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Santacon PDX 2010: Postcards from the end of the crawl

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Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 712
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 5:25 am    Post subject: Santacon PDX 2010: Postcards from the end of the crawl Reply with quote

Below I've included a press release I prepared for a special event
December 4th, 2010, in Portland Oregon.

Unfortunately, this text, though submitted to Craigslist, never actually


50,000 postcards, music, art, and hundreds of Santas - $1 (The Waterheater, off Mississippi)

I was telling Joseph, the organizer of this event that there must be a thousand people in Portland tonight who were just wishing that someone would make it easy to have a really good time for little or no money. Maybe he's shy, so I'll tell you about it.

The Waterheater is pretty new. Its a converted factory space, with a bar (now) and music. The walls are covered with hundreds of artworks, some not so good, but some funny or startling -- with so much to choose from you're bound to see something that provokes a response. A few times a month, Joseph puts on the Bazaar Bizzarro (a kind of flea market) in this space, so while you're drinking, listening to music and looking at art, you can also buy a few odds and ends to round out your collection. This time, I see original art for sale, a huge selection of books for the ridiculously low price of a buck a book, handmade jewelry, clothes, and cool little things of various description. Another big draw? Scott from the Dollar Scholar will be there, selling all the weird stuff that you could think of, also for a dollar. (Scott is the mind behind the "Make Portland Weirder" bumper sticker, and a real treasure for Portland.)

Oh, and I'll be there. I've brought about 50,000 postcards, sorted into categories and available for sale at very low prices. 90% of my cards are $1 or less, and at least half are 3 for a dollar! Postcards of your favorite rock band? Check. Zebras? Yup. Nova Scotia? Of course! Antique cards sent in 1906, with just a name and a town for the address? Heartbreaking glimpses into the loneliness of spinster aunts whose beaus don't write? You may not believe me, but you're welcome to try to prove me wrong. It's all there, and more than I could ever describe. My cards are all categorized, and I've brought more than 50 boxes, including foreign countries, animals, new, used, vintage, modern, antique... it's all too too much.

If that wasn't enough, dancing to music in a cold converted factory (you might want to dance just to stay warm - be sure to bring a sweater), with bright lights, booze, lots of original art on the walls, music, books and other stuff to buy, and a fantastic encyclopedia (in postcard form), tonight is going to be REALLY special! I mentioned SANTA. Well, how about HUNDREDS of Santas? How about hundreds of DRUNKEN Santas at the last stop of the Santacon pub crawl? If the chance to be a part of such inspired madness doesn't move you, think of it as an anthropology experiment. Chances are it won't end in tragedy this time. In fact I'm betting on it.

Actually, the sale, booze, dj music, art on the wall, postcards, and Dollar Scholar parts will be happening all day, starting around noon.
I understand that the Santas will start showing up around 5-6pm. I'll probably be selling postcards until about 8, and the party will be going on for hours and hours after that. I understand that there will be live bands! I almost forgot to mention food. There's a food cart there to replenish your energies. Free admission. Did I mention HUNDREDS of SANTAS?

The folks at the Waterheater are real friendly. The sound system is good. What a great place to hang out and have a good time for a while (and buy postcards... and buy postcards... and buy postcards) Are you feeling sleepy? The cure: Dance with Santas (and buy postcards)!

The Waterheater is just around the corner from the Rebuilding Center, just off Mississippi at 750 *North* Fremont (not that other 750 Fremont in *Northeast* Portland). Event runs noon to late at night, Saturday, December 4, 2010. (about the location) (about the Santa's)

p.s. I didn't bring most of my US and European cards today, so if you want some of these, contact me before 11am today to let me know...
Location: The Waterheater, off Mississippi

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Joined: 17 Mar 2006
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Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:53 pm    Post subject: Varieties of Santi Reply with quote

At first, you could ignore it, someone in a Santa suit wandering around.
But then it was hard to ignore, as a trickle became a stream became a
river emptying into a sea of Santas (or "Santi" as they prefer to be called
in the plural).

Santas didn't buy a lot of postcards (which suggests that there will be
quite a few lumps of coal in local folks' stockings this year), but they
knew how to have a good time anyway. I was particularly struck by
how Halloween has invaded the Christmas holiday (rudely shoving
Thanksgiving aside, I might say).

I started cataloguing the Santi I saw, keeping notes. In particular, I
saw: pirate santa, goblin santa, green santa, bathrobe santa, glam santa,
dark santa, punk santa, cowboy santa, Elvis santa, elvish santa, angel
santa, half-naked santa, sheep santa, majorette santa, "Slash" (the
guitarist) santa, big hand santa, baby santa, flamboyant cowboy santa,
jester santa, aviator santa, king santa, fishnet santa, feather santa,
hippie santa, hiphop santa, boxer santa, hooker santa, banana santa (or
maybe they were just banana people, not trying to be santa at all.

Many santas were naughty santas. A few were nice santas, though no more
than were self claimed nasty santas. Drunken santa was popular.
Many were just a generic kind of santa, though a few found that to be
too much effort, and relied on just the hat to make the costume,
adding the odd red tracksuit, or flashing LED christmas lights if the hat
didn't seem like enough. An occasional reindeer or elf stayed up past
bedtime to dance till midnight.

After a Santa stasis, the tide slowly turned. The sea became a pond, and
eventually a puddle of santas. Things get hazy from there on out. Don't
tell the kids, but there's a little bit of santa in all of us. Santa is a kind of
distributed app, relying on multiple servers in order to keep
our young clients well supplied with wonder.

If it ever comes that Santa is under attack, millions of us can do as
Spartacus' friends did, stand up and proclaim "I am Santa".

Metaphorically, it just might be true.
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