Sunday, September 8, 2013

Summer of Excitement: New York Renaissance Faire - [a case of the summer]

This weekend I finally went to the New York Renaissance Faire, which was a nice little combination of Medieval Times and Oktoberfest.  It may sound odd that I said I "finally" went, but that's actually the case.  Actually, the first year we went to Oktoberfest only happened because we intended to go to the Renaissance Faire, only to find out that it stopped in September.  We ended up doing the Oktoberfest celebration each year instead, but I happened upon a bulletin for the Renaissance Faire and said, "Hey, let's give this another shot!"

To be honest, I had no idea what to expect.  It was $22 just to enter (which already put it behind the extremely free Oktoberfest entry) and the crowd that had assembled for this thing pretty much covered the entire gambit of society.  You had young couples with kids.  You had tattoo covered bikers.  You had people in very elaborate costumes.  You had middle aged people.  You had older couples.  It seemed like any and every one came to this thing.

Inside was an equally puzzling experience.  Like I said, there were people in these extremely expensive and elaborate costumes....yet they didn't seem to do a whole lot.  My friends and I settled for much of the day at one of the outdoor bars they have there, and we were pretty surprised to see that these people who dressed up essentially did the same thing.  They'd grab some beers, sit at a table, and just drink and talk.  I don't mean to imply that they're not "regular people," but I'd expect them to be a bit more into the novelty of the gathering.  I'm not sure what I expected them to do, but I guess I thought they'd do more.

The authenticity was also surprisingly inconsistent.  You had cool "hold fashiony" things like steak on a stake, turkey legs, and Mead.  But then right next to that they'd have pizzas, fajitas, and a frozen banana stand.  And to be perfectly honest, there seemed to be a lot of employees who were there in costume, but didn't seem to do or say anything that committed them to any sort of role.

Having said all of that, it was a pretty cool experience.  It's a huge park with rustic looking buildings to at least appear to be from that time period.  And they did have cool things like jousting and shops that offered unique jewelry and, yes, deadly weapons.  Perhaps coolest of all, though, is that they had a rotten tomato throwing booth!  That's right.  They had a guy standing inside of a building, and one wall had three holes in it -- for his head and hands.  And he'd stand there and yell insults at you as you threw tomatoes at him.  When I went up, he immediately called me "Justin Timberlake" (which means what?  That I'm a pretty boy?) and then told me that I was "very angry."  I guess I threw the tomatoes with extra intensity.  I have to say, though, that this dude really must feel it when he takes a shot directly to the face from a full grown adult.

And you think you have a bad job.

But hey, overall it was a really fun and interesting way to spend the day.  And plus, it was beautiful out and who doesn't enjoy having some beers while outside on a nice day?  I also can't get "Huzzah!" out of my head.

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