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July 22, 1981 - Image 29

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1981-07-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Don't go away
empty handed,

The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, July 22, 1981-Page 17
1306 S. UNIVERSITY ... next to Village Corner
8:30 AM TILL 11:00 PM

Daily staff writer
"I'll give you my Monet for your
"How much money?"
"No, no, no. I make you a trade.
Come into my shop."
Clearly, at the Ann Arbor Art Fair
you won't be bargaining for works of
Monet or Cezanne, but that doesn't
mean you don't have to be as wily. Arts
and crafts, by their very nature, can get
away with being over-priced. For
example, if someone tried to sell me a
five pound sack of potatoes for $20, I'd
say, "Go take a hike, buddy."
YET, IF that same person tried to
sell me a silver-coated ring which was
just as over-priced, I, fool that I am,
just might buy it. Who could tell the dif-
But surely if the entrepreneur had
asked $1.50 for the same ring, I would
have said, "Sorry; I can get that in a
Cracker-Jack box."
Artsy items tend to be enhanced with
high price tags. So if you see a $100
polished rock paper weight which you
really wish you had, don't go away -
commercial trade without the con-
venient medium of money. Keeping this
in mind, one would more correctly
describe one's actions at the Art Fair as
Haggling, however, is the best and
most equitable means of clearing mer-
chandise, in my opinion. Far better
than dull, ordinary fixed price tags.
And, it is this haggling which makes the
Art Fair seem almost like an open
market ina foreign country, where that
particular phenomenon is common-
IMAGINE A fat American clad in
Bermuda shorts, a Hawaiian shirt and
sun-glasses. Oh yes, and a camera
slung around his neck. He is on vacation
to see the great pyramids of Giza.
Now, picture a Nubian shopkeeper,
Variety of
adds spice
(Continued from Page 3)
those in recent years. Much of the spon-
taneity has gone, much of the
But alas, all has not been lost. You
can still catch an impromptu exhibition
of mime, a spirited jazz gig, or a ballet
performance-all for free, and all for
the sake of beauty and joy. Altruism
isn't dead, you just have to look around
a bit.
AND THE painters, sculptors, and
photographers who line the streets with
their works, display no less variety or
quality than they did a decade ago. If
anything, by virtue of sheer numbers,
the diversity has greatly increased, and
the casual strolling from booth to booth
is as scintilating as ever. A "proper"
day of perusing the Art Fair should take
a full day, and if you're taking your

skinny and badly in need of a bath in the
Nile. He sees the tourist approaching,
automatically realizes he is rich, and
acts accordingly, pricing his items
about ten times the amount the natives
The tourist undoubtedly falls for it.
HAGGLING, IN effect, becomes an
income-adjusted way of distributing
goods equitably.
I, being in the not-so-well-off
category, have fared well with this
method. Let me relate an incident
which occurred in the Arab section of
Jerusalem, one year ago.
Walking down the winding stone
paths, I paused a moment to admire
some lambskin and sheepskin vests
outside of a shop. Two seconds later,
the proprietor was upon me, as a spider
creeps up on a bug in its web. He took
down the vest for me to try on.
"THIS I GIVE you for 2500 lira. Fine
"I'll give you 1000 lira," I said,
thinking it was low but not low enough
to insult him.
"Okay. Since you're my friend, I'll let
you have it for 2400," he said. Then his
little sidekick son, who must have been
only six or seven, but spoke very good
English, came and sat down.
"NO, NO, that's too much," I said. "I
don't have that much money."
"I cannot help that. This very fine
lambskin. You want sheepskin - that's
cheaper." I tried on a fluffy sheepkin
vest, but it made me look like an
"No thanks. I'll give you 1000 lira for
this one," I said pointing to the
Marlboro-man type lambskin vest.
"1000 LIRA," he laughed, "1000 lira
will buy you that one." And he pointed
to a child's shrunken replica of the vest.
"This one big, many skins. Since you're
my friend, a special price for you.
"Oh, no, no, no," I said.
His little son began, "This good
See BARTERING, Page 18
art fair
to city
time, you may spend a few days wan-
dering around before seeing
everything. -
A word to the wise, however: Like
any bazaar, the commodities available
at the fair are most plentiful early, and
decline in quantity and quality as they
are "picked over" by the patrons. If
you're going to be shopping for that per-
fect mural to hang over the couch, or if
you simply want to see the optimal
works, reserve some time for the first
days. As the weekend approaches, the
artists will be pulling out their second-
bests from storage.
It will be hot for the Art Fair, and you
better be armed with some Off or Cut-
ter's, but you'll find the festivities
lively, abundant with beauty and joy,
and with just enough altruism to go

at the
(Engineering Arch)



1204 S. UnIversity


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