Sunday, May 04, 2008

Maker Faire 2008

fashion show
Originally uploaded by emily ca..

I was looking through my photos of this illustrious event and thinking, "If someone saw this, would it confuse them, yet make them want to attend?" This best fits the bill, I'd wager.

Yes, as part of a fashion show, there were people wearing bike tires and rolling around the runway on unicycles. And it wasn't even the weirdest costume (that would be the teddy bear suits).

In its third year, the Maker Faire has attaracted all kinds of media attention and been featured on many a local newscast/front page/radio report. The traffic was backed up onto the offramp from 101 and well down the ramp off Highway 92 onto Delaware St. I mean, stopped dead. The cars that could were pulling out into traffic and swerving around to take another exit. I did the same, knowing there was more than one way into this damn thing, and got off at El Camino Real, parked for a few minutes to orient myself, and eventually made it over to the fairgrounds, where my car and I sat in a long parking line for, oh, probably half an hour. That was the time to get from the turn onto Saratoga St. until I gave someone my $8 highway robbery fee and then had my car waved over to the Choose Your Own Adventure lot, where people were just parking haphazardly and I'm amazed no cars were apparently harmed in the debacle. Oh, and this was at 10:30 (to sometime after 11) in the morning, half hour after it opened. It was a freaking cluster.

Once inside, I met up with my sister and a friend of hers I hadn't met before, Tara, who is a fellow veggie and works for the only manufacturer of non-shitty frozen food, and we began our wanderings. First we took a walk around the food court, where we were plied with delicious, free chocolates. I told them we should buy our lunches now to avoid crowds later, but they were distracted by the allure of soft serve, so I went to investigate a place advertising Vietnamese sandwiches. They did not have the sandwiches yet. I do not know if they ever got the sandwiches, because the second time I tried they still weren't there so I got a veggie burger.

We wandered around all the buildings and areas, sometimes in a group and sometimes not, sometimes stopping to talk to people in booths. I talked to the woman manning The Onion's booth and she told me a bit about how they work. I picked up a copy of Edible San Francisco from their booth and tried to chat with the publisher but he didn't seem interested. The Bay Area Vegetarians caught me eyeballing their booth and called out, "Are you ready to make a change?" and then tried to make me feel like a jerk because I'm not a vegan. And that whole scene is a rant unto itself, but I'm babbling enough already.

I enjoyed a demonstration by this guy on how to make carrot caviar using the science of molecular gastronomy, then another from this lady on how to make your own shampoo from garden clippings. The latter also discussed her series of eco-friendly travel guides for cities less traveled and afterwards let me flip through her brand-new one on Olympia (!). Both the demonstrations were something I now actually want to try at home.

To cap it off, I watched belly dancing, tightrope walking, and fire eating with my sister, then we caught up with her friend's fashion show and watched that. And that is where I took most of my pictures, because it was fun to play photographer, even with a POS.

Kevin is going today with his fellow coder friend from Australia. I am sure they will find completely different adventures. That's the beautiful thing about the Maker Faire -- there's something for every geek.

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