A New Kind Of Urban Mall

There’s this park along our jogging route with the sliced-off end of a shipping container situated like a tiny stage. We were all like, oh, what a cool social application of industrio-commercial furniture. And then some folks went and opened the Dekalb Market, a retail outpost in Downtown Brooklyn where artists, artisans, farmers and chefs hock their products and push a philosophy of quality, community and sustainability. But perhaps its neatest feature is that it’s “housed in a collection of salvaged shipping containers,” per its website, turning these emblems of commerce into actual commercial hubs—and making that local park of ours look like just some local park where the city junked a rusting hunk of steel. “It’s not a market like the [Brooklyn] Flea,” cupcake-maker and Market vendor Allison Robicelli explained to us, “but more like a mall re-imagined for an urban space.” (That’s a pun—Urban Space is the group that created and runs the market.) And it’s poised to grow. “More container stores will be added in installments. A demo kitchen is being added for kids, and we’ve received an education grant that will provide programs for local schools,” Robicelli added. “There will be concerts, kids-festivals… pretty much it’s our vision for a town square.”

Photo Cody Swanson

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