Saturday, July 11, 2009

Show Stopper

We were set up in our booth at the French Festival today, when "it" arrived; le Tour Eiffel en bouchon. (It is not completely finished as the top is now a nest for a wine bottle, but that will be finished this week.) There was immediately a buzz around our booth, which continued all afternoon. Hundreds of photos were taken, many questions were posed, and more than a few people grabbed parasols from the bin, took a quick souvenir snap in front of the tower, then put the parasols back and left. I quickly tired of taking photos of people taking photos, so there is just one here; to show the awe of the crowd. Attention all proprietors of wine stores, restaurants, specialty grocery and vignobles: if you want to draw a crowd and have a true piece of interest, commission an Eiffel Tower made of recycled wine corks! I happen to have one for sale, if it does not go tomorrow at the festival. I will gladly refer to Steven, the artist! A group of girls came by with matching red berets; they were adorable and I asked them for a photo for the blog; they agreed as long as I would call them "The French Girls," so here they are! Today, everyone was French!

There was a ton of authentic food, as I had a salade avec saumon at 11am for breakfast. Overall, it was an authentic event, we really enjoyed the can-can troupes (three troupes, including our favorite, a ballet troupe, each performed several times during the day), but there were also classical dance groups (learn le minuet et la valse), or more likely, watch someone else learn it! At 6pm there was a drag revue, which was very entertaining; we were 20 yards from the all the acts on our stage today so that was fun. I am sorry I will not be there tomorrow for the Moroccan (belly) dancing; today there was a little Tahitian music and dancing; I heard it but did not see it. There were fresh lavender bundles for sale which I really wanted to have in the booth, but they came with fresh bees, so I held off.....

If this event were held in LA, it would be very slick, but in SB it's very much in keeping with the city; low key; old school, which also makes it kinda French. But it is an authentic event, which is why this is the 22nd year. Even if you are not French, everyone would like to be a little French. I will be in LA tomorrow at two markets with Nicole and Kailea; Erin and Miranda will close down SB.

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