Posts Tagged ‘Big Fat Flea’

The Big Fat Win-Win-Win Situation

May 9, 2012

Once in a while, you come across something that is absolutely brilliant, sprays benefits in every direction, and is purely the work of dedicated volunteers.  And you just feel freaking fabulous about it and you have to tell people.  Right now, that thing for me is the Big Fat Flea.  It is happening this Sunday from noon to 7:30.  So as soon as you’re done taking your mother to lunch for Mother’s Day, head on over to the LGBT Center and indulge in some serious bargain hunting.  The Sunday scheduling is especially great if you’re Orthodox and you’ve had to skip the flea in years past when it took place on a Saturday. (Hint hint, Nora!  Wanna go with me?)

So why is this event so cool?  Let me count the ways:

1. It caters specifically to fat folks.  In previous years, this event was known as the Fat Girl Flea Market and specialized only in women’s clothing.  This year, the name of the event has been changed to the Big Fat Flea to reflect the broadening of its mission to serve people of all genders and clothing preferences.  But it’s still all about the fatties, which I love, love, love.  You know what a great big giant pain in the ass it can be to shop for clothes when your size is a double-digit number, even in a city the size of New York with its literally thousands of clothing stores.  And don’t even get me started on the plus-size catalog ghetto.   As an added bonus, to a large extent, the task of sifting through the horrifying dregs of plus-size offerings is already done for you:  Here’s a chance to pick up and try on dozens of items that someone else loved enough to buy at some point before you.

2. It’s crazy cheap.  You pay $10 at the door, but after that, you’re paying rummage-sale prices for some really amazing stuff.  I’ve walked out of there in the past with two bags full of stuff for under $25.

3. It’s green.  While some the clothes for sale at the flea are new and come from corporate sponsors, the vast majority are donations from other fat folks who want to see their beloved togs enjoy a second life on a new body rather than wind up in a landfill somewhere.  They recycle, you reuse, and waste is therefore reduced.  Reduce, reuse, recycle!

4. Proceeds benefit a good cause.  All monies raised go to NOLOSE, and particularly the scholarship fund for the NOLOSE conference NOLOSE is an amazing organization doing important, uplifting work.  If you’re not familiar with their mission, click and be enlightened.  Your purchase makes it possible for someone to attend their conference who otherwise might not be able to go.  Hey, it’s a recession– this stuff matters!  In addition, the Flea takes place at the non-profit LGBT Center in lower Manhattan, and the fee for renting the venue provides revenue for the center.  (Incidentally, if you’ve never been there, it’s worth going just for the amazing Keith Haring mural on the inside where the old men’s bathroom used to be.)

5. Your participation rewards grass-roots volunteerism.  This event is entirely run by volunteers.  To execute an event like this takes planning, organization, dedication, talent, and sweat.  You can vote with your feet by showing up, and vote with your wallet by snagging some major bargains!

Do you see what I mean about spraying benefits in every direction?  The awesomeness.  It overwhelms me.

I’ve been a customer at the flea in years past, but this year I’m stepping up and giving back.  A few weekends ago, I spent my Saturday picking up bags of clothing from donors all over northwest Manhattan.  My partner Allan did all the driving– he has the best Manhattan driving skills of anybody I know– and our friends Nora and Ryan lent us their car, since ours is on the fritz.  I will be volunteering on the day of the event as well, but you can be sure I will be doing some serious shopping before my volunteer shift starts!

How can you find out more about the Big Fat Flea?  Check it out in these fine locations on the web:

Facebook, here and here


The Flea has a Tumblr

And check out this writeup in Time Out NY!


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