I realized over the weekend that I don't have a whole lot to say about Slow Food Nation. Despite my best intentions, I ended up attending only one of the many events, which hardly qualifies me to write authoritatively about it.
For that single event at the Taste Pavilion, I had every expectation that there would be long lines for food - and indeed there were - but having expected it, I wasn't frustrated. I simply walked around and took in the venue and the art. I loved the creative use of materials, from gorgeous bottles of olive oil to glass mason jars to paper umbrellas. It was inventively and beautifully staged, and therefore a treat for someone who loves eye candy as much as I do. I soldiered through the crowds for a few bites of cheese - I do have my priorities, after all - but didn't have the patience for most of the lines.
Did Slow Food Nation live up to its mission? I'll leave that for you to decide. I've assembled a list of links at the end of this post where you can read the thoughts + opinions of people I respect who have considered the issue far more carefully than I have.
It turned out that what I wanted most on the last official weekend of summer was not to run from one gathering to the next, but rather to rest and relax, spend time with friends and enjoy good food + quality conversation. And that is exactly what I did.
I do have some photos for you - I promised you those, and here they are. As you'll see, I've focused on the artful design of the venue. Enjoy.
Assorted pickles. Pretty.
Lamp made from a mason jar. I thought this was a fabulous idea - can't you just see these scattered around a porch to light late summer evenings?
A "ceiling" created by jar lids suspended from fishing wire. This was one of my favorite "installations."
H-O-N-E-Y - "walls" made from fruit crates and recycled boards. This helped to create a contained space where the beekeepers + honey vendors could talk about their products.
J-A-M: More fruit crates. Love the creative "signage."
Paper umbrellas covered the ceiling of the artisan spirits area. Festive + fun.
Floor Art: the floor of the spirits area was painted with bold stripes of color and the words "Gin" and "Tequila" and "Vodka." Groovy script.
Golden flasks of olive oil. The oil captured the light and reflected it back beautifully.
A table supported by beer bottles with a counter made of recycled glass. Also notable: the beer was served in glasses! Made of real glass. Nice.
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Slow Food Nation: the Blogosphere Speaks
Read. Be inspired or frustrated or both. Just read.
Slow Food Event Volunteers
+ Shuna Fish Lydon @ eggbeater: Volunteering at Slow On the Go with Scott Peacock and Heritage Foods
Journalists, Food Writers and Food Blogger Attendees
+ Genie (same as above): Slow Food Nation '08 - Flickr set
+ Michael Bauer @ The San Francisco Chronicle: Drinking the Slow Food Kool-Aid
+ Christine Muhlke @ The New York Times: A Taste of the Future?
Those Who Opted Out
Did you blog about Slow Food Nation?
Feel free to leave a link in the comments.