NYC… the noise, the crowds, the expense. These are the things that wear on most NYers but the ability to do/try/eat practically anything (and also STUDY practically anything) is what keeps most of us here, definitely me. (Well, that and there are few cities where one can actually work as much as a musician but that’s another story….)
For the non-1%ers of us, because it IS so expensive to live here, you get really good at finding cheap or free fun things to do on a budget. Awesomeness.
After last month’s successful fun evening at Craft Night, I decided to attend Etsy’s similarly free, much larger June event, the Brooklyn Craft Party, held under one of the arches of the Manhattan Bridge. The theme was paper crafting and participants were provided with supplies for 2 options – making paper beads for a necklace (many moms/little kids embarked on this as a team project) and/or do a basket weaving type things using paper strips. I chose the latter:
There were a ton of people there including many dogs and kids; it was loud – lots of music, etc.; but within that, this simple ‘craft’ of weaving two different papers together was incredibly relaxing. I made two.
Thoughts on the whole thing, though: I had a great, relaxing fun time. Doing work like this, while repetitive, activates a part of your brain that is very healthy and revitalizing. When I looked around at others gently weaving the strips together you could see how engaged folks were i.e. there are a lot of people who hunger to do simple crafts. So why do we yank it out of school at so early an age? All work and no play, etc. WTF? For me, I technically stayed active in arts, choosing music at some point, but that meant visual art had to go by the wayside (as well as sewing). I get it – there’re only so many hours in the day – but I also think it is a lack of respect by Americans for active decompression time built into the school day and then continuing into our adult lives. Decompression in America is about (passive) ‘relaxing’ (read: watching TV). For people who have physical jobs, this makes sense but so many of us sit at desks – is that really what the doctor ordered? At times like this I’m grateful not only to Etsy for hosting things like this but also to NYC for so many artistic options and the larger blogging community for letting me see likeminded people making stuff like I long to do and continually inspiring me.
So thank you to YOU for being interested and doing your thing and showing it off.
One last close up. Thanks Etsy Labs!