Friday December 7, 2012
Ever since we got to St. Augustine and found out that we’d be here for more than a few days, everyone we’ve encountered has told us that we need to make it out for First Friday Art Walk. After looking this up a little more we found out that it is held the first Friday of every month, rain or shine. There are tons of member galleries throughout historic St. Augustine and they open their doors from 5-9 pm for people to parade through and check out local artist while enjoying refreshments set out by the galleries.
We’re not huge art enthusiasts, we don’t dissect it or try to figure out what the artist is trying to say, but we do like to look at things even if it’s just to see if they’re aesthetically pleasing to our eye. Especially if it’s free. Wanting to somewhat look the part of avid art goers though we ironed clothes, I straightened my hair, and we looked like we could actually pass for people that lived in the area and did this all the time, or at least not like we just climbed down a ten rung ladder into dirt and rocks and walked there. Since we still must have made the sun mad in some way that we don’t even know, it was a dark and cloudy walk with a light mist falling down, distorting vision through my glasses and curling my hair back to it’s previous state. If only we had arrived by car we may have looked a little classier than we did by the time we got there.
Beginning at a recommended gallery on King Street I wiped down my glasses and tried to slick down the frizz in my hair as women walked around in dresses and men in blazers. It was still early though and we realized they may have been employed at the gallery, or the artist, because soon other people started to wander in wearing jeans and sneakers. After checking out some paintings that we really did like and me hinting to Matt that $50 was actually very cheap for an original (small) painting and we could find room for it on Serendipity somewhere, we moved through other rooms where we also both fell in love with sets of painted cabinets, tables, and chairs. Staring at them even I couldn’t propose a decent location for them on the boat and we agreed they’d have to wait for the beach house we’ll never have. At that same time though the refreshments came out and with a glass of wine in my hand I was at least able to pretend in my mind that one day we’ll have a charming cottage on Lake Michigan in which to display all these beautiful things. Oh well, you have to give a little to get a little, and we chose a life of travel instead.
Ending up having to chug the rest of my red wine since I normally and was sipping on it so slowly, we moved on to the next location, more of a touristy stop of gifts than a gallery, but they did still have a few works of art there. On the front windowsill there were candles you could light (after purchasing them and bringing them home) that would give you whatever was labeled on the front. Being the jokesters that we are I held up one set to Matt that was labeled ‘Happy Marriage’.
“What do you think about these?”, I asked.
“I think we’re going to need a lot more than a set of candles”, he replied.
“We could pair it with these”, I responded and held up another set of candles labeled ‘Miracle’.
That actually did get a good laugh out of him as he shook his head at me. Maybe I should buy that set anyway and ask for a miracle for the boat. Like the survey was wrong and she’s actually in perfect condition. Or that little gnomes will come fix her while we’re sleeping. It could happen. Especially if I’m lighting candles for a miracle.
Continuing down King Street we’d just walk into any gallery that was open and quickly learned that they were not all the same. One that was connected to a fancy hotel did only have people in blazers and dresses sashaying around and reflecting things like “Well honey, I just bought a piece by this artist, I don’t know if we need another one for the same room”. But we really enjoyed the art in that gallery so we stayed for a little bit and marveled at a few of the intricate sculptures on display. This gallery did not have it’s prices on display with the art but the next one did and we were blown away by the prices. Small items started in the $1,200 range with things going upwards of $40,000. Standing near the back of the gallery there as an employee walking around assisting people with any questions they had. She smiled politely at the couple next to us and asked of there was anything she could help with. After they replied no, I kid you not, she stepped toward us smiling, about to ask us the same question, looked us up and down, and quickly spun on her heels and walked away. We weren’t going to buy anything of course, it was African design and not our taste, but at least be polite and ask!! Showing her we weren’t as uncouth as she thought I whipped out my $18 lipgloss the next time she passed and smirked when she asked a coworker where the term ‘Bohemian’ came from. I could have answered that. Possibly only because we just watched Sherlock Holmes and there was a reference to it in there, but still.
Our night was ended with a stumble upon a gallery down a cobblestone street that had live music by a group playing Spanish Guitar (so beautiful!) and a wander through the courtyards of the Lightner Museum where rows and strands of lights gave a perfect ambiance and a fairy tale castle setting. From the fountain out front to the tall palms and coy pond in the interior courtyard it felt like we were transported to another country and another time. Finally pulling ourselves away we began our way back while texting Rode Trip who are still in St. Mary’s GA and told them what they were missing, hoping they’d get moving and join us soon. They told us about their time stuck in Georgia and a big night out for them was $0.50 wing night. I think they summed up our situation when they said, “Well, at least you guys are screwed in style”, referring to how the town we’re stranded in has so much more to offer than theirs. I definitely can not object to that.
I do not like that forecast.