Greenpoint is losing another vibrant local venue, in favor of a BMW dealership.
The Brooklyn Night Bazaar, which for two and a half years has hosted local bands and food vendors while charging no entry fee, was given notice by their landlord over the weekend.
“We just found out three days ago,” said Aaron Broudo, one of the market’s founders. “It’s all very fresh and new to us. That’s why we had another month or two of programming in place, including Northside Festival things, so this came as a bit of a shock.”
They were given the option of matching the price, but could not compete with an offer close to ten times their current lease, according to Gothamist.
For one street vendor who’s been at food markets in the area for three years, the change in the neighborhood has been drastic.
“It’s funny because when I first started we would see hard core hipsters, like you know just people that lived in Bushwick or somewhere close by in Williamsburg,” David Oropeza told Metro. “And then the second year was a little more family oriented, and then this year it’s all tourists. Complete tourists. Everywhere you look it’s like Times Square in Brooklyn, it’s weird.”
Oropeza runs a food stand with a contemporary take on Bolivian food with his two brothers – inspired by a trip to Bolivia, where their mother is from, when they were younger.
Brooklyn Night Bazaar will take up residence over the summer at Riis Park Beach in the Rockaways, where they have secured a summertime lease for the next five years running.
“Just generally we’re really thankful for the time we’ve had here… it sucks but it is what it is and we’re hoping to find another location soon enough,” said Broudo.
The night market is cancelling their last weekend of programing in Greenpoint this month, moving straight to Riis Park Beach after their final evening in Brooklyn on May 23rd.
At Riis Park Beach the market will be operating between May Day and Labor Day, seven days a week, with free shows every weekend.
Broudo said that while they’re delighted to have the new venue, and relieved for the timing to have worked out well, they’re still keen to have a permanent year-round venue in the city proper. But chances are, it won’t be back in Greenpoint.
“Hopefully this works for us as maybe like a transitional space. We’d love to figure out another permanent space and we love this neighborhood, but it’s going to be very hard to find something this large in this neighborhood for sure,” said Broudo.
For venues without corporate sponsorships, he said, it is becoming increasingly difficult to survive in New York City, between more competition for real estate and higher operating costs.
“I mean for D.I.Y. venues that don’t have any corporate affiliation it’s not too easy,” he said. “We’ve been a free venue, we don’t charge anybody to come in, and we have tremendous costs – obviously we pay talent to come through and try to make it the least expensive possible for the vendors to partake … it’s not easy.”
Oropeza said he and his brothers are definitely going along – the bazaar was one of the local markets that helped them get on their feet.
“It’s a great beginning and because it’s not a corporation you have a little bit more of a personal bond I guess with the owners,” he said. “You know they come by, they ask you how it’s going.”