Monday, October 5, 2009

Applefest 2009

Lunch on the Tracks 5
Originally uploaded by reallyct

[by the way, if you like pictures more than words, click on this one to see my whole flickr set of Applefest]

I am a sucker for a county fair. Ask devoted partner what my eyes look like when we innocently drive down a road and discover that a ferris wheel has been set up and that someone, somewhere, is frying dough. I have no Ur-fair to trace this fascination, I just know that there's something about a fair that makes me feel euphoric. Most of the time, devoted partner will be a mensch about it and pull over so we can take a turn around the fair, maybe get cotton candy or lose a dollar at a game, but every once in a while, I need more than that. Every once in a while I need something like


For 21 years the town of Warwick, NY has hosted Applefest. Let me disabuse you of some things to begin with: while there are plenty of apple-y things around, this is not one of those festivals with booths of people who have turned apples into sculpture, have made dried apple skin sweaters, etc. There are apple for sale, and cider, and pies, but this is more an autumn festival. Which, in no way, makes it rock less.

If you like live music, there was plenty. Each distinct area of the fest had a makeshift bandstand and there were people performing all day long. Some of them sounded good.

Do you like food? Everyone from the remote region was offering his wares. Local restaurants took care of lunch unless, like devoted partner, you chose to support the local firehouse by purchasing one of the cheeseburgers the firemen were grilling up. There was traditional Irish pub fare, bbq, deep fried pierogies, cheesesteaks, burgers and dogs, nachos, well nearly anything you could think of. And that's just the lunch options. Don't forget that there was a farmer's market, an abundance of bake sales, stalls selling pastries, pies, jams, syrups, hot sauce (some of which made me cry), and you would be surprised how LITTLE I ate.

There were woodcrafters, metalcrafters, candlemakers, soapmakers, weavers, not to mention the enterprising local residents along the fair route who chose yesterday to have their garage sales. If they didn't have our number...

Yeah, so Saturday I bought a desk, finally. A painted over mahogany secretary that I set up and had begun using as my desk. Yeah, there was a small problem: putting my monitor on the top shelf caused me to crane my neck; putting it on the secretary level was too low. So when we saw a desk at someone's garage sale for $75, we snapped it up. Now I have two desks reminding me of the raining/pouring thing people occasionally talk about. We also found one of those kinda neat lamps that come attached to a wooden table. Well, devoted partner wasn't sure it was worth $85 in the morning, but in the afternoon, as I intentionally maneuvered him back that way (cause I knew he really liked the thing), it was down to $60 and I told him to just give the man three twenties and be done with it.

This was terrific. We got two pieces of furniture. All we had to do now was pull the car around and pack it up. Start laughing now.

You see, we had taken the shiny red Jetta to the fair with us, not the beat up but storage-friendly Subaru. So we had just purchase a desk with chair and a table with a lamp sticking out the top of it, and we had one tiny car with which to transport it. I am truly truly apologetic that I forgot to take a picture of the final product, be cause I was really proud of us. The seats in the back came down, bunjee cord was given us by a local samaritan. A girl's white desk was wedged as far into the truck as possible, sans drawers, and the trunk bunjeed around it - half of the desk was too tall, in any configuration, to go in the trunk. Then a lamp was disassembled, a base turned on its side and stowed in the backseat, and drawers and lampshades disbursed wherever there was room.

It took less than twenty minutes. We pounded fists and decided it only made sense to now go to Woodbury Commons.

Yes, the outlet stores of evil. It MUST BE NOTED that it was devoted partner who suggested the detour. I hate outlet malls. They are evil. Devoted partner, however, has had great success in the past getting winter coats there, and it's time for a new winter coat.

From the moment we entered the compound, we knew it was a mistake. The line to get out of the mall looked to be 1.5 hours long. So now we were trapped. We had to at least walk around until the traffic abated. We did not get a winter coat. However, between us, in the space of oh 75 minutes, we bought, together, 5 pairs of shoes, 4 pairs of socks, and a pair of Ray-Bans. Fortunately all of these items could be stowed in the few empty spaces left in the back of the car. Unfortunately, we hadn't anticipated buying anything when we left Applefest.

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