I had a busy couple of weekends this June. On Sunday, June 17th, we went to Car Free Day on Main Street in the afternoon. It doesn’t change much year-to-year, but it was still fun to wander up and down. We ran into some friends there too—no surprise—and grabbed a drink to finish off the afternoon. Here are some choice photos:

Car Free Day 2012 - Main Street

Crowds looking northbound at 15th Ave.

Car Free Day 2012 - Main Street

Blowing Bubbles

Car Free Day 2012 - Main Street

These dogs don’t need cars

Car Free Day 2012 - Main Street

Playing with the typewriters at Regional Assembly of Text. We overheard a dad say ruefully to his young child, “You probably don’t even know what this is.”


Car Free Day 2012 - Main Street

Reeeeally big hula hoop!

Then June 23 & 24 was the second annual Vancouver Mini Maker Faire. After missing the first event last year, and seeing all the awesomephotos, blog posts, and video that resulted, I was determined to make it to this year’s event.

The entrance was steep (day pass was $17 each cash at the door, or $15 via Eventbrite before) which bothered me, and parking at PNE Forum was $10. That is incredibly expensive for a so-called “community” event, and they even charged makers $30 (individual), $120 (startup), or $300 (commercial) for table space. So I get in to PNE Forum, and it’s the usual Forum—kinda depressing with bandstands full of ugly plastic seating, cement floors and dim lighting in high ceilings. Definitely not the atmosphere I was expecting.

However, the redeeming feature was the Makers—there was some genuinely interesting stuff. There was lots of space to walk around, which almost made it feel empty. But the few Maker friends I caught up with said that they’d been on their feet and talking non-stop, so it sounds like there was decent attendance. The boys were most interested in checking out the 3D Printer Village, as was I, so we made our way there first. I was glad to see Blim, The Modern Quilt Guild, Ruby Dog, Might Ugly, and a couple other local crafty groups represented.

Vancouver Mini Maker Faire 2012

Yarnbombed Art Bike

Vancouver Mini Maker Faire 2012

3D Printer putting the final touches on an Escher-style model. It had been printing for something like 36 hours already.

Vancouver Mini Maker Faire 2012

Sand sculpture

Vancouver Mini Maker Faire 2012

Disaster Area: re-purposed fire extinguishers hooked up to a musical Fisher Price keyboard.

Vancouver Mini Maker Faire 2012

Playing chess at the Steampunk area (which was decorated and waiting for the ‘Steampunk Tea Party’ the next day)

Lots of other things caught our eyes too, but I felt there was either: A.) lack of signage at individual booths explaining what they were so our interest wasn’t piqued, or B.) unapproachable —ranging from Makers being incredibly busy (which is great) or no one at the booth (which sucks because you linger hoping someone will realize you’re interested, and eventually you just walk away). Maybe it was just because of how much space there was, but it seemed empty and sort of waiting for the action to begin. Anyway, I’m glad I went to check it all out, because it was something I’d wished I’d done in 2011.