“A stone city clinging to rock surrounded by green on the edge of the island …”
Garrett Palm reports from the Festival Fringe in Edinburgh
“It’s summer. It’s warm out,” our guitarist said when a member of the production team asked him about the cold and rain. While we hand out flyers for our show at the Festival Fringe during the day the Americans wear jackets and some of the Scottish wear t-shirts. The temperature has been in the 50s and 60s, with a dip down to 48.
Everything is wet. We recently survived 36 straight hours of rain. The Foodies festival was delayed due to muddy conditions. It takes a lot of rain to affect the plans of the Scottish. I love how the city looks in the rain, but it makes our jobs difficult. Our flyers warp and go limp and people are less inclined to stop and listen to us. It makes daily life difficult, too: dishtowels at the flat don’t dry off, the skylight leaks and all my clothes are damp.
Even in the height of the international festival, Edinburgh feels a part of the British Isles. It is a stone city clinging to rock surrounded by green on the edge of the island. The rain and wind come right off the channel. Our cast is staying a block past World’s End Close, a tight alleyway, where the old city, and thus the world, used to end.
In rain like this you need to drink coffee.
I spent my first few days here finding my favorite coffee shops so I could become a regular. One place has a Pacific Northwest American-Indian theme.With totem poles in the corners, it’s a Seattle-meets-ski-lodge look.
I asked the lady at the register about the theme and she just said the owner is from Edinburgh as if to say she has the same question. One serious little cafe, Artisan Roast, where I buy my beans for the flat, has no counter. The barista is out among the customers. The walls are decorated with the bags the green coffee beans are shipped over in. They may have the best coffee in Edinburgh, but they are a bit out of the way.
My favorite is a little shop called Kilimanjaro with photos from Africa on the white walls and a great vegetarian Scottish breakfast” An egg, 4 big chunks of brown toast, a fried tomato, 2 veggie sausages, veggie haggis, beans and fried mushrooms. I’m not sure what is in the veggie haggis besides oats.
I made the foolish decision to bring shoes mostly made of mesh so my feet have been damp and cold all week, causing me to get sick. I know better, but they’re just what I put on when I left. I packed a raincoat to bring on the outside of my backpack. Like a first time tourist I rode the A Train through Brooklyn to the airport completely lost in my thoughts and my iPod. Somewhere along the way someone stole the jacket.
There are 2,500 shows performing this year and it’s hard to distinguish yourself amongst the crowd. Baby Wants Candy’sshows have been getting good feedback so far, online and in person, and the cast often performs to sell out audiences. It feels good to be a part of something so well received, which makes the dampness, fatigue and soar throat worth the trouble.Previous updates from Edinburgh:
- Travel: Trimming the ‘fringe’ in Edinburgh
- Edinburgh – to tram, or not to tram, that is the question
- Travel: Notes from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe