Saturday, November 17, 2007

Over To Covington

Entrance to the Children's Area

We were in Covington when show check-in started at three o'clock Friday afternoon. However, after checking in we had to wait until around 4:30 before we could actually start unloading and setting up our booth. It took that long for the police to get the street blocked off and parked cars moved.

The streets in old, downtown Covington are narrow. By the time you get a canopy set up on both sides of the street, you can just barely get a van down the middle which means you cannot park in front of your booth location to unload without plugging up the street. The majority of the exhibitors parked on side streets, alleys or in parking lots to unload, but there's always a jerk or two who will opt for doing what's easiest for them with no regard for the problem they're causing others. Jo and I lucked out with our booth location. We were able to park in a parking lot fairly close to our booth and unload from there, and able to do so without having to work around one of the jerks blocking the street.

Covington has its obligatory miles and miles of strip centers, car dealerships, warehouse retail outlets and purveyors of fast food along the highway into town, but has managed to keep its old downtown area vital – or, maybe, it was revitalized at some time in the past – with an eclectic mixture of offices, shops and eateries. There are very few empty storefronts. Instead, there are law offices, a tattoo parlor, taverns, bistros, CPA offices, antique shops, stores selling fine interior furnishings, art galleries and a natural foods store. Of course, the downside of all this vitality is those narrow streets just weren't intended to handle all the traffic generated, even when there isn't an art fair taking place.

Opening for business on Sunday morning.

(The St. Tammany Parish Criminal Justice Center, a huge and relatively new complex, is on the edge of downtown. I think that's what accounts for the large number of law offices downtown. I reckon it's best to keep the lawyers, courtrooms and criminals in the same area.)

Jo and I worked until around seven o'clock getting the canopy and fixtures set up. We unloaded the boxes of pottery into the booth, but didn't unpack the pots until Saturday morning. After finishing with the booth, we attended an artist “welcome” party hosted by the Three Rivers Arts Festival. A few shows hold these events on set up day, but Jo and I seldom attend. Usually, we arrive later in the day and by the time we finish with our booths all we want to do is get to the motel, clean up and go to bed. I'm glad we didn't miss out on this party, though. We had a great meal: Salad, red beans and rice, seafood etouffe and some of the most delicious bread pudding I've ever tasted.

PVC Yard "Art"