This past weekend my best friend asked me to hang out and explore a local artsy spot with her. Me, being the art/junk lover, agreed instantly. In case you didn’t know, I am a sucker for anything local, home-made, and that looks cool. Lowe Mill is the DEVIL! It has all of this and more. They have an awesome little café area called Happy Tummy, (who doesn’t want to eat at Happy Tummy?!?), a truffle store, (all truffles made in store; they also have handmade marshmallows), and a new tea shop, (they serve sooooo many teas). Who wouldn’t want to go here for just these three things, and all on the first level of the old shoe factory!
There is an old lift elevator that opens on both sides to cart you from floor 1 all the way to floor 3. Each of these floors have unique artistic characteristics. The first floor is constituted of the three places mentioned above, as well as a screen printing shop, a jewelry shop, and a couple of “classrooms,” which are for painting, stamping, and any other creative process you can teach in an hour. Outside on the loading dock area, there is a little garden, with a vinyl record store and a metal works shop. All of these giving you the feeling of going back in time to the actually ‘70’s as soon as you enter.
The “fun” floor, or the second floor is my favorite. When you exit the elevator, you walk around the corner and it is like a sidewalk street fair, with little booths and vendors all sitting out with pedaling their good to the public. You start out with the little old lady who knits. She has her little table set up with hats, scarves, and even cardigans; she knits while you browse and always throws out an interesting fact about her goodies. Across from her is a tye-died shop, you know the kind with bright colors on shirts, dresses, flags, and hats. This guy is eccentric to say this list. On down the way is a couple of jewelers who make their own things with stones, beads, and wire. You have an artist who sketches, the others who paint, you have the store with sewn items, and glued together dishes, which make candle holders, cakestands (anything and everything you’ve ever seen on Pinterest). There’s another lady who makes hats, an old used and trade bookstore, some copper statues, and then the psychic.
I am a sucker for psychics, tarot readings, crystal balls, and whatever else of the sort. I never indulge, or at least not for a price. I will scan my horoscope every once in a while and laugh at the general statements and move on. This particular day the sign catches my eye, “PSYCHIC READINGS $5!” on bright pink poster board with stars and sparkles and pretty lettering. I almost run over 3 children, a lady and a small dog making my way to this wonderful deal of $5 to hear about my future. I mean, that’s a good deal! My whole future for $5! That kid better watch out, because I am moving fast, throwing things for my best friend to hold as I make a dash for said awesome deal.
I rounded the homemade dog treats, and sat down concentrated on digging the $5 out of my wallet. I look up and Ms. Psychic is sitting before me in all of her glory. She had long brown greyed streaked hair, pulled back in a low ponytail. She is wearing a plaid skirt, that reminds me of something from Outlander, and an old, faded, ripped out sleeves, Metallica t-shirt, and dirty combat boots. I instantly regret my decision, smile and hand her the $5 anyway.
“Do you want me to read your palm or your stones?” she asks.
“What is the difference?” I ask.
“Your palm tells a general story of you. The stones give you more of a future insight.” She says holding up a little velvet drawstring bag.
My eyes light up, and I eagerly reach for the bag. I mean she’s a psychic regardless! “The stones, please.”
She holds the bag between her hands and starts massaging them around. She instructs me to do the same, and then when I feel as if I have mixed them well, pull out three and hand them to her. I roll the stones around for half a minute, and eagerly dig in for my three stones. I sit them gingerly on the table, after all they are my future, and look at her expectantly. She reaches down and pulls up a small notepad and flips it open.
“I have to read my notes. I’m not sure what they all mean.” She says, flipping through the pages.
My mouth falls open, and I am horribly appalled. I have sat down to a hack! She isn’t a real psychic, she’s a hack. She just took my $5 and is reading to me what I could have Googled. I listen to her as she reads my future to me in a total of 30 seconds. She tells me I have a motherly light around me and I should soon have a child in my life, that I am searching spiritually, and I am looking inside myself for beauty, instead of looking around me to the outside world. I smile and she asks me if I felt good about my reading. I looked at her, smiled, and said, “Yes! Thank you so much!” I then proceed to gather my purse, shoving slightly emptier wallet in my purse and turn to find my friend.
As soon as I round another corner of drawings and sculptures a “real” psychic in gypsy gear steps in front of me and asks brightly, “May I read your fortune?” I stopped and stared at her for a whole ten seconds before I answered, “If you were psychic you would know I paid the hack two booths down for my ‘future’.” This left Ms. Gypsy speechless as I walked away in search of my friend and more creative artsy junk to buy.