Last Sunday I made my way down to the waterfront in Brooklyn and checked out the Renegade Craft Fair. I was directed there by the friend of a friend. It’s a collection of many vendors selling lots of hand crafted items, clothing, t-shirts, photography, posters. There was cool stuff, and I couldn’t help but think of the Portlandia episode Put a Bird On It.
Many items were created from recycled materials, like guitar straps and camera straps made from car seat belts. They even had a picture of their #1 endorser, Carrie Brownstein of Wild Flag…and of Portlandia fame. So it wasn’t helping define the lines between art imitating life and comedy making fun of it all. I spent many years in Portland. I wasn’t born there but in many ways I consider it home. The Portland Saturday Market is a downtown weekend institution that has been around for years and years, I first went there when I was jr. high aged. Some of the vendors have probably been there that long. The Renegade Craft Fair is more of a new generation of artist/vendors and it comes to the cool cities of San Francisco, L.A., Chicago, Austin, Brooklyn, and London. What! No Portland? Of course many of the vendors were from Portland, including the friend of a friend, Misha Ashton, who does photography: http://www.mishaashton.com/ and had some great pictures of Portland and L.A. among her collection. This really made me miss the West Coast, L.A. being home to my families and many childhood and adult memories from throughout my life. I saw a book seller with journals made from recycled hardcover books. I picked up one book on Nepal and the first thing I saw, it was an old library book from Multnomah County Library system, which is Portland. Just doing a check, different books were from different libraries. These books sold for $13 which seemed like a great money maker for the vendor. Get books from libraries that are no longer being used, take out most of the pages, leave some pages with cool pictures, put blank paper in between and give it a new binding. They were cool journals and if I still wrote on paper, I would have considered a little more, but I didn’t buy anything. I was also on my way to work and didn’t have room to carry anything. If you have a chance and the Renegade Craft Fair comes to your city, check it out. And if you ever go to Portland, check out the Saturday Market.