monster vs. monster

art murmur
June 11, 2009, 1:03 pm
Filed under: local, nice day


On the first Friday of every month, Oakland’s art galleries open their doors after hours to let the locals get a first glimpse at all the new exhibits. With the cramped spaces and massive amounts of people, kids inevitably spill out onto the street, and Art Murmur has quickly morphed into a giant outdoor party, complete with roadblocks, open bottles, chain smoking, and fashion fashion fashion. The sheer number of people has always sent my claustrophobia into hyperdrive and I’ve stayed away for months, repressing my love of hipster clothes and outdoor drinking in favor of my love of not getting pinned against a wall by people who are very aware that they are cooler than I will ever be. Imagine my surprise when I returned last week to find so many things to occupy those without and room to breathe within. 

four square

action shot

We walked in past a performance of something like The Little Mermaid, with octopus hats, glittery scales, and a brand new soundtrack. The crowd around the performers kept me from getting a picture, so you’ll just have to imagine tattooed technicolor-clad bike kids belting out songs about crabs and flounders. We rounded the corner to find a combination craft fair, food fair, robot fight-to-the-death fair, and playground. Adults and kids alike played four square, while the rest of the crowd wandered around, taking in the scene, which included group-participation art: a postcard from everyone to no one, and a hut for taking naps in the middle of the street. 




crowd two

man in a hut

Most important for me, of course, was the food. 

vegan eats


The vegan cupcakes were cute, but really nothing to swoon over – the vanilla one I had was basically just a mouthful of spongy earth balance topped with smooth sugary earth balance. But the cheesecake. OH, oh, the cheesecake. Krista Knudsen currently bakes cheesecake at home and sells it when she can. This girl had better get a storefront soon, because otherwise I am going to invade her kitchen and demand more cheesecake.

cheesecake spread

chocolate peanut butter

blueberry swirl
kahlua espresso

She had four offerings: blueberry swirl, kahlua espresso, caramel chocolate, and chocolate peanut butter. I chose the rich, dense chocolate peanut butter, which had an amazingly delicate nutty flavor that didn’t overwhelm the fudgy swirls of chocolate. The crust was perfectly crumbly without losing its shape. I would go to great lengths to have that flavor in my mouth at all times. Criminal lengths. 


window display

I must confess, I was so taken with the street activity that I only made it into three galleries, and none of the art really grabbed me. I did get a glimpse of this window display, however, which I kind of can’t wrap my head around. Is it cute, because it’s plush? Is it creepy, because there are long armlike things curving in between the pots? Is the statement that it’s confusing, or am I confused because there is no statement? I’ve got nothing.


Oh, and someone reached over my shoulder to tag a port-a-potty, which was very exciting to me. Almost as exciting as walking right past a police officer with an open container. Living on the edge, I am.


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