Enjoy a Weekend Afternoon at the Midtown Bazaar

By Ashley Robinson

With the winter light breaking through the grime of the I Street garage windows, I walked my dog Dharma and husband into the Midtown Bazaar. The brightly colored booths, decked with festive fabrics and shimmering with jewelry were waiting for me to meander through. Female voices bounced off the metal walls, happy, pleasant, singing in lilt.

I smiled, and like a toddler, clapped my hands together. I think no matter how old a woman is, the site of sparkling costume jewelry made with rare vintage pieces makes us all smile. So many possibilities!

The Midtown Bazaar began last June starting in a corner parking lot, slowly making its way into the parking garage between 17th and 16th on I Street. Originally, the Bazaar charged admission, which admittedly, I was not into. It wasn’t that I thought the small admission (which half went toward WEAVE) was too much; it’s just hard to get motivated when it’s not free. I know, totally lame.

Having been a fan of the Indie Craft Fair, which had amazing stuff and sadly seems to have stopped running events, and Etsy.com, I was looking forward to replenishing my funky vintage-y necklace collection. Well, not only was I not disappointed in that department (I now have a FAB lavaliere with a key and cameo dangling from it), the Midtown Bazaar had a couple of options for homemade dog food, which Dharma was into. She particularly loved the Nerdy Dog Lego-shaped chicken liver treats.

There was lots of art, purses, knitted baby clothes, fancy handmade boxes (don’t know how else to describe them …), lotions, handmade soaps, more art, more knitted baby clothes, lots of jewelry, earrings made out of game pieces and bottle caps, food – for humans and dogs, stuffed things, and many other interesting things to spend money on.

I will say, I was a little turned off by how the inclusion of booths featuring seemingly manufactured items. I guess Midtown Bazaar doesn’t exclude non-Etsy types, but it felt a little cheap to walk past velvet heads covered in shiny plastic and know people were trying to take advantage of the craft movement. And some of the jewelry booths were a little too polished, disrupting the community homegrown feel to the event.

That being said, it was obvious each booth manager – no matter the goods for sale — was enthusiastic to be part of the Bazaar, were happy to chat with customers – even if they were just breezing by, and all had creative things to share.

And even my husband enjoyed himself. (I think it had more to do with all the ladies magnetized to Dharma keeping him entertained.)

I recommend everyone go and check out the Midtown Bazaar, and treat yourself to a new old necklace.

Midtown Bazaar, open every Saturday, year-round from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. with extended hours on Second Saturdays till 9 p.m. I Street between 16th and 17th. Read the blog here: http://www.midtownbazaar.blogspot.com/.

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