When several stores on Lancaster Avenue went out of business, the owners gave Victor Jackson, a longtime neighborhood resident, their leftover stock.
This summer Jackson started his own weekend flea market selling the donated merchandise on the sidewalk in front of his apartment.
Located on the 800 block of North 40th Street, Jackson’s sidewalk flea market is open for business every Saturday and Sunday from about noon to 6 p.m. He sells everything from hair extensions to mattress covers, school supplies, lighters and dog treats. On a given day, Jackson said, he makes between $100 and $150 and sells to approximately 20 to 30 customers.
Jackson has lived in this area for about 10 years, he said. His time as a local resident helped him get the merchandise he sells and helps him draw regular customers.
“I know everybody on the avenue and everybody knows me,” he said.
Monday through Friday Jackson works at Walter’s Tops and Bottoms, a men’s clothing store on Lancaster Avenue. He runs his flea market on Saturdays and Sundays because he is not working at Walter’s and he does not need a permit to sell on the weekends.
“A lot of the stores on the avenue are gone,” Jackson said. “I think three [or] four more stores are gonna go too.”
Jackson said the economy is partly to blame for stores closing on Lancaster Avenue, but he also attributes the closures to the area’s drug problem.
“This neighborhood is a drug infested neighborhood,” he said.
Jackson said drugs have been a problem for years and does not expect the situation to change anytime soon.
“The police can’t stop these people from selling drugs,” he said. “You need a police officer on every corner, and I mean every corner.”