florida, less food-related, out and about, road trippin'

Calcite on the Soles of My Shoes

03.02.11 | 5 Comments

My parents chose not to get cable TV until two months after I left for college, and the rule in effect for many years was No TV During the Week. Obviously, the TV was not a factor in our electricity bills, so it should be no surprise that our home movie collection never amounted to more than a small drawer (though this does not include my mother’s extensive collection of women in leotards and putrid skin-tone tights doing leg lifts and step-ups).

One of our most well-worn tapes (those bricks that came before DVDs) was Mary Poppins, recorded from a showing on television. Back when I was a kid, you had to fast forward through commercials uphill both ways. And one of my favorite scenes, after the sooty men kicking their knees up and stepping in time about the rooftops, was when Bert drew on the sidewalks with chalk and jumped in with Jane and Michael.

Had I tried to jump into one of the chalk masterpieces at the Lake Worth Street Painting Festival this past weekend, I have a feeling I would have just ended up with calcite on the soles of my shoes.

Of course, the artists had calcite smeared over all parts of their bodies, since they spent the whole weekend sitting on asphalt and blending colors with their fingers to create all sorts of pictures from classic cartoon strips to spaghetti cowboys.

I had secretly hoped to see a giant hopscotch board, but I guess that’s either too meta or too childish. There was also a separate area where kids could plop themselves and color their own asphalt panels.

This of course was a great hit with the kids because they got to roll in so much colored chalk that they practically looked Na’vi.

And ice cream to rub where the chalk couldn’t reach.

I spent a few hours hanging out with my friend TessaLuna, who is one of the best face painters around. I got to take pictures of cute kids in paint, she got some pictures of her work, and we both had fun.

The line for face painting was perpetually long, though I was amazed at how patiently all of the kids waited, even if the hour-long wait was taxing.

Some of the kids were really obviously excited to get painted.


The kids who were extra patient—waiting through TessaLuna’s well-deserved late afternoon break—got something special. Like a jewel on the forehead.

Or something impressionistic and unique matched to the wardrobe.

TessaLuna was not, unlike the other face painters who technically were not supposed to be there, charging for her art. She was working only for tips, and it was interesting for me to see just how generous people chose to be. Five dollars was the standard, though some handed over twenties and one man handed me a ten and asked for 8 dollars back. A few parents handed their kids the money and taught them how to tip.

A few of the adults walking by joked about getting their faces painted. It was a little sad to me that they felt they were too ‘old’ to get their faces painted, but some people feel they’re old enough to inject toxins into their face. Face paint makes anyone look younger.

In fact, I think I look just the same here as I did after my mom and Nana took me to Nana’s friend for a makeover when I was 10 or 11. Face paint, makeup, whatever, but I guarantee that a butterfly will slough off the years less painfully but just as effectively as a chemical peel.

This woman is actually 45.

I predict that within the year we will see all the celebs, debutantes and socialites peppering the Style pages all gussied up like Natalie Portman in The Black Swan, feathers optional.

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