Flea Market On Hiatus, But 10th Street Block Fair This Weekend

Photos: Suzanne Rozdeba

With the close of the Mary Help of Christians flea market last weekend, Bernarda Ortiz, the market’s matron for the past 15 years, is concerned about its move to Immaculate Conception Church.

“I worry we’ll lose half the vendors,” said the sprightly 85-year-old Puerto Rico native. Depending on what’s decided when Monsignor Kevin Nelan returns from vacation next week, the flea may relocate to the cafeteria and inner courtyard of the church on 14th Street. “I worry people won’t see it and won’t come,” she said.

blockfairSamantha Balaban

While she awaits the move in October, Ms. Ortiz has a month to clean out a garage brimming with old records, dresses, kitchen supplies, and even a copy of “Pornogami” (don’t ask) perched atop a mountain of stuff for sale (whatever isn’t sold will go to the Catholic Worker or Salvation Army, she said). Today, she sat in the lot at 11th Street and Avenue A, surveying the goods. A man walked by and asked through the fence, “When does it open? When can I get in?” Ms. Ortiz shook her head and said, “Closed.”

If you’re looking for some collectibles and antiques to sift through this weekend, the 10th Street & Stuyvesant Block Association is hosting its 41st annual Block Fair on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on East 10th Street between Second and Third Avenues. A flyer promises antiques, collectibles, food and music.