Thursday, July 19, 2007

The beat goes on.....

So to pick up....last week was Art's Festival week. Big dealins' around here. Usually the hottest, humidest (Webster will forgive me), gawdawful week of the summer. Last week was the loveliest week we've had so far. Yes, there was some rain, but for the most part it was sunny, in the 70's and comfortable. (If there is global warming, apparently PA is on another "globe".) I had to travel to the New Kensington Campus (again) last Thursday, the first day of the festival, so I really didn't get to scout it out. I took a quick walk around Friday, not the busiest day, and here's what it looks like:



This is lower Allen Street, the street directly across from the fake "Main Gates" of the University. The artists set up booths for 4 or so blocks around on campus, then there is lower Allen Street with some food vendors, a stage, the Artist's Embassy, and the water features with gardens. Once across Beaver Avenue, the artists begin again and run for approximately 6 or so blocks. The main streets are blocked for the entire week and for days or so afterward. To say it is a mess doesn't quite describe it. Anyway, there are in the neighborhood of 300 or so artists. It's a lot. Plus there are four venues with almost continuous entertainment--much of it bizarre, but whatever.



This is the view looking in the opposite direction. To the right is the water bucket feature, to the left and not in the photo, is the "spray tunnel". A short walk through a trellis, with plants and fine water spray. The ideas behind these is that it is usually so deadly hot, people can just walk through and get refreshed. Parents bring their children in bathing suits to play in the "buckets". The buckets are weighted and fill with water at varying rates. Thus they "spill" randomly soaking whomever is standing underneath. Kids love it.


Here's a view of a few dumping buckets.....





This is view down the length of Allen into town. About four blocks after this, the booths turn down a side street and continue on in a square.

So this is quite a big deal. The State Police bring in their mounted units, there are bicycle cops and medics galore, for four days it is sheer hell or heaven, depending on your point of view.

What I'm finding weird...as you look at that crush of people in the last photo, is that people find it necessary to bring their pets. All kinds of dogs, sometimes more than one on leashes and try to walk them through the crowd. Now I like dogs as well as the next person. But this seems to me to be nearly cruel. And, apparently, these idiots, are getting so bizarre (or brazen depending on your point of view), that for the first time I saw a "no pets" sign on the water features.......Perhaps that's a "sign of the times". HA HA.

What did I buy? I saw a very unusual pendant that I was thinking about getting on Friday, and didn't because I had to get back to work, and the booth was way to far away to walk back to in time. When I went back on Saturday, it and everything like it, was gone. The artists made composites of faceted semi-precious stones. They ended up with a striking rainbow stone. I ended up getting wild olive colored quartz earrings from a bead artist from Florida. Probably a good thing.

On Sunday, we skipped the festivals (there is another more folksy arty one on the outskirts of town, started as a protest 10 years ago) entirely, and went to the Altoona Curve baseball game (AA Pirate affiliate). The weather channel is my curse because it has turned DH into a weather weenie, and every mention of a thunderstorm throws him into a tizzy. (And please remember we live in Central PA and there are ALWAYS thunderstorms in our forecasts in the summer! If you're reading this during July/August go ahead and look now, I'll wait....) Naturally, thunderstorms were forecast (no watches or warnings though), but as usual not a drop fell during the game.

Knitting soon....promise.

1 comment:

The_Add_Knitter said...

I fully agree that it's totally bizarre to bring pets to the Arts Festival(??!!)

Glad you had fun--we didn't make it up this year:(