Friday, September 1, 2006

A Convergence of the Have-Nots.

Alberta Street. The last Thursday of every month the sidewalks of this corridor are littered with makeshift stands featuring proud displays of the efforts of local artisans. Works of grandeur sparsely shining through the surrounding dark of amateur members of the community trying to capitalize on the newfound gentrification of the surrounding neighborhoods. An evening walk down the crowded passage may find you awestricken by a simple canvass that has been transformed into a unique piece exhibiting a digital photograph of a series of bottles that has been superimposed and layered with an epoxy resin. While inquiring the creator, you may find yourself in a one-sided conversation due to a neighboring booth of teenagers portraying gypsies that has diverted your attention by repetitively yelping until they have drawn a passer’s attention for an inaccurate interpretation of one’s path. Continuing on your struggle to remain in control of what you select to view, you advance towards a series of booths occupied by familiar faces all attempting to sell their auxiliary activities. They ventured out to the festivities early in the afternoon hoping to maximize profits through ideal product placement and a lengthened day; however, most folks that are able to afford items of a higher echelon don’t come at three o’clock, but rather as the sunlight begins to wane. Making the latter purpose one of socializing and gaining comfort more than an entrepreneurial decision. Among these inviting voices you are able to view the entire experience in a microcosm. The most unique idea (selling tasters of homemade Kombucha tea) is pressed by the most social of the bunch to financial avail; the friend who was relaxed by a prior yoga class was offering self-described simple paintings (including a replica of a 1950's Czech matchbook) in social serenity without monetary success; a neighbor who peddles screened t-shirts with drug-referencing jargon (spliffs) to a targeted audience with moderate influx recycled into cases of Pabst’s Blue Ribbon; and, finally, another neighbor with a professional exhibition consisting of an array of articles (apparel, stickers, etc.) displaying his personally developed logo to a consistency of purchasers.

Last Thursday is a delightful convergence of the have-nots. The cliche of the starving artist hoping to connect to one stranger in an effort to sell one overpriced work to cover the payment for one month’s rent. While the stranger is in complete comprehension of the artist’s aspiration and is willing to exchange his white-collared dollar for a pleasant story or compensation for his/her void in artistic talent.

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