West Coast time fucked me over last night, and I couldn't fall asleep 'til after 3 AM. Woke up four-and-a-half hours later bitterly cursing gravitation and centrifugal force. A nice breakfast on Ocean Drive helped, especially the guy in the next table wearing a cowboy hat and leather chaps. No joke.
Headed over to the gallery to shoot the main installation piece, because somebody half-assed the whole permit process, and the installation was deemed to be a structure. And according to Miami Beach city ordinances, the structure's gotta be hurricane-proof. As the structure's basically thousands of pieces of wood nailed together by a squirrel-like army of Belgians, it didn't pass muster and our gallery was surrounded by cops, city officials and firemen demanding that we tear it down. We shot what we could for posterity's sake, and left the heartbroken Belgians to rip apart something they'd spent days pouring their hearts and squirrel-like bodies into.
I was strolling down the beach, pretending not to check out the occasional tanned Euro-breasts, when I came across a rainbow flag. Several hundred yards down was another rainbow flag. Didn't realize how territorial gay guys were about their beach turf. I crossed the border anyway when I was immediately seized by a squadron of Speedo-wearing, immaculately trimmed men on horses and taken to their saucy king, Raoul ... Alright, this story got dumb real quick.
When we arrived at the gallery for the opening night party, we were surprised to see that the installation was mostly intact - somehow they were able to persuade the city into letting it live til Sunday. But everything else was going to hell. As soon as we got there, cops were already there about some valet parking violation. Cops in wealthy neighborhoods really have nothing better to do: Lord knows what would happen if they had to deal with a real crime, like larceny. They'd probably taser themselves with fear. So then they told the DJ to stop the music. Then they almost shut down the party completely. Then they refused to let people on the roof.
Ultimately they let the party go on and let people on the roof. But of course the fire department and cops shut the party down by 10. Luckily I was already buzzed by then, thanks to an open bar and an empty stomach. The bartender had me try this new vodka that, get this, comes with caffeine and taurine, which are the two primary ingredients of Red Bull. Imagine adding Red Bull to it anyway - your aorta would pop like a cherry tomato.
Looking forward to getting some real sleep. And a live performance featuring a medieval metal band and dancing mimes, which leads me to believe that Art Basel is run by the Japanese.
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