Thanks to a last minute cancellation, I got called in to perform for the last day of the 2011 season for the Astoria Sunday Market. What a great day! The weather even co-operated, which is unusual for this time of year. It started off kind of misty, and then the sky cleared up and we actually had sun for the rest of the afternoon.
The music stage is right in the middle of the food court, and this market has really attracted some outstanding food vendors. Once again, I couldn’t pass up getting a “good ol hamburger”! Definitely NOT even close to what you might get at McD’s, or any other fast food place. I’m talking about a real hamburger here, with a real meat patty cooked just right on the BBQ, served while it’s still hot, and requires at least 4 napkins if you want to avoid getting that special cheese sauce all over the front of your shirt. Mmmm…..I would have had another one just for the flavor, but I was stuffed and had to go play some more music!
I saw a lot of familiar faces, as well as many new ones in the audience, and had a great time all day. A real highlight came towards the end of the day, with a rather large group that came in and played “stump the band” Some of their song requests were really out there, ranging from “Deep Purple” and “Led Zeppelin” to “Amazing Grace” and “Classical Gas”. Jeeze, I hadn’t played Stairway to Heaven or Classical Gas for a looooong time, (maybe years?) but it was sure fun! They were great sports, even feeding me the lyrics to songs as I was trying to figure out guitar parts to songs I had never played before. We were having so much fun that I played almost a half hour after the market had officially closed!
The mood was almost party-like, with a bit of sadness thrown in. This market runs every Sunday, from Mothers Day in the spring, through the second Sunday of October in the fall, so the vendors get pretty close and used to seeing each other every week. The end of the season means they won’t be seeing each other until next spring, but it also means they now have Sundays off to relax for a while too! I have performed at this market for many years, and it’s always kind of sad to see it come to an end. But that’s ok, Spring will be here again before we know it!