Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Magdalen Street gets moving

Shopping is an engaging experience for me... sometimes. Watching shoppers is even more engaging. As part of a small crew, under the skilled guidance of Kayla, I find myself in a different role this year in what is now the 3rd annual Magdalen Street celebration. This year sees it join forces with neighbouring St. Augustines, recently given a big makeover by the City and County Councils - a makeover which has generally been positively received.

As a consequence, the 2012 celebration feels huge.  The diversity of musicians, the range of exhibitions, workshops, history features, performers, kids stuff - all done as a community venture and by volunteer effort - is impressive.

We're sticking with the now well-known themes of creativity, diversity, and sustainability.  And those themes are all amply represented in what's happening this Saturday.  As a creative quarter near to the art college ( now NUCA), Magdalen and St.Augustine streets are now resplendent with many shops which feature the arts and crafts.  Magdalen Street now has no less than nine vintage or retro shops.

The Celebration is a great chance to come and visit the city's vintage hot spot, with new shabby chic shops popping up week on week, charity shops galore and retro fashion almost spilling on to the pavements. It's a trendy-bargain-shopper's day dream.  This, of course, crosses over into the sustainability theme, especially as most of the shops are independently owned as well.

The programme is also brimming with enticing music, including much for classic music lovers at St. Augustines church, imaginative history presentations, street happenings,and activities for children.   There's even a big free doodle taking place under the flyover, along with other live art making.

Now back to that shopping experience..... I wonder how much all this will affect shoppers in the street, and I wonder how much of their behaviour I will notice, and I wonder whether, as 'waiting, shifting, shoppers', we will be noticed.... or will we all blend in together?     The answers might lie in some lines  of chalk...............................

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