Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Ninth Avenue Food Festival 2008!

May 17-18, 2008 - yum!

"Ninth Avenue Yum"
Oil on canvas
24 x30 inches

Well, it's coming up soon - my FAVORITE street fair. This year will mark the 30th year that I've attended the Ninth Avenue Food Festival, strolling up and down the avenue from 37th to 57th Street, stopping occasionally to eat, but really there to take photos for painting ideas, people-watch and to check out how the neighborhood had changed from the previous year. In 1978, my first year attending the festival, there was music and dancing in the streets, wonderful smells from the various foods for sale, people in their windows and fire escapes checking out the action below. Ninth Avenue is a nice wide street with plenty of room to wander from one side of the street to the other.

I've done many, many paintings over the years inspired by the festival and today I'm sharing a new painting that is based on a photo I took at last years fair. The reflections in the window of a housewares store capture the crowds, the tents, the colors and the action happening out there in the street. There has been a lot of gentrification over the years on Ninth Avenue and with street fairs in general. I remember seeing all kinds of stuff for sale back then, not the usual socks and sunglasses one sees at fairs these days. Banners on fire escapes with slogans of "We Won't Go" were up a few years ago and now one sees new buildings interespersed with the older structures. This neighborhood, like most of the neigborhoods in New York these days are getting facelifts and in some areas the change is more dramatic than in others. But, a lot of the charm and grittiness and character of Ninth Avenue are still to be found. Here's hoping for nice weather for this years festival!

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