Artists & Fleas
There’s an attractive crowd spilling onto the sidewalk in front of an old truck service station on Mateo Street. Most of these people are carrying on lively conversations, while others mosey on by jiving to the funky rhythms whirling through the air.
A sweet woman greets you as you begin to survey the scene, offering a kind smile and a flyer that familiarizes you with what is seemingly a common swap meet or marketplace. But what you discover is something more than your run of the mill outdoor market.
As you make your way down the aisles, you’ll observe vendors exchanging stories and passions, families sharing chef-inspired sandwiches and organic juices, girlfriends combing through artfully curated vintage clothes, and significant others perusing the handcrafted housewares. This place is a treasure trove of beautiful merchandise and equally beautiful people—this new arrival to DTLA is a community known as Artists & Fleas.
Artists & Fleas is a crossbreed of a flea and craft market that started bringing people together in New York City. Their first market took place in Williamsburg, right before Brooklyn emerged as the epicenter of all things au courant.
Now they’re importing the same concept of community building 3,000 miles away to Los Angeles. Since May, Artist & Fleas has been setting up shop in the Arts District every third weekend of the month, rotating through a carefully curated list of approximately 50 vendors.
What’s happening in the Arts District is very reminiscent of Williamsburg in its earlier days—though the bearded, artisan coffee sipping, fixed-gear biking demographic hasn’t hit anywhere near the critical mass of Williamsburg. Still, there is a similarly fresh and electric energy in this enclave of Los Angeles that is thriving at an unstoppable pace, and this is exactly what Artist & Fleas is beautifully building onto.