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21 October 2008

Crafty Design Festivals Just Aren't Fair

One of my favourite SF-based jewellery makers (The Weekend Store, from whom I got my 'B' typewriter key necklace) was exhibiting at the Capsule Design Festival so I decided to go along. To me, "design festival" reeks of the kind of place where recent arts school graduates exhibit their really kewl alternative designs for tables or mugs or, I don't know, matches. It's actually just Amerispeak (or, at least, Bay Arean) for "craft fair." Does craft fair just make it sound as though it's going to be a bunch of old ladies selling their knitted oven gloves or home-made flapjacks, or something?

Anyway, the design festival was pretty good. It was held in Hayes Valley Park, and I'd been planning to head that way to check out a few of my favourite shops anyway so deotoured via the park, which was filled with maybe 100 stalls, lots of whom were selling pretty t-shirts, bags and necklaces that were really crying out to me. Luckily, not all of the stalls took cash (I have a somewhat limited supply, even if I can go wild on my debit card at the moment)--I was surprised that any were able to but they had little devices that look like a cell phone with an attached card reader slot--so I had to limit my purchases to a keyring from the Weekend Store (which has a 'B' cube from a game rather like a 3D-version of Scrabble whose name I forget) and a few gifts. Definitely better than most British "design festivals" I've ever been to (and I have done the rounds--as an exploited 14-year-old, I used to work as waitress at various craft fairs for 10-hour shifts at £2.50 per hour on Bank Holiday weekends).

The nicest thing was the way all the sellers were so friendly. I was chatting to one guy for ten minutes about the Bay Area library system, whether if someone has twins you should congratulate them on the "birth" or the "births" and 12th century French poetry, among other topics. Then there was the (very straight) guy with whom I discussed Bruce Springsteen's arse for longer than his wife felt comfortable with. There was free music, nice people and cool, handmade retail opportunities (and Frijtz just down the road)--this is exactly how Sundays should be.


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