OTTM SPOTLIGHT: JULIE FELTMAN, MARKET DIRECTOR AT URBANSPACE

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If you live or visit New York often, the chances are that you have visited one of UrbanSpace‘s  markets; Mad. Sq. Eats, Broadway Bites, Columbus Circle Holiday Market and Union Square Holiday Market.  Here to tell us a bit about her experience with markets and UrbanSpace itself is Julie Feltman, the Market Director at UrbanSpace.

1. How did you get involved with markets and UrbanSpace? 

I feel super fortunate that the universe just pushed me towards this job – it’s my dream job. I grew up in the market circuit working with my Mother, jewelry designer Angela Feltman of Heart Of Stone, who would do pop-up markets and street fairs all over New England. Some of my earliest memories are running around those fairs, learning how to make change and putting beads on string. As an adult, I’ve done a lot of production management for theater and events, as well as going to school for Economics. A few years ago, I worked with UrbanSpace as an assistant and slowly moved up the ranks to become the Market Director.

2. What do you want visitors to your markets to walk away with?

The neat thing about our markets is that it’s an immersive, unique experience every single time you step through it, and appeals to every sense you have. I think the most satisfied customer doesn’t walk away with food selfies or instagrammed crowd shots, but with distinct tactile memories of the sound of rice noodles sizzling on a hot grill, how the spices smelt both foreign and familiar, how the salt rub felt against your hands. I want people to put down their phones and ear buds and take in the experience!

3. What is the oddest or funniest or most interesting market story you can remember? 

So many! Sometimes vendors send the office samples of their products, and someone last year sent me a fig tree. He wasn’t intending on selling trees, he just though I’d like it. It was pretty cool. Right now there is a gelato vendor at Broadway Bites by UrbanSpace, and his Italian mother works the booth. She doesn’t speak any English, and customers actually enjoy struggling with correspondence, it’s like for that one moment you’re in Italy. Every time I go over she hugs and kisses me and speaks to me in Italian as if I get every word. She then gives me an affagato (a scoop of gelato with espresso poured on top) even when I say no. It’s a work hazard :).

4. If you could visit any market in the world, which one would it be? 

Ooooh! I’ve been lucky to travel, and I’ve loved the markets in India and Morocco. In India, there are such an assault of sights smells and sounds, especially as a foreigner, it’s pretty great, and each region specializes in something different. In Morocco, they have snake charmers and fiddle players as entertainment, and all types of animals for sale. It’s pretty great. I think my next stop for markets is the Parisian Bird Market, or some of the market places in the Andulusia region of Spain.

5. Who would you take with you?

Someone with a big pocketbook and a strong back for hauling my knickknacks 🙂

A Big Thanks to Julie for sharing and to UrbanSpace for keeping us connected as a community!

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A Lazy Sunday at The Annex Flea

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The Annex Flea was the place to be for vintage and handmade things on Sunday when all you wanted to do was leisurely stroll around, shop, talk and eat with some amazing vendors. I treated myself to an ice cream sandwich from APieCalypse Now! Vegan Bakery, Yum!  Also enjoyed a chat with Bread & Circus who creates unique jewellery pieces.  I share their same philosophy, see what it is if your’e curious!   I especially loved the handmade ceramic designs that artist Lana Filippone created.   Beat the traffic and make sure to get out on your bikes, the markets are the perfect reason!  There are three more market dates scheduled for the rest of the summer!  July 27th, August 24th, and September 28th – all in the Honest Ed’s lot right at Bathurst and Bloor.

2nd Annual Roncey Flea

One of Toronto’s most hopping neighbourhoods, Roncesvalles has so much to see and do.  Speaking of which, cooler than expected weather didn’t keep market enthusiasts from searching out a good find at the 2nd annual Roncey Flea market over the long weekend.   If you missed this event, no worries, another one is planned for the middle of summer so keep your eyes out for it!  Popular vendors like Silverware Jewellery artisan Leo Krukowski, vintage shop Suitcase and Pottery by Molly Bannerman were a hit with visitors with their one-of-a-kind finds.  To get more information on the next market date visit the Roncey Flea site.

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An Art Market Prelude to Parkdale Flea

Each time I visit an arts market, I am blown away by the talent displayed.  Spent a lovely Spring Sunday at the Parkdale Art Market put on by Parkdale Flea and Goodfellas Gallery.  Anyone looking for some home-grown talent and amazing art to add to their collections, this is definitely the place to start your search.  Don’t take my word for it, drop in and meet the artists themselves.  Had the pleasure of viewing some of Tyler Tilley‘s colorful works throughout space and great seeing artist/illustrator Emily May Rose in action helping create the mood for the upcoming Parkdale Flea market.  Also chatted with the lovely Stephanie MacKay from Made For Margaret who specializes in one-of-kind jewelry designs–loved her rings!  Have to mention Gert’s Greetings and Gifts vintage Parkdale Village photo coasters and magnets for anyone celebrating Parkdale Collegiate’s 125th Anniversary.  These are but just a few to mention for now.  This indoor market is found at 1266 Queen St West (Dufferin/Noble Street).  Free admission.  Just a quick reminder that the Parkdale Flea is back in season too starting on Sunday May 4th.

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Off To The Outdoor Winter Market

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Got the family out for a holiday market at the fun and family-friendly Evergreen Brickworks for a chilly Outdoor Winter Market which was put on by the awesome Junction Flea.  What a perfect Christmas setting!  Got our holiday card family picture in with some skating (skate rentals on-site too!) and shopping.  We’ll definitely be ringing in the new year–my son found a nice giant vintage sleigh bell while my daughter picked out an old Kodak Brownie–just gotta find some film for it now:)  So many great gift ideas but here were my top  picks:

The piece that stole my heart…the Dannijo Xanadu Silver-plated Stud Necklace…if you’re interested check out Lab Consignment
A leather pouch for your smart phone–wears really nicely…from Fitzy Leather Jewellery and Other Cool Stuff
Loved the red and black plaid pouches from Whiskey Foxtrot
Luxurious knit throws…you’ll absolutely fall in love with these from Connection Knits