Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Palm Desert Street Fair

In the upscale desert town of Palm Desert, there is a "Street Fair" every weekend held in the parking lot of the College of the Desert that is simply huge.

You can buy just about anything from the many booths, including hippy-dippy batik images along with the Mexican flag, which is not a bad summary of the Coachella Valley, really.

Thousands of people ambled around the warren of booths...

...looking for everything from "Screaming Farm Animals" to Hebrew National Hot Dogs.

There was lots of bad art among the merchandise, including austere black-and-white photoscapes in which nobody seemed to be interested that were being sold by the grumpy young man above.

Most of the vendors seemed to be having a wonderful time, such as the kid in the sunglasses booth above.

One of the sweetest scenes was an elderly gentleman polishing the shoes of an elderly woman with his Amazing Shoe Cleaner.

People watching was high on the menu for everyone...

...especially with odd characters like the billy goat old man above wandering around.

Our driving hosts for the morning were Lesley, the Tour de Palm Springs lady, who insisted on bargaining for luggage at her favorite booth "run by An Arab"...

...while her husband Warren, the Canadian brake and muffler tycoon, was dragged along.

I only wish San Francisco hosted an event half as charming.


sfwillie said...

"I only wish San Francisco hosted an event half as charming."

You mean, like, with no black people?

Oops! I didn't say that.

sfmike said...

Dear Willie: Though the photo record above doesn't really convey it, the main demographic was people over 65, who were using the shopping as an excuse to amiably walk, mingle, eat and so on, which was the main reason the event was so "charming." The major subgroups seemed to be Jewish and Hispanic.

As for black people, there were probably more in attendance at this Palm Desert event than there would be at a comparable street fair out where you live in the Avenues in San Francisco.

sfwillie said...

There was a Qaanza fest up on 42nd Avenue a couple years ago but no black people showed up. Lots of F*l*n Gong, though.

Come to think of it, there was a black guy who lived down the block for about 5 years in the 1970s.

But you're right. My Catholic grammar school, 1,200 kids, largest parochial school west of Miss River, had not one black kid (in 1962).

Racial homogeniety creates a certain kind of comfort level, at least I felt this in Palm Springs. It's pleasant. It's also dull.

Your street fair beats mine.