Friday, July 8, 2011

Summer Fridays/Weekends 2011 - Craft Shows

At any given moment in New York City, there are about a bazillion different things to do. You just have to decide what out of those bazillion options suit you. If you have any idea about who I am after reading this blog over the years, it should come as no surprise that when I found out when the Lincoln Center Craft Fair was this year, I had to make a date to go and explore.

I could have gone exploring on my own, but it's more fun to discover and share with friends. I have a new colleague at the Big J, R---, and it's her first summer in the City, so I've been grabbing her to go out with me and learn about all the bazillion things the City has to offer.

It was a beautiful sunny day, so the Upper West Side was out in full force. R--- is much more outgoing than I am, so she was really into interacting with the vendors. Some were more crotchety than others, some were okay with you photographing them and their wares. We grabbed cards, gabbed, tried on some lovely hats and fascinators, looked at belts, dresses, scarves, and the people. Oy, the people. Oh, the humanity.

These are some of my favorites. On the left, the artist buys up old chenille bedspreads and repurposes them as stuffed animals, baby bibs, baby caplets, etc. I loved, loved, loved these blue chenille Scotties - but couldn't justify the expense or the addition of an animal to my menagerie. The bracelets on the right, and some of the scarves below, are by the artist Sara Sutton. I love the gradations, and multimedia fiberart. I have so many ideas, but no time for execution. There were other crochet artists represented -- and I feel like I could almost hold my own with them if I had the time, inventory, and a staff to man these types of fairs and a shop.

It wasn't just people at the craft fair. It was literally for the birds. Polly want a hand-painted, kiln-fired pot?

Blue scarves and blue metal roses - how to keep the blues away!

R--- was so excited to see all of the vendors, the people heading to the ballet, the tourists, and to play one of the many Sing for Hope Pop-up Pianos. The day was so hot and crowded and exhausting, we had to run over to Old John's so she could get a Coke Float.

After lunch and a bit more of a shop, we were off to the Folk Art Museum Branch across the street.

Now, in case it crossed your mind, I did NOT stop to play the Pop-Up Piano.

1) It was crowded.
2) It was near The Metropolitan Opera, and at Lincoln Center. Can you imagine? Please -- it's the artistic capital of the U.S. and the granite of the buildings have soaked up more talent than I ever had.
3) There were people around (see below), and
4) MOST IMPORTANTLY, I haven't played in a decade or more.

I have social performance disorder. I never could "play on demand." I was never one who liked to play solo in front of crowds, or could play "by ear" and just riff off songs. I'd rather be hidden behind an organ manual, or behind the choir. Not only that, my memory banks for anything but "Chopsticks" has been overwritten by other things, like subway maps, crochet patterns, and the need to document my life for this here blog. More power to those brave people, though, who have no qualms about who might be watching or recording for posterity.

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