A traditional sign of the holiday season, pop-up markets across New York have had to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic — keeping shoppers safe while also giving businesses a chance to succeed in difficult times.
This year, Brookfield Properties erected its first-ever Holiday Village at MetroTech Commons in Downtown Brooklyn. The main plaza has been transformed into a socially-distant winter wonderland that opened during the late afternoon on Dec. 2.
The courtyard is lined with elaborate ice sculptures, with a gigantic Christmas tree adorned with an assortment of lights and baubles serving as the centerpiece of the festive display. The chilled statues are shaped into a collection of animals both mythical and natural, including snails, reindeer, hawks, and even a Sasquatch.
Surrounding this fenced-off plaza stands a row of stalls where arisen merchants have setup their wares.
Corinne Wright’s outlet rests on the far end of the square, where she represents both Aech & Babu and Da Spot, designers of handmade clothing. Wright is excited to be a part of the holiday village and everything it represents.
“With COVID, the open air is the safest bet for everyone, so while I am excited to introduce this new brand into the world, I want people to be alive in 2021 to enjoy it. Also, being able to do something festive and fun after such a crazy year just felt like the right thing to be a part of,” Wright told amNewYork Metro.
While sellers like Wright are thrilled to unveil her brand, others like Cassandra Lam, who for the last two years have been onsite at the now terminated Union Square market are just happy to be able to sell her products, Mama Lam’s, after months of shutdowns and canceled events.
“COVID definitely affected initial plans of what we were going to do, like Union Square was canceled. It took a toll on what your plans were, but everybody had to learn how to pivot and find a new path. We were like what are we going to do now when Union Square was canceled, but we are here now and this is great,” Lam said.
The holiday market is made up of more than 25 vendors, who sell everything from beauty products and imaginative fashion to plants and wine. As the village is based Brooklyn, MetroTech Commons attempted to place an emphasis on merchants from the borough.