Renaissance Pleasure Faire so if you're going, read this later. Mornings are best. Afternoons get crowded. Though I admit, the crowds can be the best part.
I went again yesterday. You could say I like it a lot, and I'm just beginning to understand it. Many of the performers, if not most of them, are not paid. They rely on tips and the passing of the hat. They dress up and go out to Irwindale every weekend to participate in the atmosphere--to live in it--because they love to immerse themselves in another culture. It's not really the culture of the Renaissance. It's something else entirely.
What I wanted to do this time was experience it on my own terms, at my own pace. Sometimes when I'm with others, I know I'm holding them up so I don't take my time with the camera. I don't try different angles or settings, I don't watch for the right moment or search for the light or wait for the most interesting person to walk through a shot.
So yesterday I took my camera to the Faire, and no one else. The two of us had a wonderful time. There is an awful lot of smiling going on there.
As a younger woman I was much too self-conscious to do such a thing by myself, and even now I rarely get to spend a day wandering alone and taking photos. But I turned out to be pretty good company, and although I wasn't much of a conversationalist I had a wonderful time.
That and much, much dust up my nose.