece of the show.

Still for all my complaining, I had a great time and picked up a few things for friends (which I can't tell you about because they'll read it) and a couple of new treasures for myself. I love my To Kill A Mockingbird Tony Voters book, and I found some great cards to fill in my Lights of Broadway card collection. Now, they were organized! I was impressed with the whole table, and Squigs is such a nice guy!

And the non-autograph table star-gazing was great as always. Julie Halston, Patti Murin, Reeve Carney, Eva Noblezada, Jeff Daniels, Telly Leung, and Ryan McPartlin were just a few people I bumped into as I walked around. One or two I literally bumped into!

Finally, as I noted in last week's Friday 5, I got to see some really wonderful, like-minded people. High school boys holding hands. High school girls holding hands. The Beetlejuice cosplay fans. And it seems the older gentlemen with canvas tote bags seem to have created an army!

📸: A. Stock


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