The bourgeoisie and the rebel

Did you miss Art Basel Miami Beach 2013 – the who’s who of no one you know? Are you worried that others will think you are not cultured? Do you even know who Marina Abramović is? 

Don’t fret (fret is a fancy word for worry, and is used by people wearing scarves with high-wasted shorts at Basel). I got you.

Below I’ve assembled an easy-to-follow five-step plan that will help you get through that uncomfortable Monday morning what-did-you-do-this-weekend conversation with the twenty-something-year-old that will judge you if they were to find out you didn’t really go.


When asked, “Did you go to Basel this weekend?” respond with any of the below non-answers and let the other person take over the conversation.

  • Oh my God, the traffic!
  • My feet are pounding! 
  • So many people!
  • Wynwood is so much better than the Beach!


In the event that you are asked a follow up question like, “Which fairs did you visit?” Respond by choosing any three of the following:

  • Blip
  • Score
  • Plus
  • Dot
  • Smack
  • Taste
  • Splash
  • Zero

You can also create your own, as long as you stick to single words that could double as names of gay bars.


Update your social media accounts with random photos of “art.” Don’t worry about quality. I mean, it doesn’t have to be “real art,” by any means. The more random, the more believable. Walk around your house and snap a photo of dust bunnies under the couch, the spoons in your drawer or yogurt in the fridge. In case this task is too daunting, I’ve provided you with a few examples you can use:

so realistic.
“Hanger/Untitled” OMG so realistic.
"Lifeblood/Untitled" my faves.
“Lifeblood/Untitled” This was my faves.
"Tears of a Clown on LSD/Untitled" was really moving.
“Tears of a Clown on LSD/Untitled” Really moving.


Inevitably, someone will ask you about the Basel parties. “So, did you go to any of the pop-ups?” To make it through this final gauntlet of face-saving, you will need to incorporate all of the above techniques into a 30-second monologue of nothing.

Start with your non-answers:

  • Oh my god the traffic! And the people! It was crazy! Wynwood is so much better than the Beach!

Create new names for gay bars:

  • We ended up at (choose one of the following) Silent Sound, Spray, Cherry Lips

And then drop names of celebrities:

  • You know who I saw? I saw Marina Abramović! I know right? Hold on. It gets better. And she was with Pharrell. I almost died. Let me show you a picture <INSERT BLURRY NIGHT PHOTO>. That’s them in the corner! Crazy right?

Feel free to use this photo or create one of your own:

That's me in the corner next to the Hammer.
Crazy right?!


Whatever you say. Do not. Repeat. Do not mispronounce Basel and call it Art Basil.

Art Basil.
Art Basil.

Follow this plan and you will be transformed from basil rebel to Basel bourgeoisie. However, if you are too convincing, you may find yourself in some deep philosophical conversation about what is art and what is not, at which point you should just quote anything Madonna says from her (Not) Secret Project Revolution – or her Ray of Light album. Either one will do.

Party pooped

I just finished watching Avicii’s set at Ultra Music Festival. But, even though I’m wearing the same amount of clothes as the girls body surfing across the field of people, I am not at Ultra. I’m nowhere near Downtown. I’m in bed, armed solely with the internet and the wisdom to not go anywhere near that mess.

I watched in horror as the endless crowd pushed up against the stage – to get a closer look at the blinding lights and petite DJ. It reminded me of an incident that happened late last year at the Black Eyed Peas concert – where I had an adult tantrum.

Full-on. Foot-stomping. High-pitched. Tantrum.

It was after the  fifth hour of standing when I felt something come over me. Within my surrounding wall of bodies, was a geriatric couple on their first date, incessantly making out and rubbing their Viagra induced private parts two centimeters away from my arm.

There was also a coked-out girlfriend who, at the beginning of Cee Lo Green’s set, broke up with her “boring” boyfriend (he was just high on marijuana and not as verbose), and had now taken to celebrate her new freedom by dancing and jumping violently. Her movements kept interfering with my feet, which were firmly planted on the ground. When she began commanding us to jump –  by yelling a la drill sergeant, “Jump! Jump!” – I contemplated, very seriously, to punch her in the boob. But, being close enough to see her augmentation scar, I realized that the silicon might hurt my knuckles.

The Black Eyed Peas also insisted on yelling: “Put your hands up!” “Scream,” “How you feelin’ Miami?!” And, as you can imagine, I had it up to here with the boot camp treatment.

The football field felt like it was about to cave in under my feet, sending me through some hellish rabbit hole with the old couple, Bombs McGillicutty, and’s turntables. So, I bolted. Without even thinking. I made my way through the crowd, not knowing where I would end up – leaving behind my friends. After five and a half hours of being on my feet, I finally sat – on a toilet.

As I sat there holding my sweaty head in my hands, BEP played “Boom, Boom, Pow.” Then I remembered, this song was the whole reason I wanted to go to this stupid concert in the first place. By the time I tried to get back to the field, they were on “The Time,” and people where going crazy. I thought I would never find my friends again. Luckily, I had the car keys, so I resolved to head out toward the parking lot and hope to reunite there.

By the time they closed the show with “I Got a Feeling,” my friends were found and we were all walking toward the car. We sat quietly. Letting our ears decompress. Staring out the windows.

I don’t know what they were thinking. But, I know what I was thinking:

I’m just too fucking old to stand in a crowd. I’m an adult. I need a chair, and a beverage, possibly even food, while partaking in entertainment activities.

Sure, it makes me sad. Particularly when watching Ultra, and reminiscing about partying. But, right when I was about to get out of bed to find my car keys and 3-D glasses and head down to the festival, Madonna appeared. And she looked fantastic.

But, when addressing the crowd, she referenced the song, “Last Night a DJ Saved My Life,” and all those Molly-monsters grew quiet. They had no idea what she was talking about. Then, she pulled the ultimate “trying to be a cool mom” move by asking the crowd if they had seen Molly. Why? Is she going to stage an intervention? Or will she mix it with her menopause medication?

And as these thoughts ran through my mind, I realized that me showing up there would be just as awkward as Madonna’s fist-pumping fit. My middle-aged belly ate my navel ring, and my tattoos are faded, and I am not using a port-o-potty, so I crawled back in bed and watched while eating and drinking – with my 3-D glasses on, of course.