Saturday, August 9, 2008

Friends, Flowers, Food and Art

A great way to spend a Saturday afternoon in August is with friends enjoying the street fairs in downtown Bellingham. Today I found myself admiring the exotic wax-like blooms of the hoya plant in the window at the comfortable Three Trees Coffee House as I visited with Aaron and Kriss.
Appetites ready to indulge, we set off to purchase our tickets and feast on some of the great food offered by twenty of our local restaurants and eateries set up in booths in the middle of Cornwall Avenue during the annual Bite of Bellingham hosted by the Downtown Renaissance Network - pizza, baklava, crepes filled with a special Japanese citrus curd, pulled pork sandwiches, seafood dishes, Greek foods and so much more was available.
What fun we had as we sampled some of the different foods from the many booths, often stopping to visit with other friends we ran into along the way as we all worked our way up and down the booths along both sides of the block. My personal favorite, a very decadent and oh so rich chocolate cream cheese dessert served up by La Vie en Rose.
After that, we headed back down toward the main music stage, admiring the art on display in the different booths along the way during the annual La Bella Strada festival sponsored by the Allied Arts of Whatcom County.
Several blocks of Cornwall Avenue were closed to traffic for the festival as rows of vendor booths filled the street. Walking past some of my favorite shops along Railroad Avenue - The Bagelry, Avenue Bread, Wonderland Teas, we stopped in Sweet Art, a fun little shop combining handmade chocolates and sweet art.
Owned and operated by a husband and wife team, their tiny shop has a counter filled with a grand selection chocolate treats - hand made with great zest by the husband, aka "the candyman" - and brightly colored oil paintings by the wife fill the shop walls. Sweet Art is Bellingham's perfect example of a mom-n-pop shop. You can often find their chocolates available at the Bellingham Farmers Market on Saturdays. Their chocolates are well worth trying and they are one fun and friendly couple to visit with.


More photos from the day.

With the annual Chalk Artfest postponed until tomorrow due to the rain this morning, some of us will back tomorrow to watch as the artists draw their colorful designs on the sidewalks and to listen to more music on their main stage - that is, if it does not rain!

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