Sunday, August 17, 2008

New York Renaissance Faire

Growing up in California, every summer you would hear about the Renaissance Faire on the radio. Now that we are living in New York it was weird to hear the same ad until I looked up the website and saw it was the same company that puts on the show in California, then packs it up and does the same thing in New York. I had never been to one and thought what the heck. It was kids get in free weekend so we brought two of L.'s cousins with us that were right at the age that they should find it fun.
When we got there we were surprised at how permanent all the buildings were. I guess I was expecting a lot of fake facades but they had built a whole village (It goes on for a month so I guess it is kind of required.) We got there when they opened so everyone was still congregated at the entrance. It was a little overwhelming with everyone giving their opening spiel. I'm sure it is similar to what it was like with the street merchants but we were happy to get past them and wander the more empty areas. We enjoyed talking with a black smith then watched the opening parade and Queen's morning address. It started what I think was the most interesting part of the whole thing. There were shows throughout the day but they all shared the same storyline so for instance, the person set free at the queens address begs to be in the afternoon jousting match which makes the sheriff angry and he attempts a coup at a human chess game later in the day, the rest of the time the sheriff and his men were wandering the streets looking for Robin hood.
So besides being able to watch the shows like jousting and chainsaw juggling (I know very renaissance, but he was a good comedian and our young cousin convinced us to go to his second show so he could see the water balloons and explosives.) there was also interactive things to do such as a maze and being able to swing all the real types of swords. I threw hatchets, one of the kids threw knives, the other darts, and we all tried to shoot arrows.
So all the activities were reasonable, usually $2 per activity. The food and drinks however made it easy to burn through money fast. I guess we are just not used to paying for others. The thing that did bother me though was the all the people talking with the fake British accent. To me fake accents are like fake tans, they make you seem muddled and annoyingly pretentious. I understand that this is some people's hobby and what they live for but there seems like there is a line between fan and obsessed. We heard that one couple had just spent $900 on clothes while there to get the right look. I guess to each their own. I guess I spend that much on all my hobbies combined each year.
It was huge and we ended up staying there for 6 hours and I don't feel like we were dragging at any time, but by the end our cousins were tired and fell asleep on the way home.

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