I spent two days at “New England’s Great State Fair”, The Eastern States Exposition, known affectionately as “The Big E”. I’m not a big fan of kitsch or fried dough and, while I very much admire both agriculture and the people who work therein, I don’t view it as entertainment so much as the bedrock upon which all other elements of culture depend. So what is it exactly I enjoy so much about this giant overgrown fair? The pedestrian oriented space occupied by honest-to-goodness pedestrians.
As my wife (for whom The Big E is a fairly recent discovery) gets tired of hearing every year, all of the effort and focus necessary to put on one of the largest agricultural fairs in the United States makes for an experience which approximates being in your average Spanish city on an average day…which is pretty freakin’ awesome! Watching people interact outdoors and engaging in all manner of commerce without the constant threat of annihilation by a motor vehicle is a pleasure. Also absent and not at all missed, the noise of the engines and the exhaust fumes they emit.
For 17 days a year just two miles from my front door a little taste of what a less automobile centered life could be like. I like it.