Foreign Commonplace

On Saturday mornings, the Arcata Plaza in Humboldt comes to life with the weekly farmers market. From veggies and plants to products like goat soap, local farmers come together and bring their array of natural and fresh goodies.
Many community members arrive on their bicycles complemented with panniers and baskets. One local had a two-wheeled trailer attached to his bike that was filled with all kinds of produce. Other locals walked around the plaza with their fruit baskets, small boxes, and canvas bags, ready to load up in all of the goods. They meandered around the plaza and options of munching on Humboldt hot dogs, tamales, bagels, and even local grown pickles. People sat and cheered on the live band while the grass area was a civilization of its own. In the grass, women and old men twirled and danced with hula hoops, each adding their own style to it. Locals banged and blew into these foreign looking instruments. Others wearing earthly colored fabrics laid out in the grass, benches, or any spot they could find to be with themselves. Groups of people played games of hacky sack while others bounced a ball onto a small trampoline. One guy was dancing and swinging away a weighted long piece of fabric. The live band was heart to the farmer’s market. Whether it was the people dancing in the grass, the hula hoopers, or even the jugglers, they all flowed to the music of the band.
Families who were from out of town also engaged in the many activities. They joined the circles of hacky sack games and were even encouraged to pick up a hula hoop. I would’ve picked one up myself, but I didn’t want to steal the heart of the event. I would’ve became the source of everyones energy… Locals would drop their fruit baskets and run over to watch me dance with the hula hoop. People would stop their hacky sack games and would want to pick up a hula hoop instead. The ones laying down daydreaming would get up and cheer me on. The crowd watching the live band would trickle away and come watch me instead. The ones already with a hula hoop would want to copy my moves. I’d revolutionize the sport. But maybe next time, when the city of Arcata is ready.

Here’s a short video I put together. It was difficult trying to get close to my subjects while filming them so the video didn’t come out as I’d hoped.

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