Sunday, December 30, 2007

2007 Roundup: Negreni

I’m racing to get in a mention of some of the great stuff we did, but did not blog about, in 2007, before it becomes literally last year’s news.

October 2007: The Negreni Fair. Held every year in Negreni, Transylvania, a three hour train trip away from Cluj, Romania. What is there to say about Negreni that hasn't already been said by Dumneazu? I know I certainly can’t offer any additional insight. I was too overwhelmed. But I do have some pictures (some are by fellow Benningtonite and Budapester Matt E.)

To get to Negreni, you’ve got to take a local train at the butt crack of dawn, far out into the autumn countryside. We got off one stop too soon, in the literal middle of nowhere—as we hesitated to step off the train into a deserted field, the gaggle Romanian teenagers behind us laughed: “It’s Negreni!” The train started moving quickly, and we literally leapt off the train onto a sloping grassy hillside. A twenty minute walk into “town” finally brought us to the outskirts of the fair. I loved these rides, named after Coney Island’s Luna Park, the world’s most famous amusement park 100 years ago…

Inside the fair:

Head scarves were the order of the day for women:

Crazy hats for men:

Most people park by the side of the road or in peasants’ front yards. Those who didn’t come by car park somewhere by the river:

We bought handmade textiles for married friends, almost got a Russian gramophone, were sorely tempted by some shitty instruments, saw antique cookoo clocks a-plenty. But my favorite item at the fair was this baby:

1 comment:

plankface said...

So many questions! Like, what is that fox/dog doing hanging out with all those gnomes? And where can I get one? And what kind of fair combines a big truckload of -- tomatoes? -- with ancient carnival rides? (Answer: a Hungarian one, I guess.) Awesome.