Monday, July 29, 2013

Art on the Green/Taste of CdA/ Street Fair 2013

Art on the Green
Taste of Coeur d'Alene
Downtown CdA Street Fair

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, August 2nd, 3rd, and 4th
Hours: Fri, Sat: 10AM to 8:30PM. Sun: 10AM to 6PM

My mother has been a crafter type since before crafting was even cool. Decoupage, macramé, doll making, stained glass, toll painting, you name it. She has been through every trend, and she has been remarkably good at all of them. One year in the early 80's, I remember my mom excitedly filling out the forms needed to enter her work into the Art on the Green selection committee so that she could have a booth at the festival, which was something she had wanted to do since the beginning days of the event in the late 60s.

The phone rang one day and it was one of the committeemen, a man that she had known from outside of the selection committee situation and who wasn't exactly her bff. "Sorry, dear" he said, "this is Art on the Green, not Crap on the Green." Naturally, she was quite upset and to this day she has never stepped foot on the NIC campus during the first weekend of August. Since then, I've also not been terribly thrilled about Art on the Green. Karma bit that committeeman hard (he ended up in a sex scandal a few years later), but the bad taste lingers in my mouth after all these years.

To sum it up, in my little opinion, Art on the Green is rather pretentious and snotty, with high-priced, useless "crap" that only Richie Rich bitches can afford to put on their husband's American Express Platimum cards and have two-day delivered via FedEx to their homes in Santa Monica. Kudos to the artists, apparently the same people year after year, who sit in their little tents selling their wares (and yes, many of them are quite talented) and have to deal with these snobs and also the HOARDS of other obnoxious people (and their wild-ass kids) who could never afford to buy any of their items even if they saved up their plasma donation money for an entire year.

Update: Don Sausser has pointed out in the comments that I failed to mention the "clothesline" element of Art on the Green. It's an area near the entry where one can actually buy reasonably priced art items from various artists and photographers, and is a fabulous way for the Average Joe or Jane to be able to pick up something to take home with them. Thank you Don for pointing this out and calling me on my snottiness :-)

But then there is the food. And the music. Two solid reasons to actually spend an hour finding a parking spot and fighting the maddening crowds trampling the grass on the historic Fort Grounds area. German sausages with sauerkraut! BUTTERY CORN ON THE COB! Huckleberry ice cream! They make a perfect accompaniment to some live music and entertainment which, as usual, runs between new and familiar acts this year. Here is the official line-up:

North Stage Schedule
Friday - August 2
12:00    Art Shop – Children’s Art in Motion
3:15 San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers – Celtic
4:30 Scott Cossu Ensemble – Contemporary Jazz
6:00 Impossible Bird – Folk Singer/Songwriter
7:30 Tuxedo Junction – Swing Big Band

Saturday – August 3
10:00    La Dolce Musica -- Classical
10:45    Coeur d’Alene Symphony -- Classical
12:00    Inland Northwest Dance Assn.
1:30 The Ensemble of the Northwest Music Chorale
3:00 Paul Peress -- Jazz
4:30 Kris Orlowski -- Folk/Pop
6:00 Camille Bloom Trio – Singer/Songwriter
7:30 Milonga -- Salsa

Sunday – August 4
10:00    Doug Porter -- Guitar
11:30    Scott Kirby -- Piano
1:00 Mary Lou & The Dion Family -- Popular
2:30 Gypsy Soul – Pop/Singer/Songwriter
4:00 Coeurimba -- Marimba|
South Stage Schedule
Friday - August 2
11:00 Kids Poetry Reading
12:00 All That Jazz -- Jazz
1:30 Beth Pederson/Bruce Bishop – Folk/Singer/Songwriter
3:00 Paul Grove – Classical Guitar
4:30 John D. & Margery – Retro/Americana
6:00 FUZE – Four 12 Year old Jugglers
 Saturday - August 3
10:00 Christian Youth Theatre
11:30    Brad Keeler Duo -- Jazz
1:00 Kathy Colton & the Reluctants - Folk/Pop
2:30 Impossible Bird – Folk Singer/Songwriter
4:00 Gypsy Soul – Pop/Singer/Songwriter
5:30 Scott Cossu Ensemble – Contemporary/Jazz
Sunday - August 4
10:30    San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers - Celtic
12:00 Canned Music - Pop/Rock/Oldies
1:30 Nicole Lewis - Jazz/Vocal
3:00 Chutzpah - Klemer/Jazz
The Taste of Coeur d'Alene event (sponsored by Idaho Panhandle Kiwanis ) is the same weekend in city park and is like a poor man's Art on the Green for those of us on an actual budget (aka 98.75% of us). The food selection is much larger and there is also live music to be had, although perhaps not quite on the same scale as what's happening on campus. There are crafters and artisans selling their wares at prices many of us could actually afford.

I wandered the festival triad a few years back with a friend who was looking for a handmade wooden chair for her front porch. Some guy at Art on the Green wanted nearly $500 for his, and we found a guy that was selling pretty much the exact same chair for $125. Apparently, three blocks difference equals ridiculous price markups. Anyway, I'm done ranting, but like Smokey Robinson sang, you'd better shop around before you fork over a half-year's salary to buy a tie-dyed tapestry to hang above your couch.

It's hard to make a decision at the Taste of CdA on what kind of food to eat, so you might just want to keep returning all weekend. There's the Big Yellow Mobile Kitchen, Sidewok Teriyaki, Bruchi's cheesesteaks, and over a dozen others I can't recall at the moment. Bring an extra pair of shorts with you, a few sizes bigger. You'll need them after gorging yourself on all the delish deliciousness.

Finally, there's the Downtown CdA street fair, where they shut off all of Sherman Avenue and eleventy zillion people show up to sell everything under the hot August sun and people show up to shop for everything under the hot August sun. I've even seen a few booths selling pipes, bongs, and other pot smoking related accoutrements, although I have no idea if that's even legal in Idaho. Good for the hippies for not giving a rip either way.

The highlight for me, and I hope she appears again this year, is the woman who I've caught performing a few times during the street fair in front of the Sports Cellar at 4th & Sherman. She must be in her seventies by now and she has a fabulous white cloud of hair, a fringed denim jacket from 1987, a Casio keyboard, and a microphone turned ALL the way up. She hits "go" on her synthesizer and yodels out country and adult contemporary hits of long ago, much to everyone's delight and amazed bemusement. She is the Katy Perry of the senior citizen circuit and she is adorable.

If I have a sighting of this delightful creature this year I will be sure to update you all on Facebook, because she is better than all of Art on the Green and should not be missed. 


Don Sausser said...

Orange,always enjoy your reviews. Since I have been volunteering at AOG for 25 years I'm sorry to hear of your mother's bad experience. But I believe that individual is no longer involved. And I think that you are a little over the top critical of merchandise pricing. Sure, there are high end art pieces there but also much lower priced crafty type art is available, i.e., the "clothesline" markets unframed paintings for no more than $35.
AOG started it all many years ago, attracted big crowds, then Tastes of CDD and the street fair capitalized on it. But of the three, only AOG, a non-profit, returns all revenue back to community art projects.

Patrick Jacobs said...

Fair enough, Don - I just enjoy being catty sometimes and I do enjoy Art on the Green overall. The Clothesline market is a great thing I failed to mention, for sure. Mea Culpa.

Randy Myers said...

I see no reason for the stereotyping of people who attend. In my experiience it is all types. Your anti-california bias is not necessary to describing a North Idaho event.

Patrick Jacobs said...

Randy: I grew up part-time in CA and have zero Califonia bias. I could have said "Bellevue, WA' and the sentiment would have been the same. Santa Monica just happened to pop into my head.

barb said...

Wow....I got several paragraphs into your comment before it hit me like a sledgehammer. Your attitude and snarkiness is way's like an anonymous Yelp conversation it would be ok, but to be flippant and nasty here is just not good.