T-minus 2 Days and Counting

The Ann Arbor art fair is a 44 year-old tradition that takes place on the downtown streets of Ann Arbor. This year approximately 1,185 juried artists will participate in the fair which consists of four separate art fairs, all with coinciding times and within a close proximity to one another.

The Michigan Daily

It’s the calm before the storm, folks. Every year in the third week of July, Ann Arbor hosts the ANN ARBOR AREA STREET ART FAIRS (and if I could code in reverb you bet your booties that title would be reverbing its little title heart out) which basically draw in oodles of artists and a bazillion out of towners, shuts the heart of the city down from Wednesday through Saturday (20+ blocks of art, peoples!) and makes navigating in this already hellishly car-unfriendly town downright murderous. On the plus side, the days before the onslaught are an interesting mix of frantic and foreboding. I like it!

Take this morning, for example. I walked to the Union for a cup of Joe to start my day and I noticed the road block signs lurking off to the sides all ready to jump out to their designated places on Tuesday night. The Union grounds are being prepped for Food Fest ’03 which includes a bunch of grass killing flat panels for the food vendors to plop shop on and port a stairs so that people can get up and across the Union steps without having to go all the way around to the front. They might start spray painting the booth boundaries on the roads later tonight or most likely early tomorrow. I might take a walk down S.U. and see if they have the booth skeletons piled conveniently around for tomorrow night’s set up. So far though, there are only small hints of the rush to come.

Tomorrow I expect the food stalls at the Union will start to go up so that by Wednesday there will be 20 different places to get eats. The meters will all get orange jacketed by tomorrow afternoon so that in the evening they can start towing cars. Streets will be officially blocked off tomorrow after the work day and the booth building will commence in earnest. Later that evening the artists will start to come out of the wood work and booth assembly and ware display will hit a fevered pitch. I love these times because I can see what’s going on without the mass of humanity getting in my way. I should go to the dojo tomorrow just so I can see how the rest of the city is assembling. Wait, who teaches Tuesday s? Hmmmm.

Anyway, by early Wednesday morning the booths will all be up and the displays out while the throng of humanity should be conspicuously absent, at least for a short while (for I get to work at least an hour before Art Fair opens! WhoooYAW!). Yeah, I like that time too because I get a preview of my small part of the fair while on the way in (TheMan drops me off several blocks from the LS on Art Fair days…he kinda has to. Either that or roll over a couple dozen booths. Now, if the 3 foot ceramic Veggies guy happens to be one of the booths that can’t be such a horrible thing can it?). Then the people come and hell officially arrives. Oh and the temperature goes up 10 degrees (guaranteed) and it rains something fierce on at least one of the days (also guaranteed) but then clears up until it’s hot and muggy and full of people. Ugh. Plus, the more people you get in one area the stupider they seem to be as a mass and there is one huge mass of people who attend Art Fair. I can only take about an hour of Art Fair before I start wishing for a machete to clear a path. I’m that way with Christmas shopping too.

On the other hand, since the Union and the extravaganza of food is but a five minute walk (from my desk to a food line) I get to have really boss lunches on Art Fair days. It’s all expensive but it only comes around once a year so I figure why not eh? Gyros, bbq pork sammiches, stuff in a bun, cheese taters, soup in a bread bowl, iced drink things, the list goes on. Tasty. The double bonus is that for whatever reason people don’t seem to want to come into the Law Quad so I can scurry out, get eats and scurry back to the Quad and eat in silence without having to worry about sitting on one of the bazillion of other people who want a grassy place to enjoy their lunch. Hee. And I aint telling them that there is a whole grassy knoll 50 paces from the food-a-palooza either. I figure whatever good healthy dose of intimidation that the Quad seems to produce in the average Fair goer just enhances my lunch experience. Go Quad!

More later, I gotta see a man about a check list. *sigh*

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