Last year I went to the festival early on Monday morning to see the balloons lift off. Unfortunately the wind was blowing in the wrong direction and the balloons were not allowed to take off. They inflated them, so I was able to snap a couple of pictures, but that's all. They were then deflated and hauled away.
A few years earlier I met a friend in Central Park for the balloon launch at 6 am on Monday morning. I'm not an early morning person, so this was the first time I woke up early enough to be there in time for the takeoff. We walked across the field and a crowd was milling around, but the balloons were on the ground. After waiting for about an hour, we were told the wind was in the wrong direction and it would not be safe for the balloonists to take off.
After that experience and the one last year, I decided I'm a balloon jinx; so I won't try to see them take off this Monday morning. If you see balloons flying overhead you know it's because I wasn't there. Oh to have such power!
After the launch was cancelled my friend and I headed for Bollinger Canyon Road to have breakfast at Nicole's Diner. That was years before they were raided by ICE and closed down. The festival didn't officially open until 10 am, but vendors were setting up their art and knickknack booths as we walked by. I spotted a hat booth, which I didn't expect to see at an event like this. The owner was just putting the hats out and my friend said I try some on.
I did and bought a navy straw hat that I wear on special occasions. I often receive complements on it. There's even a photo on the City's website now of me in my hat next to Hassan Sharifi, owner of the Golden Skate, taken at a City Council meeting several years ago. It's a nice photo and a nice hat. The full photo accompanies this story. I don't remember what was on the agenda that night, but the Council Chambers were packed as you can see.
I don't need any more hats, but I bought a pink garden hat at OSH a few weeks ago and wore it to last Tuesday's Council meeting. Nobody took my photo in it, but Councilman Scott Perkins asked if it was a replacement for my usual Tilley hat. No I said it is an Alternate hat, the way I am an Alternate on the Arts Advisory Committee. The pink hat fills in when I am wearing pink, which I was from head to toe (yes pink shoes too) at that meeting.
If you have read this far you are probably asking yourself, "Why am I reading this? She should go fly a kite!" OK, see you at Central Park on Monday, but not until after the balloons take off.