Last night, upon our return home from wherever we’d been (writing until a local coffee house closed), we spied a short stack of postcards over by the row of mailboxes. “Urban Craft Uprising,” they read, and as they’d caught our collective, proverbial eye, we picked one up. It just so happens that Susanne and I have been on the lookout for alternative presents to give to the little ones in our life, rather than the uninspiring Gap or Toys R Us gift certificate. This was just what we had in mind, so we decided to head over to the Space Needle neighborhood for some craft show attendance.
Truth be told, I was a fan of craft booths and flea markets as a kid, in no small part because I grew up nearish to a ginormous weekend flea market in New Jersey. It was miles better than hanging out at the mall, and while there were the regular booths and buildings that housed everything from authentic World War II pins and uniforms to rows of old records to cheap electronics, jeans, furniture, or whatever else a person wanted to buy. I bought items at the Columbus flea market in 1986 that I own to this day. Something about the space made them permanent fixtures in this universe.
After crawling through traffic on Denny, which is the clogged artery of Seattle’s roadway system, we lucked out on an affordable parking spot, then hiked it a couple of blocks to the exhibition hall. Vegan purses and wallets grabbed our attention first, and then we snaked around the booths, fingering the felt dolls, wool caps that are omnipresent here in the Emerald City, and picking through homemade holiday cards, many of which were really fun and unorthodox.
The hall was packed, as if the only thing that would keep the denizens of Seattle from certain death in the next 12 hours were purchases from this show. I was smart to wear my t-shirt from Etsy and my black hoodie, or I would have stuck out like a sore thumb, or worse, a preppy. After attending the event today (it continues tomorrow), I have a few observations about Seattle’s brand of crafts, and the people who make them:
- When dyeing one’s hair, pink is the top color, followed by a distant second place of purple. Green is in the mix, but in 30 years of me noticing green hair, it still seems like someone just overmarinated in chlorine.
- Stuffed monster dolls are all the rage right now.
- More often than not, stuffed monster dolls are overpriced.
- Cupcakes and monsters have been secretly reproducing together for a while now. The offspring are hilarious, but maybe not so tasty.
- Punk t-shirts never come in 2XL.
- Nobody sees the need for a knit scarf anymore. Clearly, scarves are so last millennium.
Craft shows like this are precisely why I like living in a mid-sized city. In Walla Walla, food and wine events are cut off with high ticket prices ($40 and up). UCU, on the other hand, had a couple of pink-haired ladies at the door with a felt-infused box that read: Suggested Donation $1. We gladly put our greenbacks in the box, and Susanne went home with a vegan-approved purse.
I am going to miss you, Seattle. Let’s have some fun this last month, okay?