It is a very Caribbean Christmas!
A new Ditmas Park holiday market is selling gifts made by artisans of West Indian heritage, including candles, rubs, foot spas, and lotions. Many people in the community are exhausted after a year of fighting racism and gentrification, said the organizer, and she felt a joyous bazaar full of pampering products was just what Santa ordered.
“It’s going to be festive, happy, and there’s going to be a lot of food and drinking — this market is a gathering with family and friends and us celebrating beauty of the holiday with our traditions,” said Shelley Worrell founder of CaribBeing, an art and cultural space housed in a shipping container outside the Flatbush Caton Market. “Between all the violence that we witnessed this year and Black Lives Matter movement — I think there’s a lot of healing that needs to be done.”
The market, which kicked off Dec. 16 and runs weekends through Christmas Eve, features 12 vendors selling the indulgent goods as well as ornaments and scarves, plus seasonal beverages including cocoa tea and kremas — Haiti’s answer to eggnog — all to recordings of Caribbean artists performing seasonal songs.
She says the back-home feeling of the fair has people flocking there, and sticking around just to soak up the atmosphere.
“I think the diversity of the products people are going to enjoy the atmosphere — it’s very comfortable and intimate,” said Worrell. “People are finding us and staying for an hour and a half, because they want to lime with us.”
Caribbean Holiday Market at CaribBeing House in the courtyard of Flatbush Caton Market (794 Flatbush Ave. between Caton Avenue and Lenox Road in Ditmas Park, www.carib