Hey Gregor, you ask, just what in the heck is Artopia 2010? Well, I’m glad you asked kids. Artopia is a street/art festival put on by Seattle Weekly and a bunch of sponsors and volunteers. Live music, trapeze, performing artists, art show, flea market, and farmers market. Artopia manages to do it all, and all in one day. I guess that’s my only nit, we spent 4 hours and we really only saw half of what was available. But oh that half. Wow. And it’s not just a visual treat, oh no. Street food, fresh veggies, molten chocolate cake, candles, and homemade soap scents wafted through the breeze to combine with incense and other familiar sweet smells. Hard to put into words, it goes down as one of those you just have to experience it moments.

Taking up a good part of Georgetown, a kick ass part of south Seattle just north of Boeing Field, you not only get the street vendors, but the local pub fare as well. I wrote yesterday about our experience in the Jules Maes Saloon, just one of the many pubs in the area. We plan on going back just to explore Georgetown proper, as this was our first time checking it out. One cool part of it being just north of Boeing field was that we were also treated to vintage fly-bys. F4’s and a B-17 flew overhead several times. The mix of live music, street sounds, chatter, and jets flying overhead was powerful stuff.

Oh, did I mention power? You say you want power? How about…POWER TOOL RACES!!!!! Need I say more? What the hell can go wrong with taking circular saws and power sanders, and letting them drag race down a wooden track? You heard me right friends, power tool races. The brainchild of The Hazzard Factory, an industrial arts group, this race is as much a part of Artopia as anything. Contestants build their racers using circular saws or power sanders as the means of propulsion. These racers are not just your run of the mill skill saw though. A myriad of designs were raced. We saw a lady bug, a mail box, a tool box, and a contraption that shot out little stuffed monkeys as it raced down the track. No rules on the design, just has to be powered by a power tool using standard 110 vac. For the race itself, two racers are plugged into extension cords and placed at one end of the 2 wooden tracks. After a short countdown power is applied to both and WHOOSH! down the track they shoot. Well, sometimes. Sometimes they crawl as much as shoot. Some even don’t do that, but that’s all part of the fun.

The races go on for a good part of the day. Starting off with standard head to head drag racing, progressing to jumping over ramps (no, not the trendy vegetable) and then to the holy grail, the head on smash ups. There was even a jump through the dreaded ring of flames (insert your own theme music here). Thankfully the safety crew was there to douse everyone with a blast of the fire extinguisher. Oh, almost forgot. In between the events, they had a band perform. Drums, trombones and trumpets along with some dancers, they kept the energy up with some spirited, if not always in tune, jamming. Totally enjoyed it, and it really did fit the event.

We also hit up the farmers / flea market area. I picked up a way cool copper medallion with an eagle and salmon image, Beth got a nice silver pinkie ring, Jo picked up some killer hair clip thingamajigs, and William… well William missed out. Sorry dude. Next time.

Finally, while we were walking about, we passed a scoot parked in the street. Not just any scoot. A kick ass, in your face, so what if my backrest is a rolled up towel, honest to friggin god rat bike. Powered by what looked to be a ‘63-’64 Harley-Davidson panhead motor, it was hard-tailed goodness on rubber. I loved it. I want it. Badly. LOVED IT!!!!!!! Okay, sorry. I’m back now. Whew. Man, I love me some rat bike action.

Another great day in Seattle made even better by sharing it with great friends. We are blessed to live in this area, and it’s a blessing I’m just beginning to truly understand and appreciate.

Go in joy
Gregor

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