The Tapestry of Arts Festival

On Saturday morning, Peter took us all to see the Tapestry of Arts festival which had appeared overnight on the streets of downtown San Jose. The last time we went to see it was 11 years ago when I was pregnant with Neil, and I remember it being big, but also awfully hot. In short, it’s like a slightly larger version of the North Beach Fair. It closes down some streets near the center of town, features many original artisans, lots of food booths, and performance stages at the end of each lane of booths. Unlike the North Beach Fair, it doesn’t have a “beer garden” park with a headline performer; on the other hand, there were several booths set aside with free craft projects for children, and information on local theatre groups including two just steps away from Peter’s office, and conveniently putting on a modern adaptation of a Greek play this fall (as Neil studies ancient Greece) and an intriguing radio play style performance of Hamlet next spring. Furthermore, Parkside Hall housed booths that couldn’t be outdoors overnight during the show, so it was a smaller version of the “weird inventions” exhibit halls at the Sacramento Street Fair.

Since we went there early, it was still fairly quiet: the more well-known performers were scheduled to come on in the early evening. Peter was most impressed by the huge horse that had appeared in front of The Tech overnight, but I told him it was probably just a coincedence.

The horse is actually to promote the upcoming Leonardo da Vinci exhibit from Italy. A few booths were particularly notable. One artist had created a new type of kaleidoscope with mirrors: you could insert an (interchageble) pretty timeglass type device to create the dazzling kaledoscopic display, or just aim it at your surroundings to turn them into a kaledoscopic vision. It was definitely cool art.

The Rosicrucians were there, and we all had a good laugh when I told them Neil had come to me, having read that they were a secret society–and wasn’t it amazing they were in our town? The Rosicrucians are, like, the most non-secret secret society there is. I think they have the rep because they study “secrets”–like ancient mysteries and metaphysical wonders, and try to connect them all together. But if you want to join them, all you have to do is fill out a simple form and pay your dues, which include the loan for their “secret” materials. Once in a while (well, last year at least), they open their roundtable discussions to visitors, and Rosicrucian Park in San Jose, which includes their Egyptian Museum, is a popular tourist destination. Since Neil had just finished learning about ancient Egypt, the Egyptian Museum was a planned field trip for us anyway, and he recreated his name in hieroglypics at a special Egyptian Museum table the Rosicrucians had set up.

Peter is still heart-broken that his favorite artisan which created science fiction movie figurines with nuts and bolts moved to Taiwan, even though copy cat artisans have popped up. At the Tapestry of Arts festival, he found an artisan who made just such things, including a Wall-E, but it wasn’t of the same quality that Peter had been used to.

And yes, it was hot, as it always is in San Jose around Labor Day. So after Kelly had picked up the requistive amount of swag including art she’d made, necklaces, and candy, we stopped back into the office and then went home.

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