Renegade Craft Fair

Today, Liz and I had a big day planned, attending the Renegade Craft Fair at Wicker Park. However, at Liz’s apartment, we both had a bit of a surprise in store.

This is the view from her front steps. Looking out onto the street. Where a festival was being set up.

Vendors were getting their booths ready, and ATM machines were set up.

Turns out it was the Guiness Oyster Fest, an event that I’m used to seeing over on North and Clybourne (and something that Q101 typically sponsors).

We decided that Renegade was our primary event, and that we’d swing back here later on in the day.

Snapped a quick shot of this booth, filled with stuff I can’t eat.


Crowd shot, early in the afternoon.

I ended up taking less pictures this year. Instead of trying to document everything, I just pulled out my camera at any booth where we bought something (or where I was particularly taken by the vendor’s wares).

In the far corner of the fair, there was a big blanketed area with a ton of greyhounds, lounging about and napping.

The booth here was for Greyhounds Only. Folks were encouraged to pet the dogs, and they were all incredibly kind and well behaved.

Some nice tops at formoda (Liz got the design with the trees, on the left).

This year, there were a few more booths that dealt exclusively with wood. This one, specializing in wooden spectacle frames, really caught my eye.

The frames themselves are incredibly lightweight (and incredibly distinctive).

This is Scott, the guy behind the spectacles (sporting some pretty bitching eyewear, I might add). He was kind enough to let me photograph him and his glasses. Check out Urban Spectacles for more cool frames.

Liz and I both got drawn into Jaime Zollars’ booth, and spent a lot of time looking over her prints.

We ended up circling back here, after making the rounds, and Liz ended up buying a print. Check out for more of her work.

Another view of the crowd. Thankfully, there was no rain today.

At Supermaggie Liz found a nice t-shirt design (the one on the right is the one she ended up buying).

After walking around a bit, we decided to slip over to Filter and get something to drink. We walked back into the park, sat down under a tree and spent some time sipping and relaxing, watching the shoppers browse on by.


Our view: behind the vendor scene.

Of course, I started messing around taking photos of Liz.

This one I caught her, mid-laugh, turning away.

A nice batch from Tennis, Anyone? Cards.

The one on the left is my fav.

Another random shot: outer row, behind the booths.

Dang – forgot to write down who this booth was, and what the actual name of the card set was. Essentially, there are twelve cards (one for each month) and each has a different quotation. Looking through them, the quotations were all pretty solid. This one though, from Mack Douglas, was my favorite.

Walking around again, we made our way to the twospace booth, where my friend Christine was manning the shop. Here’s a glance at a bit of her line.

While we were here, our friend Gretchen swung by to say hello. Turns out, she got pulled into doing a bit of a video podcast for Venus, and was walking around trying to get folks to agree to be interviewed.

In the booth next door, Ileana was displaying her wares as well. I met her about a year ago, the last time she was in town (also for Renegade.

Jewelry and paper goods from india*romeo.

Sadly, this year, the boys weren’t able to attend. Kent needed to stay out west, and Charles was absent as well. I guess I’ll just have to wait until next year to geek out with him over metal.

A fun shot of the ladies (and me, conveniently wedging myself into the pic thanks to a nearby mirror). Christine and Ileana are both very talented women, with a lot of great stuff available. Swing by twospace and india*romeo to see more of what they have to offer.

Another crowd shot: the middle row was pretty tight. Possibly the result of someone setting up their tent in the wrong spot and everyone else following suit. Walking down this lane was akin to running a gauntlet, trying to squeeze past everyone.

I know I saw this booth last year, but I’m fairly unfamiliar with Mr. Pickles. That said, I absolutely love the banner.

I wasn’t planning on buying anything, but I saw a button that had Mr. Pickles on it, going “woot!” Then, finding that same image on a magnet… well, I was lost. I bought all four of these because they were selling them in sets of four. But all I really wanted was the “woot!” magnet. Which I got. Twice.


After the fair (we were there for a solid four plus hours), we came back to Liz’s neighborhood to find the Oyster Festival had become a little more active. All along the street there were tables and chairs set up, and people in almost every doorway.

We walked down over towards Damen, and along the way ran into Fook. We all talked for a bit, sizing up the event and talking about our respective days so far. I keep forgetting he’s now in the neighborhood (up somewhere along Milwaukee). He invited me to go play poker at his next tourney, which I keep meaning to do.

After we parted ways, Liz and I made our way near the sound stage. We lingered for a brief moment, and decided to turn around to walk the full length of the fest. Not much was going on over on this end.

Late afternoon, the crowd has picked up some since the morning.

As we walked along Division… I only saw one booth that was selling oysters. There was Guiness everywhere (since they were the ones sponsoring the event). But on the whole, that was about it. A few booths here and there selling standard fair grub (corn dogs, brats, elephant ears).

But one booth for oysters? How is that a festival?

By Miller Lumber, our general impression of the festival was that it served as an excuse for folks to drink beer out on the streets.

Ah, but when all hope was lost… along comes this gem of a find. In front of Moonshine, this kid had set up his own little carny game! And, it’s aptly titled after its creator. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Marty! And… The Marty Game.

For 50 cents, you got five balls (technically it was four baseballs and one small orange). Roll each one up the plank and, if they land in any of the buckets/baskets, you win!

Below, Liz filmed me playing “The Marty Game,” while Marty watches on. In particular, keep a close eye on Marty’s expression, at the very end of the video. Hysterical!

Even though I only make four in, Marty was kind enough to throw a little something something my way.

Ah, me. Seeing “The Marty Game” totally made my day. Kudos to his parents for helping him set up the game. And kudos to Marty for being the consummate carny. Seeing him at work, I thought to myself: God Bless Capitalism. And God bless America.

I did stop off at the one booth that was selling oysters… and got five of them. At $2 a pop, these were… ok. It’s been a while since I’ve had oysters, so maybe this is a fair price. Still though, despite the fact that I know Fair/Festival food is typically expensive… it was pretty lackluster.

Walking down to the Damen side of things again, we were planning on going to a baby store to pick up something for Liz’s new niece. As we were inside the shop about to check out, I looked outside and saw that the stage had taken on a whole different feel.

Of course, I had to stop and take pictures.

What really fascinated me was how hard (and consistent) the woman’s smile was. Throughout the entire performance, she had this Joker grin on her face nonstop, which I imagine must have been tiring.

This whole sequence was as ridiculous as it looks.

Back at Liz’s apartment: this is the print she got from Jaime Zollars.

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