Monday, April 4, 2011

Fun at Oakland Art Murmur

One of the many hipster bars in O-town packed for the night
Well, we finally tried First Fridays a second time on the first truly warm Friday of 2011. My friend was going, and I figured a warm day would be a great time to give it a second chance. It was night and day compared to  our initial attempt

When we finally found a parking spot several blocks from Telegraph and W. Grand, we were relieved.  Everything was completely parked.  Walking to where my friends were basking in the artistic ambiance, we passed groups of dirty hippies, hipsters, rockabilly hair, and all manner of things.  The people became denser and denser until I felt like I was back in India, we could barely move. 

Outside of Mama Buzz, I found my group of friends and we checked out a few sauna like galleries.  Really the heat was too much when coupled with the press of bodies.  The art wasn't as interesting as I was hoping for - everything was subjects or styles I didn't particularly find interesting, with the exception of a few complex fractal plays in shiny ink.  Deciding galleries were too stuffy, we wound our way through the crowd to check out the vendors.  There were clearly people on acid painting, stinky weed wafted through the air, and the pungent stench of fish tacos seemed to follow us everywhere.  Punk patches, fairy naturalist jewelry, and pop art magnets were available, among other random things.   Finished perusing, we decided to check out one of the bars nearby, the Stork Club, where they had cheap drink specials, live music, and burlesque show.  I was channeling Betty Page with my hair, lipstick, and black 50s cut dress - which only made sense when surrounded by pompadours and middies.  After a few drinks and the press of bodies got to us, we decided to high-tail it to another bar where a friend of a friend was spinning soul, funk, and RnB. 

At Bar 355, a new friend and I took over the dance floor with our similar cut dresses and hair which made us look like we were meant to be on the stage/floor.  The bartenders were super attentive despite the crowd, and the music was fun.  Drinks were stiff, and you really only could handle one with the heat and humidity.  Pretty soon the place was packed, but by that time, it was late enough that we were ready for bed.  All in all, a wild night with lots of music, art, and general fun.  First Friday is definitely worth checking out, particularly on a warm night.  O-town was hopping and absolutely worth the spectacle for free art shows and entertaining people-watching.

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