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Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg Vie to Sell Liquor in East River State Park

By Meredith Hoffman | March 14, 2013 7:00am

WILLIAMSBURG — Trinkets, tacos and hand-painted posters won't be the only crowd-pleasers at East River State Park this summer when the Brooklyn Flea sets up shop, if organizers have their way.

The Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg food market are vying for the right to sell liquor at the public waterfront park, confirmed state officials who said they were considering the application.

"They've submitted an alcohol control plan, with designated hours and designated security...to make sure alcohol doesn't get in the hands of minors," said Karen Phillips, a regional director for the New York State Department of Parks and Recreation.

The weekend markets sold local beer, cider and wine last year in their old location, despite initial resistance from the community that caused a delay in liquor sales.

This year the markets' new location has already caused concern by some residents about overuse of public space, but Phillips said East River State Park was designed for more "high impact" activities than many other parks since slabs of concrete cover portions of the park.

"The Brooklyn Flea provides its own sanitation crews, security and clean-up," said Phillips. "This is something we'll try out for a year."