People are everywhere! The streets are crawling with people, far too many for the sidewalks to hold. Everyone’s attention span is so weak. It seems every step there is something new drawing them in, far different from what they last saw. Never before have I seen such a vast assembly of odd and interesting things.
First Friday is called an art walk, but it's more like an an art festival. It's held every first Friday of the month in Downtown Phoenix. For four blocks, the streets are lined with booths. The booths hold paintings, jewelry and every kind of art imaginable. No one booth is alike; each is just as different as its creator. The old bungalow houses that own these streets have been converted into art galleries by their live-in residents. For a few nights a month, these galleries are filled with one of a kind pieces of art.
As you walk down the street, it’s hard not to be interrupted by a seemingly random performance. Four teenagers doing spoken word poetry in trance a small group of people, just as a man playing a violin draws in a few people to hear his instrument. These are small crowds compared to the tip-toeing people huddled around some of these acts.
It reminds me of a schoolyard fight. Everyone is crowded around, jockeying for position. All I can see are the backs of people and bobbing heads, each trying to get a better look. I hear the boom and bass of hip-hop music coming from the center of one of these circles, so I decide to approach. Standing on my toes, I crane my neck to see what everyone is so enthralled by. There in the center is a teenage boy dancing. The dance is very different from what I was expecting, not at all like the dances from the movies of late. It’s as if these dancers were frozen in the 1980’s and were awoken just for this event. The teenager is dancing with a rhythm and style that is not familiar to me and makes me smile at its awkwardness. He dances on his feet like there’s a strobe light above him, concealing some of his movements. Then, he hits the ground and spins like a top, only to pop back up and dance some more. There are several of these dancers, each taking turns showing off their best moves in the center of the circle. The crowd seems to be enjoying it, and as the dancers do something very difficult, I hear “ooh”s from the crowd.
While walking down the street, I see another one of these masses. These people were gathered tightly around one little stage. This stage held a performance that was vastly different from the break dancing. There is a banner above the stage that reads: “Strange Family Circus”. The man on stage is a short Caucasian man, but he has darkness about him. His small curled mustache and red and black striped clothing reminds me of someone evil. He introduces himself and his wife and children who will be helping him with his act. He starts by uncovering a pile of broken glass on the back of the stage. Then, after getting the crowd pumped up, he places the microphone in the glass. The crowd cringes as he…