life in and around NYC is insane

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Background music:  "Take Me To The Fair" from Camelot

Can you believe the NY Renaissance Faire is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year?  I used to go back when the faire was new, but got out of the habit.  Nowadays, Drew and I go every year, sometimes with friends, sometimes just the two of us.

This year it was just us.  Our plan was to drive from Long Island to Tuxedo Park via the Throgs Neck Bridge, the Cross Bronx Expressway to the George Washington Bridge and Route 17 from New Jersey up to Orange County and the Faire.  Got across the Throgs Neck, found out that it would take over an hour to get across the Bronx . . .turned on the GPS and headed to the Tappan Zee instead.  Got to the Faire before the gates opened.

Background music:  Disney's "Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life For Me)"

What I've noticed about the faire . . .30 years ago "Renaisance" encompassed medieval and Renaissance costumes.  Now it also includes elements of fantasy (faeries, for example) and pirates.    Though the heyday of pirates wasn't until the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th centuries and the faire is set in Elizabethan England, seafarers and privateers and pirates did serve a role in Elizabeth's reign, so they're not anachronistic.

And this weekend happened to be "Pirates Weekend", so there were a lot of pirates around.

We love the entertainment at the faire.  The main events revolve around Queen Elizabeth and her court.  Intertwined with court intrigue is the Robin Hood story, relocated from medieval Sherwood to Elizabethan Sterling Shire.  The Queen welcomes everyone to the Shire first thing in the morning, there's a Living Chess game in the early afternoon and the day's festivities end with a joust.

There are other acts as well, on the small stages all around the Shire.    There's Dead Bob, a ventriloquist act; knifethrowers Stewart and Arnold; Hey Nunnie Nunnie (musical comedy), Crimson Pirates (music) and the Washing Well Wenches (comedy), to name a few.  You can't possibly see all of it in one day, but we managed to see a lot.

Background music: "Penny Lane" ( The Beatles)

The main shopping area is known as "Spendpenny Lane".  I like the costumes and accesories, the jewelry and the pewter figurines.  In fact today I was wearing jewelry purchased at prior faires, and I have a serious collection of figurines -- dragons and wizards and the like.  Drew likes the armor and weapons -- today he bought  a 6 foot spear.  I have no idea where he plans to display it.

Background music:  "Food, Glorious Food" from Oliver

I saw lots of variety -- turkey legs, Italian sausage, pizza, ice cream . . . All I ate was a funnel cake washed down with a frozen cherry limeade.  Drew had steak on a stick.  And we shared a pickle fresh from the barrel.  Though we did buy plenty of water and soda.

Background music: "Sensitivity" from Once Upon A Mattress

By the end of the day I felt like the title character from "The Princess and the Pea".  The ground in the Shire is uneven, the pathways unpaved and strewn with gravel.  And when you sit, it's on hard wooden benches.  I was wearing thick-soled sandals, and yet when I stepped on a rock and felt it press into my foot, I saw stars. . .

Overall, though, it was a wonderful day.

Pictures and video to follow.

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