Liz is being eaten by a cow!

Yes, that is a cartoon cow eating Liz's head. We ended up on Saturday night at one of two diners in Los Angeles called Swingers. There's one in West Hollywood on the fringe of Beverly Hills and the one we went to is in Santa Monica. Oddly enough, the two Swingers don't share decor or the exact same menu. The Beverly Hills location is in an old hotel diner while the Santa Monica location is newer with a funky modern feel. The purple cows on the wall are a staple of the Santa Monica spot and this picture seemed too perfect to miss. We were at Swingers for a late night snack after going to the Basquiat opening party at MOCA. I know I ate a turkey patty melt and we ordered wine. I don't remember what Liz got to eat.

We're members of MOCA, and we had been to opening parties before and they're always busy, but when we arrived about an hour after the event started we were stunned by the line to get in. As we approached the entrance, we could hear the funky old school beats from Grandmaster Flash, the event's entertainment. There was a short line for people joining to become new members and another line that extended into the distance for members who had a printed invite. We had an invite and were instructed to join the long line. As we walked away, I overheard an overzealous self-important yahoo plead with the door guy that he was on Grandmaster Flash's guestlist. The doorguy replied, "Here at MOCA, we don't do guestlists." Telling someone there's no guestlist in LA is like telling an Eskimo there's no longer ice. With that amusing exchange in the back of my head we tracked down the end of the line. One block....two blocks...we passed art snobs for the show....three blocks...we passed beatboys and girls for the music....four blocks...it was an eclectic group and here we were four blocks from the door. It was creeping towards 9PM now and we were a good hour away from getting into this event that ended at 11.

When we got to the end we started chatting with a guy in front of us who had come alone and a couple in line behind us. (I forget their names, so lets call the single guy Loner and the couple Jack and Jane.) Loner commented about how he's never seen a MOCA opening this crowded. He was definitely a regular--there more for the art, but he seemed nice enough and didn't have the art snob aura. Jane suggested that maybe it was Grandmaster Flash drawing the crowd. Loner seemed astounded at the possibility but reluctantly agreed. Some time passed and we learned that Jack forgot to bring his invite. Liz told him that he would have to check in at the entrance and then come back to the line. I agreed. So as we sent Jack walking the four blocks back to the door, Liz whispered into my ear that she really hoped she didn't make him walk for nothing. Again, I agreed. About ten minutes later, Jane got a phone call and walked away. Loner, Liz, and I started to wonder what happened to Jack and Jill. It felt like the line was moving forward three steps every ten minutes so we decided that Liz would go check. (Liz has a special power about talking her way past long lines...more on that later.)

So I stood there with Loner and more time passed. Eventually my phone rang. It was Liz telling me to join her. I glanced to Loner and he was looking towards the back of the line. I should have felt guilty for not telling him, but I didn't. What if it turned out to be a bust? So I huff it back to the entrance and find Liz waiting with Jack and Jill in the short new member line. As it turned out, if you forgot your invite, you could get checked in here, and then walk directly into the event. The whole thing was a case of left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing. So I stuffed my invite into a pocket, bypassed the line of 700 people, and walked right in. And once again, Liz worked her magic to avoid a long line. She has a gift I say. She's made it happen everywhere from airport security, to nightclubs, to outdoor movies. If engaged people lined up hours early for wedding ceremonies, I'd feel confident with Liz on our team we could arrive at 2 and somehow arrange to be married at 2:15. (Despite her abilities, I'm glad it doesn't work that way)

As for the exhibit, it was great. We debated for hours whether we thought Basquiat was a genius or just a crazy drug addict. I'm leaning towards addict, but I'm not fully decided yet. The music was really fun too.

Next up on our LA summer art adventures is the return of King Tut to LACMA...more on that when it happens.


James' Dad said...

Where is the Cow?

James Beirne said...

^----That's my dad creating an account with the same name. (our names are the same...although I have a jr.--shhhh don't tell anyone that!)

James Beirne said...

OK updated the entry now. Should be fixed.