Sunday, November 20, 2011

The New York Times "Critical Shopper" Review of the DEKALB MARKET: SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS AFTER READING

Critical Shopper

Brooklyn’s Dekalb Market: A Tidy Flea, but What to Buy?

Elizabeth Lippman for The New York Times

WHEN I visit a rural area, which I do only with great reluctance, there is often someone there urging me to awake before dawn with flashlight and steaming thermos, as if for a whale watch, and visit the local flea market.

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Elizabeth Lippman for The New York Times
Elizabeth Lippman for The New York Times
Though I love old things, this sense of urgency has never really resonated. Surely all the choicest tchotchkes and gewgaws won’t be gone by daybreak? Isn’t the whole point of country life, anyway, to escape the sharp elbows and competitiveness of a boom-time Barneys Warehouse Sale?
Over the last few years, the madness of the flea has infected New York, specifically gentrified Brooklyn, with a vengeance. What was once the province of furniture dealers, pickers and hoarders is now as much a part of the haute bourgeoisie’s weekly routine as brunch; and indeed, thanks to the complicated tacos and exotic hot dogs on offer at the markets, the two experiences can now be handily combined. They are still mostly free-form, ragtag affairs, though, with the goods (and the bads) scattered pell-mell on tables, movable racks or along the ground.
This is not the set-up at Dekalb Market, a tidy space that opened last summer along the Flatbush Avenue Extension, a block or so from the blessedly nonironic waxen maraschino cherries and neon of Junior’s. Conceptualized by Urban Space, the British-based planning firm responsible for the Columbus Circle and Union Square holiday markets, it’s a flea that’s been doused with DEET.
I visited on a warm autumn weekday, striding up on a walkway whose carnival colors were perhaps slightly enhanced by a contact high from a few pot smokers loitering along the perimeter of the Long Island University campus across the street. Inside, gravel crunches pleasantly underfoot, conjuring a sandbox for adults.
Actually it’s a sandbox for children, too, with an abundance of “crazy-hair dads,” as an old-fashioned former colleague of mine likes to call them, letting their flesh-and-blood Juniors run hither and yon. Considering that the market is in the middle of downtown, it has a remarkable sense of peace, shattered only by these small fry yelling “I want a doughnut! I want a doughnut! I want a doughnut!” (Cuzin’s Duzin, six for $2); or the wail of a siren en route from the nearby fire station; or the gentle bleat-bleat of the convenient on-site ATM.
But where will you be spending your money here? Apart from the food stations, which make up a little under half the space and surround wooden picnic tables (bordered by a row of politically correct lettuces), Dekalb Market amounts to a small collection of shops housed in recycled shipping containers. The level of amenity falls somewhere on the spectrum between the Jardin du Palais Royal and the barracks erected by the Dharma Initiative on “Lost.”
At Kooj, a boutique named for the proprietor’s boyfriend that stocks around-the-house essentials like pompom-bedecked ballet flats and horse-printed shorts in Nigerian cotton, I hesitated, figuring out where I might try on a navy blue cable-knit cashmere pullover by Qi (a bargain at $49). My hostess, Christy Luo, sprang up from behind a table where she’d been scribbling with a feather quill.
“I have a dressing room!” she announced, whipping a cotton sheet into a private cocoon with a few deftly placed safety pins.
It makes me sweat when I can’t pace several cubits before considering a purchase, and I exited the container empty-handed. But I was impressed by Ms. Luo’s entrepreneurial derring-do. It’s the lifeblood of Dekalb Market, which right now feels rosy with purpose and good will, though its offerings aren’t exactly vital.
At Dog Tag Designs, a guy named Tyagi Schwartz is making lamps with heads that rise like stalks out of a bed of wittily juxtaposed old books, like a Sylvia Plath biography and Wally Lamb’s “She’s Come Undone.” In the same container, his sweetheart, Lanie Lynn, whose name befits her comic-book blond beauty, sells 1960s costume jewelry affixed to cards made from vintage school photos: young women grinning in creepy beehives.
Designer goods are scarce, though I unearthed a Carolina Herrera nautical top for $68 at Honeysuckle & Hearts, which sells used clothing, and Ms. Luo was also selling a Louis Vuitton Speedy 30 from her personal collection ($375).

THERE is also what seems to be a glut of merchandise destined to end up at ... well, dirtier flea markets. Shearling gloves without fingertips, so you can manipulate a smartphone even in the dead of winter; Moleskine notebooks ($32) for scribbling one’s increasingly rare offline thoughts. And far too many Etsyish souvenirs of the borough’s transformation, like Fort Greene-“flavored” cleansing gel, and ceramic coffee cups reading, ho ho, “I Got Mugged in Brooklyn.”
Still, this little community of shopkeepers is tremendously endearing, their relaxation contagious. They chat and smoke, and open when they please — and never before the civilized hour of 10 a.m.
Dekalb Market
138 Willoughby Street, downtown Brooklyn;
FLEA A hodgepodge of food, trinkets, crafts and clothing in a climate-controlled spiffed-up setting somewhat incongruous with its flinty environs.
FEE Prices range from a few dollars for an upcycled shopping tote to $2,500 for a wood, acrylic, steel and plastic “thing-o-matic” that generates 3-D models.
FREE Wi-Fi is available, and there are frequent concerts and performance-art pieces, and plenty of samples from eager vendors like Jacques Torres Chocolates.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Just Got The Word....

Hey Everyone,

Just got the word that i will be the Costume Designer for a Broadway Connection performance choreographed by Stephanie Klemons and Produced by Jennifer Jancuska.  I am over the moon about this project.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Hey Everyone, please welcome 17 year old Brooklyn native Hanif Murrell to the BSIXTEE6/CHIRP family.

The John Dewey High School Junior is a guitarist and drummer and has a strong entreprenurial spirit.

Hanif will be with us on Tuesdays and Fridays.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Preview CHIRP by BSIXTEE6 One-Of-A-Kind Jewelry for the Holidays

Briian Dargon, Designer and Owner of CHIRP by BSIXTEE6 has been busy creating one of a kind jewelry pieces for the 2011 Holiday Season . Using Salvaged materials, Briian will be creating unique and affordable pieces to compliment any outfit.  The accessories line will include Bracelets, Rings, Earrings, Wallets, Clutches, Watches and Necklaces for both Men and Women.

Briian will debut the new product at the Artisans Cafe event December 3rd 2011 in Richmond, VA and then carry it in his boutique 66 BLAK BIRDS located at the Dekalb Market 138 Willoughby Street - 5, Brooklyn, NY.

For additional info., please go to:

Monday, November 7, 2011

Olivier Rousteing is Balmain's New HDIC!!!

The new era at Paris’s sex-charged fashion house Balmain is beginning to take shape, with 25-year-old Olivier Rousteing has been tapped as the label’s new designer.

Rousteing, who joined Balmain in 2009 and is currently in charge of women’s wear, replaces Christophe Decarnin, who left earlier this month due to strategic disputes with chairman Alain Hivelin.

Before joining Balmain, Rousteing worked for five years at Roberto Cavalli, which should serve him well in delivering the decadent rock-inflected glamour that became the label’s trademark under Decarnin.

SOURCE: JET Magazine


These hand-crafted, leather and fabric watchbands are sure to be a hit this holiday season. Pick one up for you or a loved one.

In store at 66 BLAK BIRDS located at the DEKALB MARKET located at 138 Willoughby Street, Downtown Brooklyn, NY 11201.

To find out what else is going on at Dekalb, please visit:


On Saturday, December 3rd 2011, Briian Dargon of BSIXTEE6 will participate in the ARTISANS CAFE in his hometown of  Richmond, VA debuting his CHIRP line of products.  The event will take place at the ARTSPACE GALLERY at PLANT ZERO.

Briian says "This will be the first opportunity i've had in the 9 years that i've been doing this professionally to take my work home, i'm super excited for my family and friends to really see what i do up here in this big city (New York), Merry Christmas to me. My Mom would've been so excited for me, it's a little bittersweet".

Everybody come out and support. Melody Short and the MJS Collection have gone to great lengths to curate the designers for this event so it will definitely be worth it. To find out more about it, please visit:


Thursday, November 3, 2011


Anyone who knows me knows that i lose my mind over a hot pair of sneakers.  By hot, i mean unique, not a brand that everyone knows or purchases...until now.

Christian Louboutin, a world-famous luxury brand known for it's red bottom, high heels for women has created shoes and sneakers with us fellas in mind that are just as funky as anything they've come up with for the ladies.

To my delight, most of the footwear is affordable (Price Range: $150.-700.) and will definitely allow you to stand out at any function.

To find the styles above and more, check out these websites:

3rd Photoshoot for Aspiring Model Kyle Raines

66 BLAK BIRDS featured on "More Composition Please" Blog: Fix your face

More Composition Please: Fix your face: Dekalb Market is a new hot spot next to my house that I frequently visit. I'm all about one stop shopping. Lunch, music,coffee, clothing, an...