There was a street fair outside my apartment today, stretching for about 20 blocks. I walked around it for about an hour this afternoon. I think I blogged about a Manhattan street fair once before, last summer, and said that it seemed like all the vendors must have been from some organization that just sends vendors to street fairs, no matter where they are. There's no sense of place in the street fair. There aren't many booths from local stores or restaurants. There were a few -- an Indian restaurant selling samosas, a Thai restaurant selling spring rolls, and a bakery selling cupcakes -- but the rest were all things that you only see at street fairs. Like there's a whole population of otherwise-unemployed garbage sellers -- people who sell cheap metal jewelry, goose down pillows, $1 t-shirts, packs of generic socks, wooden bracelets, incense, NYPD and FDNY hats, discount batteries, couch cushions decorated like sushi rolls -- who spend most of the year living in a cave somewhere and then they hear there's a street fair and an alarm goes off in the cave and they get their merchandise and go. Whether it's in Brooklyn or the Bronx, or anywhere in between. I walked about 4 blocks before the food stalls started repeating themselves. There was the grilled sausage and onions truck, the smoothie and falafel stand, the roasted corn, the funnel cake, and the Mr. Softee. Repeat. And repeat again. And again. And the thing was mobbed -- tons of people on the street. Why? Just for the novelty of it? No one needs wooden bracelets, do they? Or funnel cake on a 90-degree summer day? I like the idea of funnel cake, in the abstract, but the thought of actually eating funnel cake isn't really that appealing.