Sunday, August 10, 2008

electric connections and misdirections (in other words, providence).

today marya was kind enough to poke around this winding city with me, showing me some of her favorite places and looking for stores i might connect with. downtown was pretty difficult; it is sleepy and slow on sundays. so we went over to wickenden and thayer streets, which were much more alive. actually, wickenden was so alive that as we pulled onto it off the freeway we began to notice an increasing number of people sitting on patio furniture facing the road.

"what is this, a parade?"


"then why isn't the street blocked off? why would they let us drive here?"

"welcome to providence."

so we found ourselves face to face with what must have been providence's version of a gay pride parade (which looked very queer, indeed) and diverted onto side streets packed lousy with inept drivers.

when we finally found a parking place a few blocks away, we got out and walked along the parade route to check it out. it was very quiet. we ended up walking into this store we had spotted right before being hit by the parade. it's called the curatorium and is new since my last visit through here almost two years ago. the sense of curation is pretty evident in their eclectic collection of stuff. we chatted with suzi, who works there, like school girls after we discovered that she is a video and performance artist with so many overlapping sensibilities as to make one mad with excitement. the owner was not around, but this is a place i really hope to forge a relationship if possible. you should go there.

after that, we went up thayer street where nothing much happened but i bought knee socks. i also think i saw my first knock-off buttons. i have decided not to name names or go into detail too deeply as i am always willing to give people the benefit of the doubt; it is possible that different people have the same idea a the same time (although in this case, improbable). also, the quality of said buttons was acutely non-threatening. it was actually kind of exciting (not that i am encouraging the world to steal my ideas - please don't) and i am surprised this is my first encounter with thought-theft yet in my three year business.

in the evening, aitor and i had the extreme pleasure of being invited over to deb and alec's place for a homemade dinner. deb is the genius and bookbinding clout behind if'n books and marks while alec is an illustrator, screen printer, sometimes-teacher, ink ape and owner of his own mint. needless to say, their home is a shrine to independent art and design with constant distractions in every nook and cranny. i could hardly hold a train of thought until we settle outside for dinner. deb also makes a breaded and baked tofu that even aitor wanted the recipe for (quite an impressive feat, deb - you clearly outdo me). deb and alec spent the day working on their collaborative project for a show called we = trouble that is being put on in brooklyn by tiny showcase. oh, to be all places at all time. i wish i could go. i also wish i could go to the opening party from craftland, the totally amazing and unique crafty event that deb is involved in running here. really, it's crazy what they do. i've applied for the first time this year. fingers crossed. maybe you should apply, too. you don't even have to be there.

good night providence. you've really spoiled us rotten this time.