Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cloudy skies and record cold temperatures couldn't dampen Maxwell Street Days spirits

Maxwell Street Days
I always thought that the sizzling heat and humidity of mid-July were what made Maxwell Street Days tick. I figured that, for the thousands of shoppers wandering State Street in a heat-struck daze, the propensity to shop was directly proportional to their rising core temperature. I thought that being on the verge of heatstroke was what made people see great bargains in the piles of stuff that had gone unsold all year and were now being hawked on the sidewalk.

Apparently not. Friday we had a "record low high," as the weatherpeeps put it on TV. It didn't seem to discourage anyone. And Saturday, when it was a bit warmer but still chilly and cloudy, there were even more people. People seemed to be having a good time -- and, yes, finding lots of bargains.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Vote for the Dane County Farmers' Market (and my photo) at the Huffington Post

Voting for Our Farmers' Market (and My Photo) at the Huffington Post
We didn't take Little Oscar to the Wednesday Farmers' Market, for fear that he would get trod underfoot. Instead, we left him watching a picture of where we were going. It's my photo from a few weeks ago that the Huffington Post used this week in its story about the top ten farmers' markets in the country. They asked readers to vote on their favorite, and when Oscar tuned in, the Dane County Farmers' Market was rated Number One. He voted early and often to try to keep it there. You can cast your vote here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bridging the lagomorph-human gap only goes so far before giving way to the startle response

Startle Response
We went for a walk along Lake Mendota last night and stopped by Allen Centennial Gardens on the UW campus. We came across this curious bunny on the little lawn where weddings are held behind the pergola. He held his ground and did not run right off the way rabbits usually do. Instead, he looked right at us and even hopped a bit closer for a better look. It was as if he wanted to make friends. Until instinct took over. Then he took off in a leaping, elongated blur.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Lura at La Fête de Marquette

Lura at  La Fête de Marquette
Singing the music of Cape Verde at La Fête de Marquette Saturday night. View Large On Black.

Art Fair on the Square

Cubist Art Fair
A single perspective doesn't seem to do justice to what happens when tens of thousands of people meet hundreds of artists and craftspeople on a warm summer weekend. I set the D90 on Multiple Exposure Saturday and let it pursue a more Cubist vision (view large on black.)

Beautiful weather made for great crowds over the weekend (not nearly as hot and humid as mid-July is most years), but according to early reports, the economic weather made for soft sales, and artists are struggling.
"They're struggling. They're having a really hard time this year," said Art Fair on the Square organizer Katie Symansky-Hunter. "In the past they've sold out at certain shows, and haven't been able to make it to other shows. And I've talked to some artists whose income has been cut in half this year."

Organizers said that the Art Fair on the Square has typically been one of their vendors' bright spots of the year.
We won't know till the final sales are tallied if enough visitors opened their wallets to make that true this year.