This Sunday morning, June 11th 2006, I walked to the Live Oak Park Fair with my apartmentmate and a friend. It's conveniently close, held in a secluded little-known park approximately halfway between my current place in Berkeley and my previous place in Berkeley. Live Oak Park is a beautiful forested space with two glades and a meandering stream; I took a few pictures that attempt to capture the feel of the place. Incidentally, live oak is a type of oak tree, not an adjective to oak (live versus dead).
I wasn't expecting much in terms of booths or food. But regarding booths, I was pleasantly surprised with the quantity and quality. (I guess it's just that Berkeley is a town that can attract such talent.) Here are some neat things I thought were worth writing down:
- A booth selling paper quilts. Each square from a different source. What a unique idea.
- A photographer in an east asian country -I forget which one- that took great pictures of landscapes and amazing pictures of faces. I've rarely seen such a breadth of high quality portraits even in museums.
- Hand-forged knives.
- A set of artwork that's difficult to classify. They were vaguely impressionistic, but really unique, partially from the appearance given the materials used: pigment on rag paper.
- Wind-vane metal sculptures shaped like fish.
- Homemade wooden one-piece bowls. I'd like to be able to make these.
- A set of surrealistic paintings, including one of a devil vacuuming a room. (The story goes that he is having an affair with the woman and wants to be invited back.) The artist also had some surrealistic photographs, a category of art I had forgotten existed. They were real but included such colors due to lighting and shadows that they looked extremely odd.
- A booth of a very friendly couple selling jams, sauces, and condiments (Terra Verde Farms). They told me a neat story about how they used to grow the fruits themselves, then changed to buying organic produce to spend more of their time on the recipes for creating all their products. They have many more items than their web site lists and are very creative at pairing unusual flavors.
- Asian-style framed mirrors, like millennium-old ones seen in museums.
- Glass plates embedded with a medley of smaller pieces of colored glass.
- Hollowed-out rocks used as pen-holders, soap dispensers, etc.
- Soap shaped and colored to look like sushi. (I previously saw this at the Berkeley Spice of Life Festival but it's odd enough that I thought I'd mention it again.)
- A booth selling slate plaques carved with pithy, thoughtful, or humorous sayings. Talking to the proprietor, I learned about slate and slate mining. Apparently slate is nearly everywhere in this part of California and one can get a slate mining permit for ten dollars. He, however, used Vermont slate because its hardness made for a better product.