Hamid and I started the day off at the Farmers' Market, a three-minute walk from Prof. Hemley's house. It's at a covered carpark, and it's bustling with people. The stall-owners were practically selling their things right out of their vans. Potted plants, vegetables and fruits, coffee, chocolate fudge, tarts, croissants - but my favourite stalls were those selling wooden bird-houses. Didn't get any pictures of those, though.
Right beside the market there was a live performer with a guitar and an audience in chairs on the grass; kids painting at a table; other kids bubble-blowing and chalk-drawing on the sidewalk and just running around. (Sorry, this is a terrible photo. How about a badly-taken video?)
We checked out more market stalls, and it sort of blended into the arts festival - guitarist faded out, symphonic band faded in. People were just chilling; the art festival booths were all around. And excluding the farmers' market performer, there were three performance stages for the art festival, all really close to one another, and someone was always making music. And there were public pianos!
|This was the stage last night, at 10.30pm. Pretty amazing, especially after I went walking around downtown Chicago at 9.30pm and there was just, like, barely anything going on at all.|
We walked around for a couple of hours, and there was just so much to see - from sidewalk prose and other literature stuff to the amazing art festival booth displays.
And I mean amazing. These are some of 'em - there were also some beautiful paintings, man.
|Photo taken from http://steelwoolstudio.com/don-esser-stainless-garden-sculpture.htm - this is made of twisted cutlery!|
|Photo taken from http://www.facebook.com/pages/MetalScapes-by-SW-Huffman - scrap metal masterpieces!|
|Photo taken from http://dreamchimes.com - these are windchimes made with cutlery!|
Stepped into Prairie Lights, a wonderful three-storey bookstore, and found a few tiny lovely reads, like this lovely Tiny Book of Tiny Stories (incidentally by Joseph Gordon-Levitt XD):
|(photo credits for this and the above quote: Amazon)|
|(Photo credits: iTunes Store)|
and the Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain in 1942 when they were going there to help out with the war:
Okay, since it's 2.30am I don't have to talk about the morning alone, do I. Hamid and I then went to Chipotle for lunch, and then it started raining so we went home, and while he fought off jet lag I happily took a nap (which is why I'm only blogging this now) and the rain was still going on at dinnertime so we had a lovely home-cooked meal by Prof. Hemley's wife, Margie. Their daughters are beautiful through and through. The older one, Shoshie, will be bringing us around tomorrow!
At dinnertime, the younger one, Naomi, handed me the aluminium foil wrapper that covered the lasagna and said "Can you make this into a swan?". I was very pleasantly taken aback, and I thought, wow, would a kid in Singapore have even thought of doing something with the foil wrapper? I wouldn't have. (Shoshie: "I mean, she has the creativity of a person her age.") Naomi proceeded to play with the swan for a couple of hours. I mean, it was a piece of aluminium.
I love this place.