Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Steinway Street Fair and Other Oddities

On Sunday, after a very long and unexpected weekend of traveling, I came home to an instant message in which a friend alerted me of a street fair on Steinway. After watching a very disappointing end to the Mets* v. Brave series, I ventured out of “the gardens” to see what a Queens fair was like.
I’ve lived in Queens for almost two years now, and it’s rare I venture out. I think it’s due to my unhealthy need for companionship with my television.
I figure a fair is a nice way to see more neighbors, get out there and be part of the hood.
I choose to wear comfy attire. Which is pretty ragged seeing as I can dress casual to work. When I’m off of work I’m obligated to wear the most bizarre, unacceptable, dirty, cut up stuff I can find.
I choose the new Amercian Appeal tank top and sweatshirt.
Adding to the madness, sunglasses, jeans, and my Birkenstocks
Wearing sunglasses is a new trip for me because I can’t wear contacts anymore because they irritate my allergy eyes, so everyone is and everything is dark and fuzzy and kind of a surprise when I finally recognize what it is.
As I stroll down broadway I hear from behind my giant headphones a comment about my apparel from a crowd walking by and then a response,
“I know that girl”
I immediately spin ready for a fight
Bitch you think you know me?
“Who knows me?”
I turn around and focus, as the girls says
“Yeah, I went to high school with you.”
Not only high school, College too.
Yikes, awkward.
Not only did I know this girl, I liked this girl and I’m looking like a total space cadet.
Well, since she knows me I’m certain she knows that I was just the same as I was in high school and college and was genuine when I gave her my card and told her to call me if she is really going to move into my neighborhood.
Because I don’t really know people in my immediate neighborhood.
Even though I was meeting one at the streetfair.
He calls me when I’m a block a way to say that the fair is lame.
I was already on my way, so I decided to meet up with him after I had decided for myself.
So I continue on my merry way to the fair.
It was all a fair is meant to be, fried food, overly sugared food, overly salted food, smoothies, daquaris, pina colada,
As I make my way through the crowds and tables I see more than one table with sunglasses cheaper than mine,
Which we five dollars on 6 avenue,
The same pair was 2 dollars on Steinway
A little forlorn but still determined to find fun I soldiered on
And suddenly I’m accosted by a tiny yet zealous Asian man rubbing me down, pushing me toward his massage chairs Which, out of the things a person could suddenly be accosted by, is on the rare “good” end,
But none the less I tried to explaining to him that my bag is so heavy that it didn’t justify spending my last ten bucks on a massage when I’d have to continue on my way with it hanging off me.
I should not have held it out for him to feel
After snatching my bag back from the tiny yet zealous Asian man I was all but ready to give up.
But then I saw the half moon ride swing up in the air and I thought, why go back now?
And as luck would have it, I stumbled upon a stand that was selling imperfect American Apparel** tshirts and sweat shirts for $5-2 bucks.

After much rummaging and little purchasing I walked out of the fair with the realization that no matter where you are in America, street fairs and lawn fairs usually are made up of the same fare.

And whenever you’re near one, it’s kind of like going home again in that nostalgia of childhood kind of way.

There was a fair in my home town every Memorial Day that was pretty much the highlight of my pre and pubescent period, that fair holds almost too many memories to retell, but the best part was the sense of freedom it held for me.

It was almost the end of the school year, summer was so class that you really didn’t even care about school anymore and you were outdoors with your friends, your parents were off talking with their friends or looking at some sort of boring floral painting and you were free for hours to eat and buy dumb things and go off on crazy adventures with the wild boys, and meet up at the end satisfied that you did as much stuff that you could get away with, and even though you had to go to school the next day you’d fall asleep to fireworks and the taste of freedom, of soon-to-be summer sweetness. That sweetness would last you would thrive off of as you made your way through the last four weeks of school.

Now that I’m 24, no school, only endless weeks of work and crazy weekends, and possible weeknights of fun, madness, misery and laughter are ahead of me.
I left the fair with a different taste in my mouth:
It was king of like putting ice cream and salt and vinegar chips in your mouth at the same time.
But the rest I got that night was very similar to that of the days of the Memorial Day Fair:
Content and soundly.
I hope the feeling lasts as long.

*In case you are wondering my baseball alliance, I grew up a Met fan. Spent many a summer's day and night in the red seats of the upper upper mez watching the game, and my father annotate it in a score keepers book, for fun. As I grew and the Mets game declined, I found myself cheering for Boston mid/late season, because I hated the Yankees. My hatred for the Yankees also goes back to my Dad. When my mother mistakenly bought me a Yankee hat he ripped it off my head and said if I was ever a Yankee fan I'd be thrown out of the house.
Ah, I do love baseball.

**I’m way into American Apparel lately due to the fact that even though they are expensive, plain, threads, they don’t have the tears of underpaid foreign child workers on them, and call me crazy but I think it makes the colors more vibrant.

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