There's no delicate way to put this: yesterday's sales were terrible. Abysmal. Absolutely the worst day of sales since I started this show ten years ago. Altogether I only sold 17 pieces -- on a Saturday, no less -- which is almost one-third of what I would normally sell. I dragged myself back to my friend's house late in the evening, exhausted and depressed.
It's hard to pinpoint why sales were this bad. There seemed to be a lot of crowds in a happy mood, but there were loooooong stretches of time during which no one even glanced at the booth. As Don put it (while consoling me over the phone), there's nothing that could have been done, so there's no sense beating myself up about it.
So on to cheerier things. Despite the lack of sales, there was no lack of interesting things to photograph.
The day started (perhaps appropriately) with rain.
It wasn't scheduled to last very long, but in the meantime I had to reconfigure the booth and remove some shelving units that were outside the awning.
I stacked boxes and shelves in top of folded-up event chairs (which weren't in use anyway) to keep them off the ground, because the water was backing up onto the concrete apron where my booth is located.
But Portlanders are a sturdy lot and don't let a little thing like liquid sunshine keep them from having a good time. They donned parkas and ponchos, opened umbrellas, or just plain got wet with good cheer.
This mom even had a stroller with a built-in rain shield for her toddler.
The first band of the day played bravely...
...to an audience of one.
But the weather soon cleared, I was able to put out my extra shelving units, and things moved on.
Here's a woman's fascinatingly specific handbag.
Comical T-shirts du jour:
This one took a few seconds to "get." ("If you really 'must ask,' I'm a railroad police." No, I don't know what he meant by "railroad police.")
The wearer of this shirt was following his four-year-old grandson around. Very cute.
A little irreverent, perhaps, but it tickled my funnybone.
Some unique eyewear.
Portland's finest had a visible presence, but mostly their services weren't needed. When I chatted with two cops later in the evening, they confirmed this event is generally quite mellow.
A plane with a banner advertisement flew overhead. You don't see these very often anymore.
A fellow Trekkie.
I took a pic of this fellow's Star Wars shirt...
...and then his five-year-old son insisted I take a picture of his shirt too, so I did.
I thought this shirt absolutely personified Portland.
In addition to the tinted hair I noticed yesterday, this year's fashion trend apparently includes fluorescent footwear. I could have taken dozens of photos.
There were several "batcherlorette" parties walking around in matching T-shirts -- soon-to-be-brides and their bridesmaids, out for a day of fun. The brides wore small veils to distinguish them.
This cheery young couple let me photograph their ear gauges. Not my cup of tea, but they were quite a happy pair, so I guess whatever floats their boat.
A happy baby, snuggled against mama's back.
A happy toddler, riding on daddy's shoulders.
Despite the lousy sales and my physical exhaustion by the end of the day, there's no question this event is living up to its history of good-natured fun, with most people behaving themselves. Can't ask for more than that, I guess.