Friday, December 9, 2011

A Station Transformation

If you live in Worcester county and are looking for things to do, I suggest you subscribe to the weekly emails from the Worcester Cultural Coalition.  They keep me privy to things going on in Worcester and let me know about discounts available using my Woo Card. Which leads me to another suggestion, get a Woo Card.

This is a woo card
This baby gets you tons of fantastic discounts at places around Worcester: restaurants, shows, gyms, shops, etc.  It's pretty fantastic and highly recommended by me.

Last week the Worcester Cultural Coalition email told me I should stop by stART at the Station, a large craft fair held at Union Station, Worcester's recently renovated train station.  stART at the Station is the winter edition of the fall and spring events, stART the street.  Having never been to any of these events, I wrangled up some friends and we attempted to do some holiday shopping.

Union Station was packed.  The fair started at 11AM and was scheduled until 5PM.  We arrived around noon and you could barely move through the aisles.  Awesome for the vendors, no bueno for customers, but we survived.  There was an extreme variety of goods available, which I appreciate, because I am really sick of going to shows that are comprised of dozens of jewelry vendors and a lady who knits things for infants. Not that I have anything against jewelry, ladies or infants, but I like a lot of options. 

There was no admission fee (w00t) and just for stopping by I got to swipe my Woo Card for double points (double w00t)!  There were refreshments available -bake sale style, with tasty treats that started a day-long sugar high for our small group.  Once you got used to sharing your personal space with other shoppers, it was a pretty awesome event.  Note: I really don't like sharing my personal space in large crowds with strollers and toddlers that roam free, not because I don't like children, but because I get overly nervous about tripping or being accidentally shoved and injuring a small child.  As it stands, I'm not very coordinated or graceful and I can't imagine how horrible I would feel if I toppled onto an unsuspecting stroller. I also can't imagine most parents keeping a cool head about such an accident if their child was hurt. It would get confrontational and awkward, two things I avoid at all costs. So I was a little anxious throughout the afternoon.  On the bright side, I've finally posted about a free, family-friendly event!

I can't list all of the vendors, but some that stood out - by description, not name - were the puppets, the orbs with plants, the tie t-shirts, some fantastic photographers and potters, unique serving trays, vintage ornaments, and of course lots of jewelry.  I stopped at one table that had the coolest set up ever.  This guy had antique luggage, lined with wallpaper (or scrapbook paper) with funky nobs and handles attached for his necklaces to display from.  There are several of these set up and they were completely awesome so I asked, "Excuse me, do you sell the jewelry cases as well?" He looked at me oddly and with a hint of attitude answered "uh, no."  I frowned and said, "Okay, thanks anyway."  He replied, still with the tone of annoyance or arrogance, I can't be sure, "If I had said yes, can I ask what you'd use them for?"  I was a little taken aback, because I thought their use was kind of obvious.  I glanced at the suitcases and my friend who was standing beside him and answered in a cheerful tone, "The same thing you are? I'd hang my necklaces so I don't have to look through drawers or boxes to find what jewelry to where." If he replied to that I don't remember, but it was an odd exchange that left me wondering if I had done something to offend him by asking about his set up.  I mean, I had audibly announced that I liked his jewelry prior to our conversation.  Either way, I'm now trying to figure out if I should make my own wicked awesome jewelry display case.  I'll post pictures if I attempt it.

 At the end of the day we all had a great time and most of us managed to cross a few names off of our gift lists.  I'll definitely be checking out the spring and fall events and I'll let you know how those measure up. For now, good job Worcester with your cool crafts, excellent advertisement and snazzy little cards that give me points!

Until next time,