Artscape: Free food tastes better.

Baltimore held its annual Artscape festival this weekend.  The fun included a flying rhino, men loitering in tutu’s, women in roller skates on the flying trapeze, a mechanical chicken, crocheted portable toilets, art cars, oversized portions of extremely unhealthy food choices, a giant banana car, the Weinermobile, and even an opportunity to scribble a little graffiti (can you guess which is mine?) .

My daughter picked up a poster for her study area.  Her mother approves of the lyrical message.

SmartFood gave out free bags of chips and popcorn. When we got to the table, they were temporarily out of stock. The angry / hungry crowd swelled, but we waited. . . because her sweetheart says free food tastes better.

Tensions grew in the sweltering, popcornless heat. Eventually boxes were delivered. But it was a harrowing five-minute wait that I shall never forget. Until Thursday. I am sure he appreciates the sacrifice we didn’t actually make in the potential Snack Riot of 2012 to get him some free chips and popcorn, because that’s the way he is.

One of my favorite parts is the festival-goers themselves. Undeniably one of the best people-watching events of the season.

If some pictures appear small, click your refresh button and they should appear in full size. I don’t know why that is. Mercury is retrograde.

Ojo de Dios!

It takes a tough man to ride a mechanical chicken.

When rhinos fly. . . .

“I got no words.” — The man standing beside me when I took this shot.

Nice bag!

A marriage of marketing icons. (The “Natty Boh” (National Bohemian beer) guy and the Utz (potato chip) girl).

This car burns incense (except in Oregon and New Jersey).

Words of wisdom (lots of them).

Extreme hood ornaments.

Ants were a big theme. I do not know why.

“What’s up?” (One of his alleged phrases)

Groovy idea.

“That looks like the (stuff)!” — Woman who asked about the cheesy bacon chips.

One quasi-hippie + one magic marker = one bad pun.

My graffitti close up.

The crowd admires my graffiti.

Him again?

Air guitar

$1 to see the giant man-eating chicken. Or is that giant man eating chicken? I didn’t spend the $1 to find out.

For Sarge and Lorna, but mostly Sarge.

. . . and you thought that last picture was “awwwww” . . .

Motivational advice for law school.

Hot dogs.

Even more impressive in person. Fabric art by Jamie Langhoff —

It’s not over ’til you’ve seen the roller-skating trapeze act.

38 thoughts on “Artscape: Free food tastes better.

  1. The images made of fabric and sewn on a “vintage” 1968 sewing machine are pretty neat, even if the sign insults everyone born after the Carter administration. If you see the artist, tell him or her to get off my lawn!


  2. Really neat! It looks like Baltimore’s answer to Burning Man. Well, sort of. Loosely speaking.

    I like the big Eye of God on the huge popsicle sticks and the “Ebb and Flow” signs.

    And that car with the ants? I have my suspicions. There are Italians in Baltimore, right? Well, I happen to have an Italian friend, who’s from the town of Librizzi. People of Librizzi are known as “Red Ants”, and they got that name defending a tower in the city. That’s a red ant and a tower on that car, right?

    Here’s a short little excerpt from my friend’s history of Librizzi.

    The historian Rocco Pirri says that the son of Bartolomeo Aragona, Giovanni III d’Aragona, as his father’s inheritor, founded the area around the tower of Librizzi. He calls the area Terram delli Brizzi. However the author of “Librizzi”, Antonino D’Amico thinks that the area was a town before 1392, there is documentation to support D’Amico’s conclusions. In 1413 together with the Torre, Librizzi was transferred from the baron of San Pietro Berengario de Orioles to Ljanora de Centelles; in 1414 Ljanora returned Librizzi to the Bishops of Patti.

    By the time that the town was returned to the Bishops of Patti, the inhabitants of Librizzi had organized themselves in civitas and major conflicts with the Dioceses of Patti arose. The Bishop was claiming so many rights and demanding so many balzelli, “iniquitous taxes”, that the Librizzesi put up a ferocious fight against these taxes.

    It was at this time that the Librizzesi earned the reputation as the “furmiculi russi”, The Red Ants, an appellation that has survived to this day. The Bishops retaliated against the tenacious opposition of the Librizzesi by obtaining the help of Pope Pius V who in 1567 and again in 1571 excommunicated the whole town! The Librizzesi did not cave in, not even after the second excommunication.

    When I saw the Red Ants, I chuckled. When I noticed the tower, I was convinced. The Librizzesi were in the Art Car Parade!


  3. Great pictures! Are you sure you’re not really a hippie? Because this does seem like a real hippie sort of event…not that there’s anything wrong with that.


    • If I could get paid to sit around telling stories to teenagers and making Ojos de Dios all day, I’d do it. I think that says something.

      However, I don’t see myself under any conditions — except threat of extreme poverty or exposure to a Kardashian marathon — that would make me wear a tutu in public.


  4. Artscape looks like a great place for people- and stuff-watching! It’s a good thing you got a shot of Tutu-Man — who’d have believed that without proof?? And the mechanical chicken? Must have been some beer in there somewhere. Or perhaps a dare? Katybee’s heading to law school? Splendid! Best of luck to her!! You must be sooooo proud!


    • Truth be told, the man riding the chicken seemed to be doing it as a very supportive significant other for the woman he was with. Yay, you, Chicken Riding Man. Yay, you!

      Me? Proud of Katybee? You don’t even want to get me started. That kid! :-)


  5. What fun! Baltimore really knows how to do a festival! Looked like a very nice crowd of people, too. That tutu idea is perfect for a hot day – it allows for maximum air flow.


    • I’m relieved that the dogs don’t look familiar. They were sweet, but we didn’t have a good feeling about what their story might be.

      If you tell me that the crocheted port-a-potties and the mechanical chicken show up in a future episode, I’m subscribing!


    • Somehow the rhino and some pretty dragonfly jewelry got dropped from the original post. I found the rhino, but I suspect the dragonflies are still on my desktop and I just can’t be bothered to climb all the way to the loft to use the computer. Next year!


    • I missed out on being the kid who would put her finger in the electric socket. It’s time to make up for that. . . apparently. Not-so-confidential to the real Debbie — it’s all Peg’s fault…well, Peg and Jules. I wanted something like Desdemona or Gwyneth.


  6. Debbie!!!


    Oh. Lordy lordy lordy. This comment box is NOT big enough for what I gotz to say today! First of all, I kind of want to talk to the dude in the tutu. I have so many questions for him, like, “Don’t you want to eat those bacon loaded chips? And aren’t you worried about getting crumbs on your bare chest? AND your tutu?”

    The fabric ‘paintings’ are unreal, and I appreciated your OR/NJ throwback to B Man’s post there… ;)


  7. Looks like a fun day! The art cars were fascinating. Tutu man was disturbing, however, I thought weird print spandex unitard girl next to him was equally strange.


    • There was an extraordinarily beautiful woman in a flesh-colored animal print unitard that matched her skin-tone eactly and she had the same animal spots henna’ed on the exposed parts of her body and her face painted like a cat. She was clearly there to be seen, but at the moment I saw her she was sitting on the curb having a snack with with some children and it seemed like an intrusion of her privacy to take her picture at that particular moment. She was fascinating.



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