I’m always intrigued by inner city flea markets – I love the juxtaposition of the simple stalls and the skyscrapers. We discovered Hell’s Kitchen flea market by accident while walking around and were not disappointed. We spent a happy hour wandering around, although we couldn’t justify buying anything too large and shipping it back home. In the end, our purchases were limited to smoothies and a necklace. The stallholders were so friendly, and chatted with us about where we were from and how long we were visiting, listing a number of other British visitors they had seen that day.
Next up was B&H, an amazing photography shop run by Hasidic Jews, which apparently receives more than 5,000 visitors daily. Ben had mentioned the shop to me before our trip, and it was incredible!
Fascinated by the place, and amazed by the choice, we picked up a new rucksack for camera storage (while a little small to fit our laptop in when travelling, my iPad will squeeze nicely into its own special section), and a Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Camera, for all my instant photography gratification requirements.
The ordering process was fascinating. We took our stuff up to a counter surrounding the camera section, where Ismael took my details, added me to the database and discussed the pros and cons of life and weather in Brussels, Brighton and New York. By the time the order had been entered, he’d reached under his desk where a packaged version of the bag had appeared, stuck that and the camera into a bag and sent them down to the collection point. Everything is sent around the store in green boxes on miles upon miles of conveyor belts. I was sent off to pay elsewhere, and then took my proof of payment to the collection spot to be reunited with my purchases. It was all surprisingly slick for something with so much room for confusion!