This past Saturday, my wife and I took a trip to the New York Renaissance Fair. Neither of us had really been before, so here’s my account of this epic trip to a pretend past that was actually rather fun.
Oh, and my Kindle fire takes pictures, so I got a couple rather crappy photos of my own after the cut…neither of which features me or my wife.
OK, we arrived around noon and parked in a giant lot that wasn’t really paved or marked. All I knew was it was Lot 3 with about a thousand or so other cars. A short walk took us to the fair grounds. Along the way we passed a “haunted house” attraction billing itself as the Forrest of Fear. The effect was kinda ruined by the standard “Beware of Dog” sign you can get in any hardware store hanging by the door. Ghosts, ghouls, goblins and things will scare you…but really, watch out for the dog.
But, we got our pre-purchased tickets and in we went. It was the masquerade weekend, so I have no idea if there were more or less costumes out than we would see otherwise. I did see a guy in a bumblebee costume…and another dressed as Julius Caesar…I think those two were a little confused.
But what was there, you ask?
Mostly I saw a lot of small shop stands, selling everything from “The King’s Nuts” (actual name), to incense, to very Renaissance-ish Buddha statues.
Really, there was something for everybody.
I mean, I could have gotten some cool (fake) weapons that would probably have come in handy at work at some point.
A man passed us briefly and introduced himself as Will Shakespeare. I got off a quick “To be or not to be,” because I wasn’t expecting my favorite author to walk past me. Dangit.
There was also a procession by the “queen”. I missed her. I was waiting in line for a soft pretzel.
We saw a man proposing to his girlfriend on a love bridge. We passed by quickly, but judging from the huzzahs being shouted afterwards, I’m thinking she said yes.
Shows went off at various points. We almost stayed for a glassblowing, but it was really hot and cramped in there. We might have seen a knife-throwing, archery, and jousting if we could actually find stuff in time.
We did have a lot of fun, but trying to condense our time there into a coherent narrative is not easy. We looked around, saw psychics and jewelry for sale, and even the odd lizard sales (that stall won for best name with “Saint George’s Dragon Orphanage”). There was falconry, and such genuinely Renaissance stuff as hula hooping gypsies, cappuccinos, foot massages, and what looked like a Bloomin’ Onion.
So, I think we’ll try to go back next year and try to actually see some guys knock each other off a horse.