In the midst of our Saturday errands, Corrin, Anna, and I stumbled into one of the many weekend street festivals that will shut down Broadway this fall. (Literally stumbled: I tripped off of the curb into the street.)
I’ve generally found that unadvertised festivals are a dime a dozen in New York: mostly city-styled carnival food; lots of inexpensive sunglasses, scarves, umbrellas, and jewelry; a couple of florists or nurseries hawking plants; and a few different vendors with the flowing skirts and dresses popular among folk dancers and hippies. When I’ve been lucky, I’ve found some truly wonderful artisans with gorgeous hand-made pieces – leather goods, pottery, hats, musical instruments, paper, and hand-formed jewelry.
Saturday was one of those lucky days. Anna found a stunning, wine-colored, floppy wool hat to make-up her winter gear at the millinery stand. Corrin and I tried on a half-dozen hats each, but didn’t find anything to our particular tastes and sizes – but Anna’s success made up for it. (Anna, if you have a photo of your hat, send it over and I’ll share.)
I did have a success story of my own about 15 feet later. Corrin half-leapt into Paul Aude’s booth of handcrafted leather bags, journals, scrolls, and such, half-dragging me along with her. Handbags are always a lure for me, so when I bumped into the rack of short shoulder bags at the front of the booth, I was happy to explore. The leather Paul uses is beautiful, salvaged from other pieces and beautifully treated with saddle soaps and oils, then cut and fitted to a new item. I couldn’t get enough of touching the pieces, peering into the many, many pockets available, and testing the harness-style buckles and straps.
Then I walked around to the other side of the rack, and found the full-size messenger bag pictured here (sitting on my desk chair). I debated for all of 25 seconds before claiming it — before I’d even asked the price. Five minutes later, Paul had punched a new set of holes in the shoulder strap to fit my height, swiped my card, and packaged up the bag — which is now resting next to me in the office.
Street Festivals: sometimes they’ll surprise me. What rabbit holes did you fall down this weekend?