Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rust Belt Post, Take Two: Now with Misleading Photos!

I don't understand where my Rust Belt photos are hiding. I don't understand why they are hiding. What errant button did I push? At what point did I deviate from the normal uploading procedure? I have scrolled through myriad picture folders, to no avail.

Chickens descending on a gingerbread house? Got it.
Hen carefully absconding with a prized Ritz cracker?
Rooster showing off his high-step, lest I dare to misbehave in his hen yard?

Blurry photo of my Raccoon-in-Residence, who helps me decide I don't really want to dine on my deck?

But of course.

But photos showing you how fun and multifaceted a trip to Ferndale's Rust Belt Market would be? HELLL NO. Clearly asking too much.

It's not like they haven't received attention. The brainchild of Chris and Tiffany Best, Rust Belt is meant to be a weekend smorgasbord of art (/crafts), music, vintage items and food; to act as a business incubator for vendors, where they can trade tips & network; and get to know their communities. Some vendors sign on for month-blocks of Saturdays & Sundays, while others periodically dip in. The end result is an ever-changing affair, a medley of usual suspects, peppered with surprises.

To wit: apparently I missed when popular Detroit illustrator/designer Kill Taupe was selling recently. Oh, the aggravation! His sharply-lined images are a cute/sinister mashup. My favorite Kill Taupe painting (from years ago) was of an affronted green onion, crying and exclaiming something along the lines of "WHY don't they understand that I'm the most BEAUTIFUL of ALL the vegetables !?!?!" Favorite.

Kill Taupe aside, things you are likely to run across on an average Saturday/Sunday at Rust Belt:

  • handmade soaps & candles (from vanilla and lavender to....less vanilla, like bacon! and gin and tonic!)
  • individually sewn hats, dresses, purses
  • coffee fiends who roast their own beans, grind them up and serve them to us cup by cup
  • fine painting
  • the darker side of felted toys
  • mehndi/henna  (within my lost photos, there was a somewhat bashful young woman, holding up her hennaed hand, clearly very excited-- so cute! but at least the google image search contains a My Little Pony. Who knew?)
  • Astounding pie from Rock City Bakery. Almost all of the vendors bide their time until pie. Salted caramel apple. Chocolate blackberry mint. The compatriot said she had apple with crumbled bacon. She doesn't usually bother with apple pie.
  • Jewelry of all stripes: intricately beaded, using natural materials, edgy, funny, kitschy, sparkly
  • Art with reclaimed elements, both grungy and sharp. Rusted metal, baby heads, old factory pieces.
  • Reclaimed, solid furniture
  • Terrariums
  • A little girl, slowly riding her bike in lazy arcs 
  • Super-cute retro aprons that make you forget about the nasty underside of the 50s. This would put a spring in my step, spice up the kitchen, no doubt! Care for a cocktail?
  • And you know, sometimes printmakers~~ I'll be selling this Saturday and August 16th. Come see Lost Cake Anxiety, hot off the press and freshly editioned! Also, my wee sleeping Cakeasaurus cards.
  • Free performances from up-and-coming bands and DJs!

I can't stress how much the music adds to this sense of a "community happening." Spending the whole day there as a vendor, you really notice it. It can go both ways, natch. I won't say I have loved every act, but I have loved a handful -- and they're bands I wasn't aware of before. Folksinger Alison Lewis delivered an impressive version of "Jolene" a month or so ago. Fledgling band Hand in the Ocean totally pleased me, despite the fact that their second set was the same as their first~~ I look forward to hearing more material from them.

Coming up this Saturday is Royal Oak-based I Love Lightning Bugs. I have been revisiting OkGo's "Of the Blue Colour of the Sky" -- fun, poppy, with a nice electronic feel -- and ILLB seem like they're in the same vein. My reaction, however, is solely based on a cursory listen to a couple of their songs, so I could be off-base. {Yep, off-base. Not really similar. Lush guitar, good energy.} The point is, I heard enough to feel like we have a good afternoon in store for us.
And apparently they're also making a video in Rust Belt tomorrow night, with CW50?? {for "Stars"} Points for the band and points for the venue.


  1. I read a recent study in the New England Journal of Poultry that chickens eating huge candy houses leads to an increase in barnyard discord.

  2. I bet, but then they all crash hard and then the next day it's all about the newest rotting vegetable. Don't feed them swedish fish, they don't like them.

  3. "... Super-cute retro aprons that make you forget about the nasty underside of the 50s. ..."

    I've always been fascinated with this era - probably because I didn't actually live through it -- I collected retro based cookbooks for years more for the sociological study of that time period; a reminder to be thankful for the feminist movement that did not beholden me to an expectation of womanly virtues such as pleasing my man! (Thank goodness for the 70s.) Here is a collection I found to be particularily telling to wifely expectations in the 50s:

  4. P.S. Still enjoyed your pics, even though weren't the ones you intended (I think the dryer sock gremlins have taken up residence now in computer file folders - largely due to the fashion trend away from socks.)

  5. Hey SBS! I am about to pop over to Rust Belt, so will check out the link later. I share your fascination, and also love cookbooks from that era. I was so excited when Betty Crocker published a facsimile edition, which was the same one my Mom used growing up -- dancing pot roasts and gleeful ketchup bottle illustrations. Cookies or cake sections actually had things like "Beau catchers and husband keepers!" Ahaaa, sock gremlins are diversifying now, makes sense...

  6. Nice link. Wait,so are you Hipaloo??

  7. And the dryer-sock ran away with the Tupperware® lid.