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'Dirty Money': Gotham pickers

John and Jimmy DiResta of Discovery Channel's

John and Jimmy DiResta of Discovery Channel's "Dirty Money." Photo Credit: handout

What may be junk to you just might be gold to a pair of Lower East Side brothers.

John and Jimmy DiResta, the self-proclaimed "Lords of the Fleas," scour antique shops, flea markets, junk shops, dumps and sidewalks for items to re-imagine, revitalize and resell. Their expertise is captured on the new Discovery Channel series "Dirty Money," which debuts tomorrow at 9 p.m.

amNewYork spoke with John, 47, and Jimmy, 43, about the series.

What are some of your favorite flea markets in the city?
Jimmy: We both like Hell's Kitchen, where we did most of the show. Next we have Avenue A at 11th Street on the Lower East Side - it's a great little market. One Hanson Place is under the bank tower in Downtown Brooklyn. It's a great indoor flea market that takes place in the cold weather.

What does each of the markets specialize in?
Jimmy: I like Hell's Kitchen for the antiques, and Avenue A is more like a garage sale; you'll find contemporary stuff. Hanson has got a lot - a little bit of high-end crafty stuff mixed with cool antiques. You can go and get vintage jeans there and also a lot of good food.

What makes NYC flea markets unique?
John: What I like about New York is the attitude; I like the directness and I like the characters. I really like New York accents. The flea markets bring out a lot of misfits. I always say it looks like they scraped up every misfit in Coney Island and sprinkled them around every flea market in New York.

What are the keys to haggling?
John: I always say that when it comes to haggling, a lot of people are afraid to do it - they're embarrassed to. I always say this: My trick is to keep it light. [I was] afraid to haggle way back when. I think the No. 1 thing to know is that [everything] is negotiable. I think that's part of the game at a flea market.
Jimmy: I think the main key is to have fun, but to respect the seller. Just [be nice] and, all of a sudden, it'll be an easy negotiation.
John: One little secret ... is that these guys bring that s--- to sell it. They lug it into the car, they put it out on display - no matter what, it is to sell it. They didn't bring it out to show it off and put it back in their storage bin. Some of my negotiations recently are two or three seconds, you know what I mean? It's like with my wife when I negotiate for sex.


On TV: "Dirty Money" debuts on Discovery Channel on Tuesday at 10 p.m.

If you go
There are a lot of flea markets around the Big Apple:

• Hell's Kitchen Flea Market: hellskitchenfleamarket.com

• BrooklynFlea.com

• Check tagsellit.com for info on where to find other markets.

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