0804butler.jpgJonathan Butler has been talking real estate and renovation over at his blog, Brownstoner, since 2005. This year he brings his know-how offline with the most massive flea market Brooklyn has seen, aptly called Brooklyn Flea. While honing our haggling skills, we asked him a few questions about what to expect when it opens this weekend.

How, and when, did you come up with the idea for Brooklyn Flea? I was a regular visitor to the old 26th Street flea markets back in the old days of the 1990s. It struck me last year that Brooklyn of all places should have a kick-ass flea market so I decided to dip my toe into the water with Salvage Fest (a one-day outdoor market for architectural salvage I put on at PS 11 in Clinton Hill) last September.

When that went well, I thought, What the heck, and decided that if I were going to do it, I might as well think big.

Can you give us all the details? 10am to 5 pm every Sunday in the schoolyard at the Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School at 176 Lafayette Avenue in Fort Greene.

Do brownstone Brooklynites really need more stuff? Of course--we tend to have a little more space than Manhattanites.

Does this put you head-to-head with the Park Slope flea market? Not to take anything away from the Park Slope flea market, but we're doing this on a completely different level. Brooklyn Flea will have close to 200 vendors a week, a group that has been heavily curated from over 800 applicants; hopefully it will attract visitors from all five boroughs and beyond.

What's been the biggest obstacle you've had putting this together? I think we are the only flea market ever to actually file plans with, and undergo the scrutiny of, the Department of Buildings. They were very hands-on in helping us get everything in order, but it certainly added a great deal of time and expense to the process. But I didn't want to build a franchise on a house of cards.

Your partner is Eric Demby was formerly the communications guy for Marty Markowitz -- has that helped cut through any red tape? He's got a few tricks up his sleeve but he's prevented by law from hitting up Borough Hall for favors. (Marty will be attending the "ribbon cutting" ceremony at 1 p.m. on Sunday.) Eric's got a great eye for the stylish, the ironic and the kitschy, so he's perfectly qualified for this gig; he's also been the great communicator when it comes to interacting with the vendors.

What are the shops you're most excited about? I'm excited to see the folks who are basically Flea rookies, rolling out their personal finds and collections for the first time. I bet Morris & Tweed, which includes a stylist for Madewell, has great stuff. Rico Espinet from the lighting store on Atlantic Ave. is unloading 30 years worth of collecting, which should be awesome. And Colonia from Hudson upstate has really unusual pieces.

What's the weirdest thing on sale? I'd have to say Interventionista, who will be doing astrology readings and selling from her vintage Deco clothing collection. Her and the Polaroid photo booth, which starts April 13.

Will there be food? Yes. Choice market will be providing coffee, fresh-made pastries and sandwiches and Wafels and Dinges will putting their irons to good use. In addition, there are a number of vendors selling packaged foods like cookies, chocolates, etc.

How flexible are the flea prices? How much should a person expect to haggle? It wouldn't be a flea market without haggling!

Does the future of blog entrepreneurship lie in flea markets? Not specifically, but I do think that there are a lot of opportunities for a brand that gets established online to migrate offline.

What's next for Brownstoner -- a Fort Greene cafe? Dunno, maybe a book?