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An Infringe-stagram mini-diary

After catching two plays at the Chautqua Institution yesterday ("Clybourne Park" and "The Romeo and Juliet Project," both excellent) on Saturday and typing up the review to one this morning, I was a little low on energy today. But I did make it out to a few Infringey places, which I'll recount here via Instagram, everyone's favorite tool for producing and over-sharing pieces of instant nostalgia.

First, I headed to People's Park, a pocket park on Main Street near Jewett Avenue. When I arrived, the planned (and promoted!) hip hop "blowout" was nowhere to be found or heard, but the setting was a revelation. The park is a strange urban oasis, full of beautiful gardens, a mini-playground, performance space and a cool mini-library. I drive by all the time, but never even noticed it was there.

At Infringement, it's relatively rare but not unheard-of for artists to skip out on their gigs. The key  when this happens is to make the best out of the situation, which for me in this case involved taking a break in one of the strategically positioned Adirondack chairs in People's Park, listening to the passing traffic on Main Street and chatting with another Infringer who offerred up some tips on other hip hop acts to catch. (He recommended Scantron, a suggestion that I wholeheartedly second.)

After that I took my bike down to Allentown, where something Infringey is always happening. What I found was a live game of Pac-Man in Days Park, which 8BitBuffalo curator Jose Rodriguez had planned out. He'd created an intricate maze, using the Days Park fountain as the center of the board, and when I arrived the players were just about to start their 13th game of the day. Here's a video of what it looked like:


The idea was for the guy (or girl) playing Pac-Man to collect white wiffle balls as other people dressed as ghosts chased the game's yellow-shirted hero through the labyrinth. Just as in the video game, orange balls were interspersed among the white ones, giving Pac-Man temporary power to pursue and knock out the ghosts. The results, as expected and much to the delight of the small crowd that had gathered to watch the players, were hliarious. (I was recruited to play a pink ghost, which I did, briefly, with very little success. Jose was taking pictures, but I can only hope they've somehow been deleted.)

After getting a little exercise at Pac-Man Park, I wanderd over to the always-happening College Street Block Party, an annual necessity for the neighorhood and the festival. And I caught this scene, featuring a rooftop performance from "WIll Folk for Food," two fiddlers and a percussionist on the roof of a College Street house. (Fiddlers. Roof. Insert musical theater joke here.)

After that, though the festivities are still raging in Allentown and beyond, it was back home to recharge for tomorrow's marginally quieter day of Infringement madness. Check back here for more on the festival, its wacky patrons and its many wonderful and unclassifiable acts throughout the week.

--Colin Dabkowski


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