It all began with a theory.
My theory that you can buy skill, bypass experience and excel at most things simply provided you have the right equipment. With no artistic ability, no previous lessons and no experience whatsoever, I want to prove that anyone with a pricey enough camera can be a ‘photographer’. Armed with a ‘photographer’ friend’s $3000 Canon SLR 12MP digital camera with a high zoom lens coupled with cautions of not scratching then lens and promises of if I break it I bought it (ya, ya, ya just give it to me already!), I had enough purchased ability in hand to take a full day’s worth of photos to launch my world class, world renowned, world famous photo exhibit the following week.
To the Fest!
First subject: The 1st annual Turkish Festival in Vancouver. Saturday, July 24th marked the day for all Turkish Canadians and curious non-Turkish Canadians alike to gather on the front steps of the downtown Vancouver Art Gallery. Steps usually reserved for liberal pot heads were now graced by conservative Turks showcasing folk dances, traditional Turkish cuisine and of course, the traditional bouncy house for the kids (I think it’s in the back of the Qur’an somewhere – “you must have house of bounce”).
The Turkish Festival was scheduled to kick off at 10am and would run until 8pm. With strict plans to get to the fest before noon that day, I arrive promptly @ 2:45pm.
I’m immediately approached by a handsome young man (yay!), who turns out to be one of the organizers (oh.), who simply wanted to welcome me to the event and encourage me to check out all the booths (how nice!). Prioritizing the important things first, my first stop was to check out the food menu:
Next, time to check out the event menu (AKA the itinerary). It looked like I was just in time for Turkish folk music. Reviewing the full schedule, I saw that anytime was the perfect time to arrive if you wanted to hear Turkish folk music (my 2nd favourite kind!).
Walking around the small venue, a quick glance at the few booths covered all I needed to see: Purses, silver dog tags, jewelry, artwork, calligraphy, books, etc. Nice to look at but I wasn’t in the market for any Turkish paraphernalia. Food, drink and entertainment were what brought me here and were the kinds of Turkish souvenirs I wanted.
Not understanding why the Turkish coffee was $5 for an espresso sized cup, the owner explained the individual process to make each batch (boiled with sugar, in a special saucer over a burner) and served in a decorative cup and saucer. Later, it was further explained to me that the buyer can also keep the cup & saucer which was why it cost $5 (ohhhh).
Buzzing on caffeine (damn that was good coffee), I almost zoom by the Turkish pancake booth but am stopped short by the delicious aroma. I’m told the Turkish pancakes are filled with beef or blue cheese and are made fresh on site. Mmmmm.
Not sure what to try next (not how much, just in which order), I hovered around the food area and was able to try several items free of charge (such generous people!) including baklava, dolmades, spring rolls, sweet bread, Turkish coffee and if I wasn’t already stuffed from the Turkish pancake and the cheese-filled flaky pastry, I would have tried the Turkish Delight too.
Belly full, it’s time for the entertainment:
The crowd really enjoyed him:
Done with the festival for now (belly full, remember?), I decide to take off and take some artistic shots while travelling around the city. Gotta get ready for the big exhibit, after all.
When it’s all said and done…
Overall, the festival was good times and I really enjoyed the food and drink (now I just need to locate a Turkish restaurant in Vancouver). Also loved the friendly organizers/volunteers in the light blue shirts – so handy. With the architectural backdrop of the Art Gallery behind and water fountain in front, it was a beautiful location for a downtown fete. Most importantly – the food lines moved quickly with plenty of samples for the festival goers to try before committing to a whole dish.
As for my theory and upcoming photo exhibit, there might be a slight delay in that grand opening. What’s stopping me from being a world-class, world renowned and world famous photographer is very obvious:
I needed a $4,000 camera.
Photo credits – all me, baby. Ask about pricing! 😉