I went off to yarnbomb Awaken Cafe in Oakland . It was a celebration for their Opening Day. This was a request yarnbombing . The owner Cort Dunlap , saw my bike racks at Lake Merritt and found me on Facebook . I get requests for yarnbombing pretty often and they can be a little complicated . For instance I might get lost trying to find the place . Or the energy of the site might be very unfamiliar and I find it harder to ground myself..
I drove around and around and around and finally there it was – Awaken Cafe ! I went in and saw that it was a surprisingly big , open, elegant space . I met Cort who is full of joy and enthusiasm and we went out and looked at the 2 racks . A kind barrista came outside and moved her bike off one rack and I started sewing .
Yarnbombing out on a big city street in the middle of the day can be stressful . I was a little uncomfortable. I felt my breathing. I looked around for things to enjoy and admired the look of the swooping buses. I appreciated the handspun wool in my knitting.
A woman came up to the bike rack with her bike and started to lock up her bike
.” I’m sorry would you mind using one of the other racks? ” I said “There are some over there . Awaken cafe asked me to put up this yarnbombing for their opening . “
Her face got cold and still . She glared at me. I was very surprised . I often ask riders to leave a rack free when I’m putting up and every one has always been very genial. She was out raged
A man friend of her came rushing over .
” This is not what these are for ! ” He yelled at me . ” You are impeding our access ! “
I was so shocked by this idea that my mind left the conversation and I started thinking deeply. Bike racks are only for bikes and not for making art with ? I couldn’t grasp this . I stared into space thoughtfully as he continued to berate me. Isn’t every thing , every object a possible material for playing with , for making art. Isn’t the whole world something wonderful to play with in any way possible ? Are bike racks forbidden art objects ?
Help appeared suddenly. “This is art ! ‘ A woman said strongly ” This is an art co op ! ‘
It is ? I was getting very confused .”No , it’s just me . ‘ I said .
“Oh you young people . ” The woman shook her finger at the angry bike people .” You don’t understand art ! “
‘ The man started yelling at my defender. I stood up and moved aside while the riders huffily locked up their bikes and stomped off . I looked down at their bikes and for one delicious, vengeful, moment thought of yarnbombing them . Put I knew they would just cut it all up so I refrained.
A big man in full gangsta rap clothing came walking by . He looked down at the yarnbombing and a big smile came over his face . He nodded at me approvingly .
“That’s cool ! ” he said .