Ye Olde Town Faire

Many weeks Debbi and I go to the Mountain View Farmer’s Market for fruit and cinnamon bread and flowers (it might surprise you to learn that I enjoy arranging flowers at home; we even have two hang-on-the-wall vases to keep them away from our flower-eating cats).

We learned recently about Thursday Night Live, a new weeknight fair they’re doing in downtown Mountain View four times this summer, so last night we walked down to check it out.

Although my impression is that advertising for the event has been poor (having not heard about it until earlier this week), apparently everyone else knows about it, because traffic and parking downtown were both pretty well slammed. (No wonder they keep wanting to build new parking garages!) I happened to notice an on-street spot as we were in the queue to get into a garage, and I moved quickly and grabbed it.

The fair itself was pretty small: Four or five performers, a small slice of the farmer’s market, a few craft vendors, and several events for children. On the other hand, the performers were all good, and they closed way more of Castro Street than they had to, so there was plenty of space for all the people to walk around. And the restaurants and local businesses were staying open and apparently doing great business. In other circumstances I would have judged this to be an event having a hard time getting off the ground, but the attendance suggests otherwise.

The performers who stood out most for me were a band called Circumsax, who when we arrived had just started playing a Herbie Hancock song, “Chameleon” I think it was, which works really well for a large sax group. (They ought to consider some of the tracks from J.J. Johnson’s J.J. Inc., too; I think “Mohawk” or “Fatback” would work well with their style.)

So we had dinner, looked around, stopped into BookBuyers (where I found a hardcover copy of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere), and enjoyed the lovely evening. Can’t beat that. We’ll probably go back next time – assuming we can find parking!

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