Monday, January 19, 2009

Twice as free!

Is it truthful to say this past weekend's Really Really Free Market was twice as good as the first one? Well, whether it is or not, we're saying it anyways! At the very least, we avoided the dreaded sophmore slump.

Who knows how the forces of momentum work, especially in this city, but some dynamics certainly came together to make this RRFM even better than the last. Credit must be given where credit is due though, so we'd like to thank everyone that came out, everyone that spread the word to their friends and on their blogs (really, keep that up!), and probably an extra thanks is due to The Nuge for his article in NUVO that surely brought in a substantial number of people we would not have reached otherwise. Again, WHATEVER came together to foster the environment of the event this time, we surely enjoyed it all! We're sorry if you missed out, but we'll be back next month, same bat place, same bat time.

As to the specifics of the event, we found it quite amusing that the self-imposed restrictions people felt at simply TAKING FREE STUFF the first time around were seemingly non-existent this past Saturday. Last month we had to assure everyone that they could find something they wanted and walk home with it, and even then we heard many mutterings of "I feel guilty taking this" slip from their lips. This time though, the process was well understood and items were being snatched up as soon as they were put on the floor...and even before they left some trunks in the parking lot! We were very pleased that the sense of obligation and apprehension some internalize was cast aside so as to freely share in the communal pot of goods. We hoped to take photos of the items and keep a running list of what others brought, but with so many people, everything was being picked up right after it was put down. One marketeer who had brought a box of computer supplies placed them on the floor then went to his car to get one more item and on his return found that absolutely everything he brought was now in someone else's hands waiting to be hooked up and put to good use! This happened quite frequently.

Although we couldn't keep an exact tally of the goods that were brought and services offered, here is a list we can pull from memory:

Golf clubs
Bike tires/clothes/fenders
Boom boxes
Computer printers/scanners/keyboards/monitors
Lots and lots of clothes
Kids toys
Vegan cookies and Rice Krispie Treats
Longs doughnuts (maybe the item that got the most praise)
Pocket knifes of all kinds
Music/Dance demonstration
Flint Knapping demonstration by our wilderness survival friends
Portrait sketches
Baby stroller
Vintage chair
and much much more...seriously, lots.

We must say, one of the stand out items this market was the boxes of Longs Glazed doughnuts that everybody went nuts over. Those were devoured before most marketeers even realized they were there. The rush on the box of knives was quite amusing as well, once the word spread.

In all, we have to declare this RRFM TWICE as successful as the last RRFM. Why twice? Why not? Certainly we at least doubled the number of attendees, estimating approximately 400 people coming through the doors throughout the day, and the number and variety of goods was quite exciting as well. Let's not get wrapped up in the spectacle of numbers though. Ultimately, the general energy of the marketeers held the most value to us as everyone seemed to be in great spirits, the many children playing with the toys non-stop (then taking them home!), the great conversations had about providing for others and making plans to share services outside the RRFM, the spreading passions to reignite similarly focused projects and finally the plotting on how to get involved come next month. We can't wait to see where this continues to go.

We leave you with the following quote from this past Saturday.

"Really? Seriously?" - as in, really? seriously? you're giving THAT away? just before excitedly taking a rice cooker back to their car. We suspect this interaction took place more than a handful of times.

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