With gorgeous weather (80s in December? yes please) and no particular reason to hang around at home today, I decided to take the train downtown to the Renegade Craft Fair; just to enjoy the day and the presence of crafters, artists, and their wares.
The fair was near Chinatown, one stop from Olvera Street, birthplace of Los Angeles and the cultural center of the Mexican community here.
There were lots of Mexican families heading in the same direction, the little girls in national dress, and the baby boys wearing bandanas and drawn-on moustaches and beards. Today is the Fiesta de la Virgen de Guadalupe, when the little boys are dressed as Juan Diego, an indigenous Mexican who reported a Marian apparition, Our Lady of Guadalupe, in 1531. I knew I'd have to check out the fun at Olvera St after attending the Fair.
1. Birdenvy 2. Ashkahn 3. Julianne Dodds 4. Michelle Caplan 5. Krank Press.
Over 150 Renegade vendors and plenty of customers occupied tents in the Los Angeles State Historic Park. If I'd found anyone selling a hat, I would have bought one (it was HOT!) but I kept my wallet safely in my handbag, despite being tempted several times (sorry, artists, but my Christmas shopping is DONE!)
After making the rounds, I walked back through Chinatown to Olvera Street, where there was quite a party happening!
There was music, dancing, and long lines to be blessed by the priest, photographed on a burro, or admitted to a restaurant. While I don't generally care for crowds, I find it invigorating to be amongst people from another culture, having fun in ways that are not my own. It makes me feel alive and, perhaps counter-intuitively, connected. The fact that they are celebrating something foreign to me encourages me to open my heart and mind to them, and note our common humanity and joy.
It was, indeed, a lovely day. How was yours?