Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ye Olde Medieval Fare

Oh noooooooooooooooo.

That's pretty much all I have to say.

Last Sunday was a fun-filled day in New York City.  Starting with brunch in Queens with our friends who just moved into that borough. Welcome back to NY C & T!  I had French toast stuffed with Greek yogurt.  Oh yeeeeeeeeeeeees.  Tres delicious.

I was anxious to get going because I wanted to see a medieval costume demonstration at The Cloisters WAY uptown.  I learned about said costume demonstration when I was at the Cloisters a few weeks ago (for those who don't know - the Cloisters are part of the Met.  It was built in 1935 to house the extensive medieval art collection, notably the Unicorn tapestries - it's amazing).  Anyways, I was there.  

I went to listen about the medieval house.  It was a children's tour.  That's right, I toured along side five eight year-olds to learn about what the Medieval home used to look like.  Jokes on you if you laughed  - all the other adults on the tour were as equally interested as myself.  In fact, they asked more questions that I did.  Of course they were the parents of said children and therefore didn't appear creepy like me.

My tour guide told me to go on the adult costume tour at 2pm.  Fine.  I did.  But it was not nearly as much fun and the other kids asked inane questions (why is there always some bozo on tour who tries to contradict the guide?  If you already know things then why are you on the tour? And NO, it wasn't me).  

Anyways, she mentioned the demonstration she was going to have soon.  I take great interest in history.  Especially in historical costume.  So I thought this sounded great.  I should have listened to her voice of derision as she explained the demonstration was merely running along the upcoming Medieval Fare, but she was not affiliated with it.

Hint number one.

I thought the idea of a Medieval Fare was quite fun.  I like fares.  I like medieval history.  Do I not own a book entitled 'Medieval Lives:  Pastimes and Pleasures'?  

Hint number two that this was a bad idea was the group of three rather large and frightening looking women stuffed into brightly coloured velvet corsets spitting on the A train.

I missed the demonstration.  Stupid A train.

But heck, I was in time for the Medieval Fare.  The day was a perfect autumn afternoon and Fort Byron Park is lovely.

Oh god.  I had NOT expected what I ran into.  

Okay, I know that these things are famous for being geeky.  But heck, I'm a geek right?  I'm a history nerd.  

Oh noooooooo.  

I was not prepared for this level of geekiness.  I feel I could have collected enough oil to last a lifetime of Italian cooking from the collective collection of hair grease in this park.

That's mean.

And unfortunately true.

My first complaint:  the medieval fare is rife with historical inaccuracies.  Sticking 'ye olde' in front of something does not make it Medieval (for the record, this exact line was used in Season Two of 'Big Bang Theory' but I said it before I saw it.  If you watch that show you now know that if I quoted Sheldon on my own, I must be on some level a huge nerd).

I suppose it would be ridiculous to actually hold a historically accurate Medieval Fare.  It would be (a) incredibly smelly (b) probably a bit violent and (c) there would be no Gandalph's walking around.

Clearly this event is meant for kids.  Or should be - note to creepy fifty year-old men who come to leer at heaving corseted bosoms.  There were kids everywhere dressed as little knights, princesses and fairies.  My personal favorite was a little Buzz Lightyear with a painted on moustache.  Very Medieval. (sorry the photos aren't great - I felt like a pedaphile.)

I suppose this is sort of a bitchy entry.  Yes, I am judgmental.  But my day of Medieval costumes with actual historical facts was robbed and I was forced to walk around with people who thought stuffing a pointed hat on their head and watching falcons made them from the Middle Ages.  Or worse, the woman who tried to bring Bud Light into the Cloisters.

I don't know what's worse:  Bud Light at a Medieval Fare or someone who thinks it's okay to bring a plastic cup of horrible American beer next to a tapestry preserved from 1382?

Suffice to say, I will still get lost in my historical fiction, endless reading of Wikipedia and viewing of History Channel's Middle Ages documentaries. 

I am a true historian.

1 comment:

Tara Avery said...

Hahaha, you ARE starting to need the Mom Translator. (It's Fort Tryon Park.)

Bud Light at the Cloisters is a hundred shades of WRONG.