Ohayou! It was a cold day for tea and anime. In honor of my sister-in-law, Lori’s birthday, we braved the trifecta of traffic snarls (A’s Game, Giant’s Game, Folsom Street Fair) to enjoy afternoon tea at the new Crown & Crumpet location in Japantown. It was a dizzying swirl of activity, but I was happy to learn that they have a gluten-free option, which is great for us gluten-sensitive people. Rumor has it that they are working on a new downtown SF location somewhere near Union Square, so that’s something to look forward to! Hopefully, it will have some of the old charm of it’s previous Ghirardelli Square location.
Little did we know, we’d be entering the fray of the JPop 2013 Festival. Everywhere we turned we saw beautifully colorful and creative Anime costumes.
And, tons of characters that I was unable to distinguish, since I’m Anime challenged.
There was one character I recognized, however!
It was a great day for people watching in Japantown. Everything you could possibly want or need for your Anime lifestyle could be found here. Do you need some beautifully designed Anime thank you cards? Got those!
Or, perhaps you need a new Anime Lolita-inspired outfit? Got those, too!
What? You need a new Anime-inspired grocery bag? Yep, got those, too!
Walking around the JPop Festival was like an immersion program in Anime. I truly had no idea what a big deal it is and how many people are into it. And, let me tell you, it’s not an inexpensive venture. One paltry dress at the Anime costume shop I saw was $372. Makes me think that thrift stores ought to create a separate “anime” section like some of them do now for vintage clothing. They could rake it in…
And, around every bend of the festival, were some unexpected finds – like the wonderful jewelry by Cat Keeney of CatMakesThings. Lori couldn’t resist buying one of Cat’s beautiful skeleton key necklaces.
Cat finds her unique keys at estate sales and other treasure troves. We loved her re-purposed bullets that she finds at the shooting range, then fuses with crystals to make her one-of-a-kind pieces. You can find out more about Cat here.
A few spaces down, we stumbled onto the amazing work of Dustin Page and his company, Platinum Dirt. Dustin is one of the artists from Oakland’s 25th Street Collective, and his uber-cool creations are fashioned from reclaimed vintage auto upholstery from the genuine leather interiors of old luxury vehicles he finds at salvage yards and junk yards. How about that for being resourceful? I fell in love with his Barracuda Cuff, which is just so very Blade Runner. It takes Dustin several hours to make one of these all-purpose carrying cuffs that fit your Iphone and other essentials right on your wrist. Love it!
Dustin also makes great-looking leather jackets, women’s purses, coin purses, wallets and other accessories entirely out of your Grandpa’s old Duster.
Here’s Dustin modeling his shark bag. It’s a purse, it’s a shoulder bag, it’s a backpack! Perfect for your next Jaws-viewing party!
Then, there was the lovely jewelry made from bits of chandeliers and other salvaged finds from the Scorpion Sisters Laboratories, another member of the 25th St. Collective in Oakland. Michelle Threadgould, along with her Auntie, repurpose bits of broken jewelry, crystals from chandeliers and gorgeous vintage and antique brooches into one-of-a-kind adornments.
These truly lovely pieces are so very awe-inspiring. It has me looking at my dining room light fixture with possibility…
There were so many up-cycled and handmade goods from so many creative people at the Festival that by the end of the day, we were cold, very cold, but truly giddy with excitement.
What an interesting Festival filled with creativity. If you need more for your Anime fix, check out the Japan Expo at the Santa Clara, August 23rd to 25th…
I’ll leave you with a little video of the Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F Sega PS2 characters doing a cute little dance…Enjoy!