Saturday, November 05, 2005

Pier 11

Now begins the Christmas bazaar vending season. On the good side ... no enormous tent to lug around and set up, as all of the events are now indoors. On the bad side ... nobody wants to come out and buy because the weather is verging on atrocious.

One of the local restaurants, Pier 11, that also has a little mini-mall attached, decided to try a holiday bazaar vending event. Bravery kudos to them for trying it, and it was a bold move, as there is a total dearth of that sort of event for vendors in Astoria during the off-season.

The Pier 11 mall is a small, but lovely place. It was an old feed-store at one time, and it really is out on a pier. There is a restaurant/bar on the river side, and both have lots of big windows overlooking the river. On the shore side, there is the little mall, all wonderful wood, with some shops along one side. Down the center of the mall is a nice walkway, with the original wide wooden planking, and that's where we vendors set up shop.

It was so gray outside it was like dusk at 10 AM. And it was raining sideways, as usual for this time of year. The weather service had issued warnings for floods and high winds, and told people to not drive if they didn't have to. Just what we needed to coax people out of their houses, right? So there we vendors were, in a very nice and cozy little venue, with customers who were hiding in their houses.

Eventually, the call of nicotine drove me outside. I walked up and down the covered (fortunately) deck that runs along the west side of the building while I smoked. Gannetts were flying out of the water, their long necks straining against the wind. Some of my ashes flew into some poor hapless spider's web, and I hope for the spider's sake that's not the only snack in there. The sea lions were barking and grunting under the pilings of a fish processing plant two piers over, and the wind-driven echoes produced the acoustical effect of a sea lion opera house.

The mist and the fog were so thick that the WA mountains across the river were totally invisible, and the huge Astoria bridge disappeared in a wisp somewhere in the middle of the river. The river itself had swells running on it, like the sea, and the gulls were dancing on the gusts.

Wound up not making much money, especially after I bought a wild elk-antler thing from another vendor, but hell, it was fun anyway.

Astoria Photografpix

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