Saturday, September 15, 2007

Cooper Young

We attended the annual Cooper Young Fest with 65,000 of our closest friends. (At least 60,000 of them were derby related.)

Being the smart mama that I am, I wrote my phone number in Sharpie on each of the monkey's hands. (Thankfully it proved unneccessary, but I did wow many of my fellow mamas with my preparedness.) Like most Memphians, we drove to the festival and broke our innate "50 foot" rule and traveled on foot for nearly a half mile to reach the festival. I was surprised to see that they hadn't carried it all the way down to Central like last year. Judging from the crowd and the extreme crampedness of the street, it might have been a good idea.

Our first stop was of course Mothersville where we found the newest part-owner, happily swamped in customers. We made our way past the vendors (specifically dodging the Ben & Jerry's booth) taking a few moments to peruse the art, the illuminated sculpture, and the marshmallow guns. Of course, we had to purchase the latter and allow time for a practice run off to the side. We then made our way to the CY intersection where we happily discovered that Giant Bear was on stage. (Seeing them twice in one week! How lucky!) Having secured a sno-cone and ice cream, the monkeys were content to stand in front of the stage and listen to the music. I actually saw them listening in a way that I haven't seen for awhile, which pleased me immensely.

After blowing all the marshmallows and having a quick $4 ear of grilled corn (mmm...smells like Cameroon), we made our way towards First Congo. I didn't see anything too interesting in that direction and tried to keep my good mood intact while Warren waited in line for a foot long corn dog.

Corn dog and marshmallow guns in hand, we mosied over to Young Avenue where we were just in time for Noise Choir. I haven't seen them since the very first Rock-n-Romp, so that was also a treat. Warren found a comic artist he liked, Mary Wilder gave the monkeys Flav-O-Ices, and Dr. Bob "entertained" us with his drunken ramblings. (We also got a peek at the Junkyard city of boxes, but the monkeys were too busy with their Flav-Os to participate.) As a special treat, we saw our old friend Bennett in front of Goner Records. His whole band (who's name I forgot!) decided to "dress up" for their show (which I'm sorry I missed). He's the one pictured below with gold glittered pasties.

As we headed back down Cooper to our car, we made a pit stop at Jasmine for some yummy eggrolls and kind words from the Fongs. Then we went to the INCREDIBLY LAME children's area where the monkeys blatantly refused to cow to the "ticket system" and stole numerous trips down the giant inflatable slide.

Can I just take a moment to moan about the Children's Area? Do the organizers of this event not see the hundreds (thousands?) of families in attendance? Can't they do better than a moon bounce, inflatable slide, and a few silly games? (There was one bright spot. The Dixon's Art-To-Grow van was parked in the Children's Area and it did have some cute Blue Dog crafts, but the monkeys only had eyes for the slide.) I really wish they'd let the Junkyard folks be in charge of this area. Or Mothersville. Or hell, even me. Or what about Courtney who edits the LampLighter. Or Joe, the Music for Aardvarks guy housed in First Congo. I'd like to see something not involving money, some comfortable seating, a clean bathroom, and live kid-friendly entertainment.

We then hit the Mini Mart for a drink and some candy (the monkeys hadn't had nearly enough sugar), perused a bit more art, chatted with some friends, made another Mothersville pit stop, and then trudged back to the car with some very whiney and tired 40+ pound monkeys.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.


Stephanie said...

I really agree with you about the children's area- horrible, as usual! We spent way too much money on absolutely nothing. The Blue Dog headbands that we made (for free!) were everyone's favorite part. I'm glad they were there to salvage that fiasco.

Courtney said...

amen on the children's area. I was there most of the day and must have counted hundreds of strollers. I think the money part is a fundraiser, but a much-cooler space (not on gravely dirt) with a flat admission fee of $5 per family would raise tons more money and would draw the family crowd. And from what I saw it would only need to be in operation from 9 to 3 -- after that there were a lot of sleepy kids and way too drunk twenty-somethings.

Stacey. This is an awesome review of the Festival .... any chance it could be stolen and used in the LampLighter?

Chip said...

Yes, the kids' area sucks. Maybe it should be a Rock n Romp area?

Melissa said...

Oooh, I like the idea of Mothersville or some other fabulous entity sponsoring the kids section.

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