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Sunday, May 15, 2011

I Love Your Look

Yesterday, my wife and I went to the Arts Star Craft Bazaar. It's an annual event, held at Penn's Landing, and it's still going on today if you're in the neighborhood and feel like braving the rain and lots of ironic mustaches.

We went two years ago and it was hot as Roseanne Barr's left inner thigh, and just as humid, too. We brought our then-only dog, Finley with us, because we just love punishment, and it was stressful, to say the least. It's one thing if you're a true hipster asshole and live downtown and it's a short trot from your regentrified rowhouse to Penn's Landing, but we suburbanites schlepped our 68-pound dog all the way from Whiteysville down to the city so we could prance around while our elderly dog nearly died from dehydration.

I mean, we tried. We brough the sonofabitch water and a collapsible travel water bowl, but he wouldn't drink. And we panicked, thinking we were going to kill him, knowing full well that no hipster asshole would perform doggie CPR on him, so we left. Not before my wife purchased an undeniably cute felted floral headband, though.

This year, we came sans canine, and it was a much more pleasurable experience. The temperature was approximately twenty-five degrees cooler than it was the last time we were at Arts Star, so it was a far more tolerable experience. There were charming creations on display: a gentleman who meticulously-crafted handbags partially out of old hardback book covers, upcycled old sweaters made into squirrel, anteater, and walrus stuffed animals, resin-coated pins, buttons and cufflinks, screen-printed t-shirts, one couple who crafted the most beautiful baby mobiles, even Valerie from Project Runway, Season 8 was there exhibiting her dresses and headbands.

And she told my wife there was a mirror on the table. And my wife realized who she was. And my wife almost sharted herself.

At some point during the afternoon, Mrs. Apron became a little dizzy (probably from the shock of seeing a real-life former reality television star-- one who has received a consolation hug from Tim Gunn, no less) and we sat down on the steps at Penn's Landing and contented ourselves with people watching for a time. Outside of an airport, a shopping mall, or a bordello, a hipster craft fair is a pretty succulent place to people watch. You could have played "Spot the Risqué Tattoo" or "I Spy an Emo Baby" all day long and not gotten bored. Outside of a rack at an antiques mall, I had heretofore never seen so many pairs of antique glasses in one location. The 1950s-1970s are the preferred decades for hipster vintage reclaimed eyewear, though spotted a couple of omni-pierced chicks sporting hideously large and ugly 1980s-era plastic Cheryl Tiegs frames-- the kind I used to sell regularly to women resembling the late Estelle Getty, back in the heady days of my foray into the optical business.

I was accutely aware of the whole life-as-performance-art aspect of what I was seeing at the craft bazaar. It wasn't just kiln-fired ceramic mugs featuring sketches of foxes and penguins on display, it was the vendors and the consumers who were also out for public view. People were there to be seen by other people, and not just seen, but appreciated. People had looks. I don't think I've ever been so keenly aware of peoples' looks as I was yesterday at the craft bazaar. People were regularly being complimented by others for their shoes, their hair, their tats (not tits-- though there were plenty of those on display, too), their hats, their glasses, their babies, their dogs. My wife got a compliment on her coat.

"Is that vintage?" one of the vendors asked her.

"No, actually, it's new," my wife responded.

I suddenly felt weird, as if we were on display, too. I hadn't consciously dressed yesterday morning to be appreciated and fawned over, but I started worrying if, perhaps subconsciously, I had done just that very thing. I was wearing a short-sleeved, button down dress shirt from the early sixties, white with subtle blue and burgundy stripes. A skinny, knit, square-bottomed necktie, brown trousers, and a brand-new, birthday-fresh pair of brown Chuck Taylors-- plus a black fedora, because it was raining.

Was that a "look"? Or was that just... me? Of course, when my wife decided that she had to visit a restroom and that the lav situation at the bazaar was a tad skeevy, we ventured toward a waterfront hotel so she could use the restroom inside the lobby. As we strolled towards the door, a smiling doorman pulled it open for us. His eyes caught mine and he gave me a formal nod and said,

"Man-- I love your look."


  1. I hate commenting on my own blog, especially before anyone else has, but I have to point out that my dear wife corrected me-- which is not unusual, and I listened, which is slightly more unusual.

    It is not, in fact "Arts Star," it is "Art Star". I logged into Blogger to change this, but Blogger would not permit the post to be re-published with the corrections, because, as we know all too well, Blogger sucks a sopping wet donkey tit.


  2. I love your use of the word "succulent." Well done!


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