Due to expected rain, DiSilvestro Playground at 15th & Morris Streets in South Philadelphia has moved its first craft and flea market from today (Saturday, June 24th) to tomorrow, Sunday, June 25th. I’ve changed its listing here on Flea Market Philadelphia where all contact information is included.
Judging by the area, the size of the flea market (roughly 25 vendors) and space price, in addition to the fact that it is the first time the playground is running an event like this, it should be a good one for shoppers of all types to find interesting stuff at very good to if not great prices as I’m sure most of the vendors will be of the casual kind. (Although it might attract some of what I’ve been calling the South Philadelphia semi-professionals they are a whole different breed than the “Center City” vintage pros. The South Philly version take their flea markets seriously and are well-organized but are notoriously cheap as far as prices go.)
The property where DiSilvestro Playground is located includes a full square block of city-owned real estate that goes from 15th to Broad Streets, Morris to Castle Avenue. Unlike Capitolo, which is a large playground replete with baseball and soccer fields, DiSilvestro is a small and quaint, more private-feeling playground taking up the 15th Street side of the property. A health clinic and the South Philadelphia Library Branch are located on its Broad Street side. The whole property was razed a few years ago and built anew with modern architecture and brand new sidewalks. It reopened last year and is much nicer and brighter than the old property which over the years had become an eyesore. The playground itself, which used to be dull, blighted and unwelcoming, in addition to being monopolized by constantly-used basketball courts and never-used bocce courts is now beautiful, inviting, and very family-friendly.
“Broad & Morris Flea Market”
As someone who used to sell many years ago at the small, unnamed bimonthly flea market located at the intersection of Broad and Morris Streets—in fact it was the first flea market I ever sold at—I cannot talk about a flea market at 15th and Morris without thinking of and at least mentioning the somewhat controversial one that occupied the opposite end of DiSilvestro’s property. “Broad & Morris” lasted for several years until it imploded from being run by greedy, unstable people and the fact that some neighbors didn’t take kindly to that section of Broad Street being taken over by strangers twice a month. Eventually, a neighborhood business-owner with ties to a city councilwoman led the charge to put “Broad & Morris” down. I had gotten whiff of the ploy by way of a friend of mine who lived in the neighborhood and subsequently warned those running the flea market. They ignored my warning and it was only a matter of weeks before “Broad & Morris” was gone for good.
According to what I’ve heard through the grapevine, DiSilvestro Playground intends to run its craft show and flea market twice a month. That’s not a bad idea and I doubt that they will run into the same problem as “Broad & Morris” did many years ago because DiSilvestro’s will be hidden away along 15th Street and the markets will be run by the playground itself and thus in essence city-sanctioned and possibly neighborhood-approved. “Broad & Morris,” on the other hand, though it was supposed to have benefited the health clinic, the well-connected business owner that had much to do with the flea market’s demise claims he or she knew the person in charge of the clinic and it was getting none of the money from the markets. Also, a library employee later informed me that they were promised a cut of the flea market money and again never saw a penny. Knowing what little I knew of those who ran “Broad & Morris,” I’m certainly not surprised.