Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Burning Man 2014: Arrival, Setup, Neighbors, Poutine

And now on, to the story of my 2014 Burning Man experience.

The Man was huge this year!  No, seriously, really, huge!

  I arrived Tuesday night and was not in the mood to begin the arduous setup process in the dark. I needed sleep first, so wandered over to where I knew I'd find Pink Heart, a theme camp from San Diego that I've often visited.  I suspected that they'd have their usual chill-space, a semi-quiet dome filled with pink pillows, cushions and plushies.  I headed over and sure enough found the dome in question.  I was not oriented enough to have my phone handy and charged, or I might have taken pictures of this, but anyway, it was plush, posh and perfect for a snooze.  But first, I planned to work off some of my nervous energy, for here I was, back home on my spectacular playa.  Monday night, and the place was hopping! 

Enjoying a nice break on an easy chair.

Nearly next door, was another large dome-space that I learned was called the Freestyle Palace.  Indeed, what attracted me in there was the sight of musical instruments being played, and a guitar just sitting there on its amp, as though waiting for me to waltz up and pick it up.  I have played for a few years now, and have some skillz as a rhythm guitarist, but am just starting to learn some lead.  A few other random strangers picked up the other instruments, an electric bass, a drum kit, and a microphone, and we were off.  Just simple jams.  Three-chord blues, a natural easy pick.  But just back and forth between two chords was even enough, with a talented front man rapping freestyle into the mic, sending out our sounds across the playa and attracting the occasional audience.  That was so fun, and went on for at least an hour, maybe two, but it's hard to tell.  

My actual brother, "Fango" jumping for what is presumed to be joy, just beyond the bare skeleton of my soon-to-be posh Davedome.  To the right, our large shade structure, and solar panel.  Left is our neighbors, Seven Sirens Pirate Cove.  Across the street, the colorful curtains of Drapes Everywhere.

  Soon enough, it wound down, and a new set of players stepped in.  I wandered back to Pink Heart and set up my little bed of a few pillows and a blanket that I'd brought.  Just thought to have my own, just in case it was crowded, but it wasn't.  A delightful half-night's sleep later, and I was up and ready to roll back to my camp, just around the corner.

"Fango", participating in the city-wide tradition of "Tutu Tuesday."

  Once there, I began to unpack and set up with a vengeance.  Before too long, I had my dome set up, and was draping the fitted cover over the sides, creating a nice shade space beneath.  I enjoy the heighth of comfort with my air mattress, ample warm blankets, comforter, and pillows.  My dome was soon ready to be initiated with a nice rip from my glass bong.

Inside the Dave dome.

  Our neighbors this year were the same from last year: Seven Sirens Pirate Cove, with their pirate-themed structures and toys, like their crow's nest; and Temple of Polegasm, who sets up a nice-sized stage with four spinning stripper poles under lights.  Directly across the street was Drapes Everywhere, which stayed true to its name.  On the corners of our "7:30 Keyhole", the widening of the street where the 7:30 street intersects with the Esplanade, were big camps Tri-Fucta, who makes an elaborate climber/shade structure and hosts parties and dispenses drinks; and Black Rock Roller Disco, which hosts a large skating rink on the playa, with skates to lend, and pumps out disco and hip-hop.  A great little neighborhood, all around.

Inside the large parachuted chill space of Drapes Everywhere.  

  It was either Tuesday or Wednesday night that my brother Phil, aka Nostrildamus, and I, cruised over to Midnight Poutine to get some poutine, right around midnight.  This was a theme camp that sets up every year, and does this and only this: serves poutine, French Canadia's answer to chili cheese fries.  It is french fries and cheese curds, smothered in gravy.  A simple dish originating among the poor, as a thrown-together mish-mash of whatever was on hand, and it makes for excellent drunk food.  When you're drunk and up late, the warm doughy fries with the creamy cheese curds, combined with the salty gravy, really hits the spot. A long line afforded us a chance to talk and joke with our neighbors, and before an hour had elapsed, we were served by enthusiastic volunteers and scarfing down our poutines.    I wasn't blown away by my first taste, but I could see how it might grow on me.

My brother, Phil, aka Nostrildamus at LA decom

Hammocks, pillows, carpeting, etc.  Pretty nice.

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