The Hester Street Fair takes on Hollywood with food trucks, fashion vendors, handcrafted goods, lobster rolls and vegan cupcakes.
Street fairs are an essential part of the urban fabric of New York City – popping up in every neighborhood once the temperature reaches “short denim shorts.” One of New York’s most popular fairs is the Hester Street Fair, held on the Lower East Side. This weekend marked the West Coast premiere of The Hester Street Fair Hollywood, held on a parking lot one block from the classic Hollywood & Vine intersection.
The focus was “Bite Size Food and Crafts” and local fashionistas and foodies came out in droves to check out the offerings. The west coast migration of NYC institutions was led by vegan cupcakery Babycakes NYC, which now has two LA outposts, Brooklyn-based Anderson’s 1949, where chef Sherry Grimes (formerly of Dumbo’s Superfine) served food made from local, sustainable ingredients, and classic lobster rolls by Cousins Main Lobster truck.
Other gourmet food offerings – most bite-sized to encourage fair-goers to sample a little bit of everything – included innovative ice cream by Coolhaus, shave ice from Ice Ice Shavie, fried indulgence by the Crispy Waffle & Frites truck, delicious South Indian/Californian dosas from the Dosa Truck, farm-to-plate foods from the Heirloom LA truck, and home-baked goods to fuel athletes by Musette Bakery.
On the fashion and craft front, highlights included vegan handbags by My Mishion, elegant sun hats made from 100% raffia palm fiber by The Sun Hat, colorful hand-dipped silk dresses by Jill Aiko Yee, curated second hand clothing by Fair Season and Bleu Vintage, foodie-themed screen printed T-shirts by Bad Pickle, cute baby clothing by Alphabet City Studio and The Little Hummingbird, and handmade printed leather goods by Arc of LA.
Prints and tees by The Poster List featured familiar motifs like bikes, cameras, whales and camper vans, and gorgeously colorful pillows by Oceguera were made from old sweaters and featured skulls, guitars, florals and other Mexican-inspired themes. In between shopping and eating, patrons could peruse record bins at the Amoeba Music booth, snap photos in the Awkward Family Photos booth, pay comedian Andy Dick $1 to have a custom poem created, hang out in the beer garden, or listen to live music by Black Crystal Wolf Kids who call themselves “the world’s first hipster tribute band.”
Best of all, and not as unusual for LA as one may think, patrons could take the subway to the fair, via the brand-new Hollywood and Vine Metro station. Despite all this East Coast influence, the palm trees and view of the Hollywood sign from the food truck lot served as potent reminders that this was indeed Los Angeles.
Photos by Johanna Björk & Marc Alt