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Saturday, June 12, 2004

Festivaled Out!

I went to the Middle Eastern Festival. It was fairly small, but became more crowded as I was leaving. The horrific thunderstorms of the morning likely didn't help attendance. When the weather radar picture looks like a child threw his paint set onto the screen, it's not a good sign. I'll have to go back again next year to see if the festival is better when it is more crowded. I have to admit that the food was pretty good, the live band did a good job playing traditional music, and it was interesting to see a Orthodox Christian church. Parts of it felt like pictures I had seen of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. I can also say that I have now consumed wine from Lebanon. What kind of post would this be if I hadn't mentioned alcohol somewhere?

I had never been to the Talbot Street Art Fair, so this seemed as good a year to go as any. Art is a personal taste, some things look nice to you and others don't. I was very pleasantly surprised. I'm not a huge art person, but I found a few pieces that were interesting. I just wish I could have afforded them. I acquired a few interesting pieces. When in doubt put a Shetland Sheepdog on it and I'll notice.

In typical fashion I spent over twice as long exploring the neighborhood as I did actually at the fair. Since people were parked everywhere I figured I wouldn't look out of place exploring. To put this in perspective I did all of Herron-Morton, except for Central Ave. Yep, 6 blocks by 5 blocks in my hiking boots! I was seriously prepared for some mudding today! Some parts are less gentrified than others. Those were the good blocks for me. With some houses for sale and others boarded up I did a lot of window peeking.

There were two houses I'll name the 'jungle houses' because they've been abandoned for years and no one has tried to trim back the plants! The weeds were everywhere and you could barely see the house. I crossed a vacant lot along side it. Where the vines were I assumed a house wall was there; I had a vague idea of the shape of jungle house #1. By the alley were the remains of the carriage house's foundation. The vegetation was thick and you couldn't see more than a few feet through it. Charlie could have come out from nowhere screaming for my Yankee blood. I had that damned little black rifle ready. Err..wait a sec..sorry!! Past life regression of a 'Nam flashback brought on by the scenery. I could see a few tidbits of the house itself. A Queen Anne Victorian that could have potential, if I could napalm the jungle without burning down the house!

Jungle house #2 wasn't quite as bad as #1, but almost! I used another vacant lot to get behind the sucker. Where before was flat concrete I was surrounded by three concrete walls! The garage was sunken into the ground to keep the entry level with the alley. The grade was easily 5 feet above the alley! A sidewall had the remains of an entry door. I could peek through it and go up a few inches of dirt. As I couldn't see anything past the door other than leaves I thought, isn't this were the monster rips the guy's head off in the movies? Luckily no monsters appeared, but I couldn't move more than 2 steps up as some decaying wooden pallets blocked my path up. This house had a brick bottom half with a stucco, timber frame upper half, I think? It was rather hard to tell. Luckily I stuck to sidewalks and alley's most of the time so I didn't have too many cross-country adventures. I'm so glad I wore my boots.

I'm insane to want some of these dilapidated houses, especially the jungle ones. Yet nothing worth doing is easy. Those were huge challenges, yet if they could be pulled off the rewards would be that much sweeter!

*sigh* Who am I kidding, it will likely be 3 years realistically before I can even get a house :-(

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