Just a few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I found ourselves in Rochester for the weekend and decided to check out Second Saturdays. Both the Hungerford and Anderson Alley do a First Friday event each month, where the studios are open to the public from 6-9pm. Second Saturdays are slightly less publicized and less popular as a result. There was a rummage sale going on at the Hungerford, too, so we figured it was worth the long stroll. The Hungerford is located just past Village Gate (other side of the train tracks), across from the public market.
The skies were ominous and we could see rain starting to fall in the distance, but that didn’t stop us from scurrying along, catching as many pokemon and hitting as many pokestops as we could on the way! We were a bit late to the party- things were scheduled to end at 3, and we arrived around 2:30. But that didn’t stop us from checking out some random items for sale in the parking lot (think: spinning wheels, paintings, tables, also cute friendly dogs that were most likely not for sale). We also poked around inside.
The Hungerford is a bit of an enigma. It’s chock full of interesting stuff- studios, stores, workshops, etc- but it’s not very well-signed or warm/fuzzy/approachable for the general public. So we wandered! Which worked out pretty well. We stumbled upon the shop of one artist, Francesca DeCaire, who makes really neat jewelry, ornaments, and other unique items out of glass. I loved her egg rings- they look like a fried egg and were adorable! Unfortunately, they were all far too tiny for my fingers. I ended up purchasing a cool black/gold ring that catches the light gorgeously!
From there, we moved on to Second Saturdays over at Anderson Alley, another spot we’d been meaning to check out for awhile. We found it pretty quiet as we explored.
The building has a very cool, historic vibe to it. It’s covered in ivy and has incredibly creaky floors. Gotta love it! We meandered through several studios and chatted with a few artists. We saw some really beautiful, interesting work with tons of personality and character shining through.
My favorite thing that we stumbled upon, though, was the Military History Society of Rochester. Did you know that was a thing? No? Neither did I! And I was a history major at U of R! We found they were staffed by some incredibly eager elderly gentleman who were delighted to find young people wandering into their museum.
I was impressed with the depth and breadth of their museum! The space is very small, but they’ve jam-packed it with fascinating local history. The majority of the items were donated by local folks. There are Kodak cameras, uniforms from practically every war graciously on loan from Rochester veterans, and even model ships built by Rochesterians. It’s pretty cool! You could spend a lot of time there reading through everything and talking history with the volunteers. Definitely worth checking out. Their hours are a bit limited (Thursday-Saturday 12-4pm), but they do stay open from 5-10pm for First Fridays!
After all the artsy explorations, we managed to catch the tail end of the Brainery Bazaar over at the Brainery! This was a unique bazaar because it featured vendors from the Jack Craft Fair in Buffalo, as well as the new Meraki Coffee Co. I was super pumped to find Prismatic Gardens here, too! My mom used to work with Sigriet at a local library, and she also happens to be very talented with all sorts of plants! We took a class with her at the Brainery where we made adorable succulent gardens (I’ve done my best to keep mine alive, I swear. At least the plastic dinosaur is still thriving!). I bought an awesome dinosaur air plant for myself and a cute dried flower/moss plastic orb thing for my grandma’s birthday. I was stoked about both purchases!
Meanwhile, my boyfriend purchased Soft Drawers from Sigriet’s husband, Matt Leffler Illustration! He has a really unique, bright, vibrant style. The drawings are entrancing. Can’t wait to hang the art!
We also tried Meraki Coffee- the sproda was really unusual! I’ve never been a soda drinker in my life (I’ve always found carbonation painful), so I didn’t even know what cola tasted like. I’m serious. A new experience! I enjoyed the caramely taste mixed with espresso and other yummy ingredients. My boyfriend sampled the salted nutella latte, and that was just as delicious as you’d assume.
All the artsy trekking around the city was a bit exhausting, but totally worth it. We met so many friendly people eager to make new connections and share their craft with new people! The Rochester art scene is clearly thriving. It’s fun to get out and explore! So what are you waiting for? Go!