Tuesday, June 5, 2012

First Friday Flea

Like most cute towns on the East Coast, West Chester "celebrates" the first Friday of every month.  Stores stay open longer and restaurants make you wait extra long for tables.  It's a big deal. This year, West Chester is using a portion of big parking garage for a First Friday Flea Market. I missed it last month, so I made a conscious effort not to forget it this past week.

It was pretty cool.  There were only a handful of vendors, but some of them had interesting stuff.

Globes are cool because they're turquoise. But, I have no room for globes.  Does everyone know my globe story? I tell this story every semester when we read a (really pathetically tiny) portion of The Communist Manifesto:

Me: "When were you people born?"


Me: "Seriously ... anybody here born in the 80s?"

[In recent years, hands have finally failed to go up in response to this question.]

Me: "None of you were here in the 80s?"
Random Guy in the back: "Ninety-one."
Random Girl up front: "Ninety-two."
Me: "Wow, seriously?"

[In reality, I'm relieved because I finally have a solid decade between me and my students. When I started teaching, I was 24.  Who let's a 24 year old teach a college class? I don't know.]

Me: "Ok, so when some of you were barely celebrating your first Christmas, I was several Christmases ahead of you. In 1991, 'Santa' gave me a globe for Christmas. It was so cool: You could plug it in and it would light up. It had this--I don't know what you call it ... eye-piece?--it had this eye-piece that you could place on different countries and you could see pictures of that country."

Random kid in the far corner: "I think my brother had one of those."

Me: "Yeah? You've seen one?"

RK in the FC: "I don't know."

Me: "Well, when I opened the globe on Christmas day it was already obsolete.  Basically, the USSR collapsed that day and the globe was officially incorrect.  Nearly an entire hemisphere was labelled totally wrong.  Russia and the other satellite countries were missing from the globe and my mom was basically like, 'Sorry kid, but this globe is wrong: Do you understand why?' and my mom had to give me this whole lesson on the Bolsheviks and the Iron Curtain, etc etc etc. So the only globe I had growing up was technically junk the day I opened it. But, I still had it for years."

[I hear somebody mutter, "Wait: are Russia and the USSR the same thing?" I ignore this question and pretend I don't hear it because it's too embarrassing to fathom answering it in a college classroom.]

Random Girl in the Front: "Does this have something to do with Anastasia?"

Me: "Sort of, but we don't have time to go there ... I can give you some stuff to read if you're interested in the Romanovs."

RG in the F: "That's ok--I don't actually care."

Random Guy in the Back: "Is this because of the Guy with the Birthmark?"

Me: "I'm sorry?"

RG in the B: "The Guy with the Birthmark."

Me: "The Guy with the ... uh, do you mean Mikhail Gorbachev?"

RG in the B: "Who?"

Me: "You mean Mikhail Gorbachev?"

RG in the B: "Who's that?"

Me: "He's the Guy with the ... nevermind."

I really liked how the stuff on this particular table could be used to decorate a little boy's room. The suitcases could serve as storage, the antlers are sorta cool, the paint-by-number in the bottom left corner is neat, and there's something about the bowling pin I like too ... although if I ever had boys, I could imagine them beating each other with it.  So maybe no bowling pin.  The black and white scout photo is cool too.

I spent a lot time going through the old photos. Somebody said to me, "Aren't they great?" I said, "They always make me sad."  She goes, "WHY?" super-incredulously.  "It's life!"  I replied, "Yeah ... but they're all gone now."  She immediately turned and talked to somebody else.

I guess somebody needs to come to grips with her mortality. (Not me.)

One vendor had buckets of broken china so that you could buy pieces for DIY mosaics.

This cute vintage store--which just relocated to an awesome storefront--had two really great dresses in its window.  The glare was really bad so a decent shot was impossible.

This second one is my favorite: Blue lace, long-sleeve, boat-neck mini dress.  Love love love.

In the super-irritating news department, Head Nut is closing up shop and moving to the Reading Terminal Market a thousand miles away. I mentioned Head Nut here in this other post.

We stocked up on steel cut oats, raw almonds and walnuts, and quinoa.  So annoying.  I really wanted this place to stick around.  Oh, but wait: They don't serve cheap beer at 1am, so I guess they're not a good fit for this town?

You know West Chester, I love you because I have to: I live here. But I'm so damn sick and tired of every store that is NOT a scummy undergrad bar failing and everything else (ie, the scummy undergrad bars) making it.  "Family town?" [snort] "Family town" my you-know-what.

In the happy good news department, I own a fig tree!

I've wanted one of these since I returned from my honeymoon in California, but they're pretty expensive.  I asked two people to start one for me and hoped that maybe I would get one.  This one was started for me by Ron's uncle last fall, and it's already up to my shoulder. I somehow have to transplant this: I'll keep it on the deck until the fall and then move it back in for winter. I really don't want to plant it outside since I don't own any of the postage stamp that my house rests on.  Apparently, the cutting for my tree comes from a tree brought over from Italy.  I'm pretty excited about it. I'm not sure how many years it will be before I can count on it for fruit.  Maybe sooner rather than later?

Next up, Steph's baby blanket.

Anybody see Mad Men the other night? Probably the saddest episode since Don ditched Betty and the kids on Thanksgiving with Amy Winehouse's "Love is a Losing Game" playing out the final scene.

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