Art Vandelay enjoys frozen lemonade

Ann Arbor is overrun by highschoolers in revealing clothing and yuppy tourist; downtown smells like a circus midway. Welcome to Ann Arbor Art Fair 2005. This is the time of the year when the most brilliant conceptual artists mingle with the tackiest velvet Elvis painters over elephant ears and frozen lemondade and people come by caravan from Ohio to buy wooden plaques featuring their last name burned in cursive.

This is odd because during the rest of the year there is no place to buy frozen lemonade. Really. They must bus them in from off-duty carnivals across the country.

This is my first art fair as a local, though I’ve been coming on and off since I was in school. That’s right, I used to be one of the yuppy tourists (though thankfully, never a high schooler in revealing clothing). A couple of days ago I was wandering around town, as I tend to do since I don’t have cable, and they were setting up all of the tents and whatnot and I figured this is as close as I’m ever going to get to my ultimate local fantasy of watching the preperation of the balloons for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

My favorite artist is a guy who wears a gas mask and uses spray paint to create fantasy landscapes of planets with three moons shaped like a butter tub. He creates them on the spot and gives them to people as they purchase them, never repeating a design. I always thought there was a literary way to mine this particular art vein. Somehow I’d like to set up a manual typewriter at a table and write little one page stories for people featuring them and their family and their pets and enemies. Who wouldn’t want something like that?

Maybe I’d even find a way to work frozen lemonade into the story.