Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hempfest in Seattle

I just spent the last week in Seattle, Washington. The first weekend of which I spent at Hempfest, an amazingly huge festival of music, art and products for the purpose of marijuana anti-prohibition, and pro-legalization. I would have to say at least 30 to 40 thousand people attended throughout the day and witnessed the 3 stages of great, live bands, and the many booth vendors along the Seattle beach a few blocks down from Pike's Market.

To get to Seattle, my friends and I caught a ride using Craig's List ride-share category. We arrived at 2am and caught up with some friends who were dancing at a club party in Pioneer Square. Yes, both Seattle and Portland have a Pioneer Square, but they are quite different places to visit. We followed our friends directions, but alas we couldn't tell if anyone was home, so after crashing on the sidewalk in front of a "friend of a friend's" place, with a mild hangover the lot of us made our way to the festival.

Synchronistically, at the festival, I ran into several rainbow brothers and sisters whom I worked with at Milliways Kitchen during the Rainbow National, one of which let me stay in her backyard. Expecting to only stay for the weekend of the festival I missed my rideshare back to Portland and ended up staying an entire week. Luckily my friend Paul was there on business and let me stay in his hotel room. I'm lucky because Seattle is not as comfortable of a place to do urban camping as Portland. There aren't convenient parks to camp in, and even if there were the police don't seem as friendly about the idea.

One very cool place to go if you're ever in Seattle is Ballard. If there is anywhere I would try to urban camp in Seattle it would be the Ballard district, although I never did have to urban camp in Ballard as I met many people who were willing to let me stay at their place on their couch. You can meet lots of cool people at the Bergen Triangle Plaza at the center of Ballard, or at Mr. Spot's Chai House right next to the Triangle.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Selling jewelry in Portland

I've been doing very well selling my necklaces, bracelets, anklets, earrings, etc. at the many fairs, festivals and markets available throughout the city. Every Saturday and Sunday is "Saturday Market", situated at the Skidmore Fountain MAX stop. This market is huge, with over a hundred painters, sculptors, buskers, from all over the world. Although it is an official city art market, it has a real renegade, "gypsy" feel.

However, on the last Thursday of every month, on Alberta Street (that's on the East side of the river), there is a great and wonderful thing, simply called "Last Thursday". This is truly where the renegade, "blanket" vendors and gypsies go to set up all along Alberta Street's sidewalks and nearly three to five thousand people flow through the streets to peruse and make purchases. There is also "First Thrusday" which is a gallery crawl throughout downtown, but it doesn't lend nearly as much attraction as Last Thursday.

There are also four (count them, four!) Farmer's Markets throughout the week in various places downtown, the two most prominent being in the South Park Blocks and PSU campus.

Not to mention the nearly weekly waterfront festivals two of which were the Oregon's Brewers Festival and A Bite of Oregon.

With so much going on there are plenty of places to set up and sell "on the sidelines". And if all else fails, there are a few spots near Pioneer Square where you can throw down a blanket on "off" days.