Saturday and Sunday brought the return of the Wells Street Art Festival and the Old Town Art Fair-my absolute favorite weekend of the year. Because I live in Old Town, I consider these my festivals-essentially, a block party in my front yard for about 70,000 people. And since the Wells Street fest and I are the same age, I feel especially connected to it; I’ve only been going for the past 10 years, but we’ve both been around for the last 33. I spent all of last week preparing for fest-goer drop-ins (cleaning house, doing laundry, grocery shopping, and having the rest of my furniture delivered, including my new, beautiful, 50-inch TV-sigh). And that was only the beginning. Here’s what the weekend entailed:
Saturday, June 9
11 a.m.: Wake up later than planned, thanks to Mr. Popular’s annual pre-OTAF (Old Town Art Fair) birthday party Friday night at Citizen Bar for 225 of his closest friends (only 125 were invited guests). Open bar equals major hangover.
11:30 a.m.: Mix emergency pitcher of vodka lemonade, in case nearby bars Burton Place (1447 N. Wells St.) or Fireplace Inn runs out. You never can be too prepared.
12:30 p.m.: Have girlfriends over to start drinking. Back-up vodka lemonade supply exhausted.
1 p.m.: Head down to Burton Place to meet up with friends. The Marrieds arrived at 10:30 a.m. to lay claim to tables outside. They have kids, so they’re used to getting up early.
1-4 p.m.: Nurse a couple of $12 tall vodka lemonades from Burton Place; ponder how much alcohol actually goes into these things. Soak up the sun; dodge exes; mingle with the party posse. Repeatedly find myself staring into the cloudless blue sky and asking no one in particular, “Is this not the most perfect day, or what?”
4-5 p.m.: Bring The Boys over to see my new place (a.k.a. bathroom breaks). Make back-up back-up vodka lemonade.
5-6 p.m.: Head back to Burton, where cops are shutting down the outdoor seating since guests were carrying drinks in and out of the bar (a street fest no-no). Reroute to Kamehachi, where The Girls are having dinner. First meal of the day.
7-9 p.m.: Sushi and sake. More sake.
9-10:30 p.m.: Shut down the fests. Buy gyros at a street stand; have had way better, but this is a ritual. Barely standing, head home to call it a night.
Sunday, June 10
10 a.m.-noon: Sleep in; hit the pool.
1 p.m.: Meet a friend at the Wells Street fest; actually look at the art this time.
2-3 p.m.: Mom joins us to walk around the Old Town Art Fair, which has way more art, way fewer drunk people.
3-4 p.m.: Back to the Wells Street fest, where I buy my first piece of art, a graffiti photograph on canvas by Philadelphia-based graphic artist/photographer Bruce Reinfeld.
4-6:30 p.m.: Nap time.
7 p.m.: Awakened by a call from two of The Boys, who are back at the fests, trolling for girls. Sunday is a surprise hit, they say, and they’re coming to kidnap me. “This is your festival; it only happens once a year,” one Boy tells me. I’m sold.
7:30-9 p.m.: Check out a mediocre cover band in the O’Brien’s parking lot. Mingle a bit; watch The Boys in action.
9-11 p.m.: Land at Fireplace Inn, where the outside seating has been caged off to prevent people from passing drinks in and out. I’m about ready to be caged myself, but The Boys won’t hear it, so I pretend to drink the Bud Lights they keep buying me.
11:30 p.m.: Home. Someone tell everybody to leave already. This Last Girl Standing is ready to relinquish her title (for one night, anyway). And I’ve run out of vodka lemonade.