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Welcome, happy campers! Warm and fuzzy memories of the Arts & Crafts tent mix with Brooklyn’s art scene at this year’s Renegade Craft Fair, June 22-23rd in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. After a long hike through forests of crafty goodness, you’ve earned a seat at the campfire. Bask in its warmth under the shadows of totem poles representing Brooklyn’s vibrant local artists, or keep cool with your troop in the tents.

This very weekend you can join me at the Renegade Craft Fair where, in addition to the possibility of getting all your holiday shopping done before Labor Day, you can stop by my installation, Camp Renegade! With the immense help of my friends, we’ve created a walk-through mini-camp where you can park your butt, hang out in the tipi (teepee? tepee? So many variants), or see ridiculously tall totem poles in their natural glory (instead of crammed in my living room as seen above)!

I volunteered to set up an installation at Renegade because I’ve genuinely enjoyed visiting the fair in the past. A lot of craft fairs…how can I say this delicately…have a high tchochke-to-object d’art-ratio. Renegade features the creme-de-la-creme of crafters, including brevity,  Susanne Layton, Chez Sucre Chez, and Dea Dia Jewelry  who I believe just joined this year. So come on down for a weekend full of fun, crafts and potential sunstroke (stay hydrated people)!

 

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Hello All- I should’ve posted this earlier but I’m taking a week off to visit the lovely state of Iowa. Rolling green hills, corn, blue sky, more corn, and of course, the Iowa State Fair!

Rides, animal husbandry, an increasing mania for foods on sticks, and the famous butter sculptures; I’ll be back with a full report next week!

(click through to enjoy a gallery, including a rather odd Peanuts tableu.)

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And now for the final installment of kitsch, camp and poorly thought-out t-shirt designs from Wildwood.

Wildwood’s littered with 50s-themed diners from the 80s. This one collected a number of original signs from now-defunct motels. Remember that Dan Clowes Eightball cartoon where the future of fashion was various iterations of historical periods? “‘I’m the 80′s version of the 50s.’ ‘I’m the 2010 version of the 50s.’”

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This year’s shirts feature ‘beer’ logos, but they’re really weed logos! Uh, wait, how is that subversive? If you’re a teenager you can’t wear them to school anyway, and if you’re in college, congratulations, you’re on the same level as the kid wearing the ‘Meant to Die’ Christian Moutain Dew spoof.
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Congratulations, Senior class of 2010. Make us proud!

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Don’t touch the creepy animatronic wall-eyed tree? Done and done!

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Who the hell would even think of bringing a cat to the beach? The fact that this sign exists points the answer to ‘somebody, who also probably had them in swim trunks.’

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This name does not inspire one to gorge at the promised ’100 feet of food’.
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This sign condenses a lot of my childhood memories of Rt. 18.
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A pink elephant on top of a liquor store’s a bit on the nose. Why not something subtler, perhaps a neon sign of a guy puking?
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They were so preoccupied with whether they could build dinosaur mini-golf they didn’t stop to think if they should!

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A recent visit to Wildwood found me up at the edge of dawn, driving down all shore points to reach the southern tip of New Jersey where lay that magnificent realm of beer bongs and cheeseballs.

Upon first arriving around 9:00am, the town was understandably quiet, save for the stray biker/power walker zipping by. Wildwood doesn’t really pick up until early June, when schools full of graduating seniors start their summers renting houses and getting officially wasted, followed by the usual summer crowds. It would be empty even if it wasn’t off-season; no one gets up that early on a Sunday after partying all night and consuming ungodly amounts of booze and fried goods.

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Even industrial equipment needs some quiet time.

The weather was overcast and cool until later in the afternoon, giving the empty boardwalk and streets an apocalyptic feel. Decaying signage like this didn’t help much.
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Ah, Pork Roll. Also known in North Jersey as Taylor Ham, the pork roll is a food of New Jersey invention, much like New Brunswick’s Fat Cat sandwiches and the confusingly named Texas Weiner, a deep-fried hot dog slathered in onions and chili invented in Paterson in the 1920s.

Also, seriously? There’s an entry on Fat Cats I can link to? I’m now sort of afraid of the magnitude of Wikipedia.

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Specializing in Big Sizes is a great idea when you’re next to a place serving 70 flavors of fried ice cream.

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The Cotton Candy meter starts running at 10:00am sharp.

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For when you want your beachwear to reflect the awesomeness of the country you’re from.

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The pirate lady’s orange hue is considered desirable around these parts.

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Captain Airbrush! Not so much like Captain America as he is Captain Trips.

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They’re gonna bling forever, they’re gonna learn how to fly…FLY*!

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HELP MEEEEE.

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I really like this half-assed attempt at Eddie , particularly as its attached to a half-assed haunted house.

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Dante’s Dungeon looks like someone misremembered Dante’s Inferno after visiting Medieval Times.

This though, this broke my heart. This USED to be the Judas Priest Himalaya, now painted over as the Rock n’ Roll Himalaya. I guess it’s sort of entertaining to see distorted Bruce Springsteen and Aretha Franklin jamming next to airbrushed Kurt Cobain and James Brown, but really, can it compare to this?
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It’s probably just the eyebrows on that smiley face, but Mike’s catchphrase has awfully menacing undertones.

*This video is exactly what I think of when someone starts talking about the 70s. Random greenscreening, gold lamè by the pounds, Solid Gold dancers, random Native American accessories, editing with star wipes, barn wipes and picture-in-picture…yep.

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