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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Mob Scenester

posted by on September 15 at 20:22 PM


We just got back from the Bridge Motel, the art installation that everyone is talking about.

Our visit was brief—the event is a huge success, the place is absolutely packed, congrats to dk pan for putting this together. But it was too successful—and too crowded—for most folks to appreciate the art, installations, and performances. I was too nervous to wait forever on crumbling staircases and balconies that were not designed to support the weight of hundreds of people. So I wasn’t able to crowd into any of the Bridge Motel’s rooms and check out works by Implied Violence, Jack Daws, Davida Ingram, Laura Corsiglia, Sarah Kavage, and others. I’m sure folks born too late to remember the collapse of a pair of walkways at the Hyatt Regency in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1981—I was 15 at the time—weren’t bothered, got in eventually, and enjoyed the art. But the crush of people, the wait, and my inability to shut off the voice in my head that’s constantly screaming “You’re going die!” prevented me from enjoying much about Motel #1 save the festive scene in the parking lot.

Maybe I’m an increasingly bourgeois fuckstick, but standing around in the parking lot I could only think, “Gee, maybe they should have sold or given away tickets that admitted workable numbers of people at specific times?” That way more people could’ve gotten in and, you know, actually been able to view the work. Oh well, maybe next time.

And to the dopes that refused to clear off the second-floor balcony after they were done touring the rooms (yeah you guys, up there enjoying the view of downtown), which made it nearly impossible for other people to get in: What the fuck?

RSS icon Comments


A hobby should pass the time, not fill it. - Norman Bates

Posted by kinaidos | September 15, 2007 8:59 PM

Didn't you listen to Josh and Goldy? I don't blame you. It's worse than the Friday news discussion on Weekday on KUOW. It should be called The Stranger Circle Jerk Hour.

Posted by Mark | September 15, 2007 9:06 PM

Your fans will be thrilled to know you had a good time Dan. While you were there admiring the art some human beings in Iraq got blown to fucking pieces in the war you supported. I don\'t understand why some people actually think you are a person to admire and emulate. Maybe when they reach the age of eighteen and are facing the draft they will finally get it: Well known cocksuckers can support American wars at no risk to themselves. Other people are cannon fodder.

Posted by .... | September 15, 2007 9:51 PM

Question asked and answered: Dan, I am afraid you are a bourgeois fuckstick.

Posted by Guy | September 15, 2007 9:54 PM

When I studied engineering at UNLV, we studied engineering disasters, and that walkway collapse at the Hyatt was one of them. Wikipedia provides the details, but basically the walkways were supposed to be supported by long rails that would be threaded through the floors above and below, but the contractors had issues with that design and decided to split the rails and use brackets to tie them together. As a result, the rails supported more weight than they were designed to and BAM, collapse.

Posted by Gomez | September 15, 2007 10:37 PM

We were there about the same time, it was kinda cool but at the same time annoying that people were just camped out on the balconies and stairs, preventing others from seeing the art, very little movement in the line that we could see.

Posted by bob | September 15, 2007 11:15 PM

Dear Number 3:

You are just one of many preening, self-important jerks who take comfort in the thought that Dan Savage was briefly wrong and quickly admitted it. Not good enough for you. You have to go on and on about it forever.

As I recall, Dan brightened at the idea that somebody might possibly shoot an insane and murderous thug in the head, freeing his people. When Dan realized the U.S. (under Bush and Co) was not equipped for a clean job and would only create a larger tragedy, he said so.

That's what democracy is about, people, the airing of views. So shout out to Number 3: The day you've done a small fraction of the good in this world that Dan has, you can die happy.

About the Bridge. I was worried about those stairs too, considering the crowds. Stairs that tend to give way are wood and these weren't, but still. And yes, unlike Dan, some people don't know when to move on.
Regina Hackett

Posted by regina hackett | September 15, 2007 11:16 PM

Ellipsis... While you are making retardo passive-aggressive anonymous internet spams, people are dying in Iraq. You should totally go single-handedly end the war with your mighty-ass super-powers. I traced ur IP address- You have no secret identity to hide behind; you are the mighty superhero Cuntfaceman. Hurry up and save those soldiers, dammit! Only you can prevent their deaths! ONLY YOU!!!

Posted by christopher | September 15, 2007 11:24 PM

so, so packed.

Posted by adrian! | September 15, 2007 11:29 PM

I didn't even get in. We gave up and left the line after waiting way too long. And yeah, a big "fuck you" to those who hung out all night on the balcony.

Posted by tsm | September 15, 2007 11:32 PM

Mr. Savage,

Is it possible that you aren't choosing your words with sufficient care and consideration? "...that everyone is talking about" is, in my opinion, the most loathesome phrase in the English language.

I read world news obsessively each day, and I (until a month ago) lived within two blocks of that motel, and yet this is the first I've heard of the establishment's demolishment or some sort of event to celebrate its demise. How is it possible that I've never heard of it if "everyone is talking about" it?

Posted by James | September 15, 2007 11:43 PM

Just drove by the Bridge Motel a few minutes ago and Seattle Fire Department was pulling in with lights & sirens....

Hope nothing collapsed.

Posted by Medic | September 16, 2007 12:11 AM

Pussies. I climbed over the railing. Art should be dangerous.

That said ...

Next time: Beer garden in the parking lot, timed entry to the installations.

Posted by I'm a Nuclear Bomb | September 16, 2007 1:14 AM

So, basically what I hear you saying Dan is, I didn't miss anything by spending my evening at SketchFest instead.

Posted by COMTE | September 16, 2007 1:21 AM

I'm surprised the fire dep't didn't show up earlier. I was there between 9 and 10 (and both myself and my date were able to weave our way through the weird and fabulous world of the Bridge without too much trauma)... the refrain I kept hearing, including from those camped out on the balcony: "This is SO a fire hazard." Regardless, it was heartwarming to see so many Seattlites at an art event. I bet the SPD will have more of a presence at the next two Motel nights.

My fave three rooms: the campfire, the painted raw bacon, and the interactive audiovisual display where you pressed your finger into the pad and watched the effects on the big screen. Neato.

Posted by Katelyn | September 16, 2007 1:24 AM

PS My fourth favorite room at the Bridge was called "This event was completely free." I escaped with my life AND my checking account intact.

Posted by Katelyn | September 16, 2007 1:32 AM

So it didn't occur to you that you were a bourgeois "fuckstick" when you bought a million dollar home by Volunteer Park? It took the Bridge Motel show?

Posted by tree | September 16, 2007 9:37 AM

The flailing, ailing near-corpse of Consumerica offers soon-to-be demolished art objects like the Motel. Enjoy them while you can.

Posted by andy niable | September 16, 2007 9:40 AM

I'm guessing this will the last of this type of event. After the actions and the reporting of those actions complete with photos no future builder will let artists take over for a night. Too much risk.

Posted by whatever | September 16, 2007 10:08 AM

The scene reminded me of Burning Man in a lot of ways: semi - controlled chaos, some people who there to experience a unique art happening, and a lot of scenesters taking up space.

And frankly, Dan, I don't think any of the organizers had any idea it would be as popular as it ended up being, so whining about selling or giving away tickets is kind of moot. If it had been lightly attended and they were selling tickets you most likely would have balked at that as well, I wager.

Posted by john | September 16, 2007 10:18 AM

"fuckstick" :fallsoffchairlaughing:

Posted by violet_dagrinder | September 16, 2007 10:37 AM

We were there for about an hour and felt the same. Got up a back way and were able to see the downstairs rooms. Drank a 'by donation' beer. Fun to be part of the culture but definitely too crowded. Tickets/planning/structured-party are not the artist's way. Pandemonium was expected.

Posted by Gabe Global | September 16, 2007 10:50 AM

crowded? hardly. but the beer wasn't as easily accessed as it should have been. the "performance" art was also highly hazardous w/ all the aerosols floating about, we were in there for like 40 minutes and were extremely light headed when we left.

ps- it was rather easy to move people, just step on their feet or push them aside. they'll quickly pick up that they're asshats relatively quickly.

Posted by mike | September 16, 2007 10:59 AM

The fire dept. only showed up because some guy was hurt in the parking lot, maybe fell or a bad trip. Anyway, they didn't seem at all concerned about the rest of the party and pretty much ignored it.

We left assuming it would get broken up but it was past midnight anyway so...

Should have gotten there early before UW showed up cuz they saw it on evening magazine.

Posted by fire | September 16, 2007 11:01 AM

And the one pot dinner was fabulous.

Posted by Morgan | September 16, 2007 11:27 AM

I completely forgot about one pot. Fuck.

Posted by Mr. Poe | September 16, 2007 12:05 PM

I loved it. Especially the golden Implied Violence piece.

Posted by JvA | September 16, 2007 1:20 PM

thanks to everyone who came out...yes, indeed it was very crowded. the weight issue with the balcony was something we had been monitoring all night which was why we had to stagger entry into the upstairs exhibition spaces... it sucks when you come out to see a show and it's too packed to actually enjoy it. this was a populist event, a community send-off of an aging building and celebration of artists' exploration of the site. generally, i think it's wise to come early to events if one wants to avoid the maddening crowd. there were a dozen volunteers present all night to make sure folks were safe and in an overwelming crowd control situation, maintain some semblance of traffic flow. much apologies to the people who waited for a long time in line and wasn't able to view the works at night's end. all in all, though, what a wonderful night full of art and activity. i don't think your sentiments are 'bourgeois fuckstick-ish', but y'know, sometimes the thing is the thing.

Posted by dk pan | September 16, 2007 1:24 PM

Who has my hammer? You, artist, borrowed a hammer from room #3 around 3 pm. You did not return it. Why not? Please return it or replace it. I am at motel all week. Thanks....

Posted by rob | September 16, 2007 1:28 PM

and oh yeah, i'm looking to gather documentation of the event...

Posted by dk pan | September 16, 2007 1:47 PM

just curious if anyone else had a weird reaction to all the paint and stuff left around by the artist and how it might affect the site and the neighbors?

it kinda felt like a hazardous waste site with spray paint aerosole cans and garbage all around the back. and there was a seriously funky smell coming out of one of the rooms. it left me a little nauseous.

are the dk people going to clean up after this? or does it just get torn down with all that toxic stuff around it?

just curious. i'm not up to speed on the history of this project. it didn't feel like a very enviromentally sound project, but maybe it wasn't supposed to be.

Posted by terry miller | September 16, 2007 2:35 PM

Clearly, the crush of people is The Stranger's fault for making it the Stranger Suggests event for the night. You only have your selveses to blame, Dan.

Posted by treacle | September 16, 2007 2:37 PM

Wow, yes, it was dangerous! Did anyone hear the fire alarm weakly ringing? It's probably because there was BONFIRE in one of the upstairs rooms!

So awesome.

Posted by Dave | September 16, 2007 6:16 PM

Hang on, Dan, you're 42 years old now?

I could have sworn you were claiming to be 28 just a year or two ago.

How's about doing something to explode that harmful stereotype of no-longer-young queers being evasive about their ages, eh?

Right, maybe not.

Posted by robotslave | September 16, 2007 6:50 PM

Note to the guy who was standing on top of the neon sign, howling "Caaaaaan yoooou dig it": I thought of answering you with "Warriors, come out to plaaay-ee-ay," but I didn't want anyone to think we were together. No offense.

Another vote for tickets and timed entry. Would have been nice to have see whatever the fuck was going on in there.

Posted by gully foyle | September 16, 2007 7:18 PM

Yes, when I said I was 28 I meant it, in all seriousness, and hoped to fool the world, esp. young queers. Which is why I referenced the wiki entry about me in that column, which opens with my birthdate.

It's also why I hire a younger person to play me when I got speak at colleges.

Posted by Dan Savage | September 16, 2007 8:17 PM

I live a few houses down from the motel on Whitman Ave. My dog did not like all of you invading her neighborhood in the slightest.

I, however, rather liked the show, admittedly not as much for the art but mostly for the stage of progress it represents in the eventual demolition of that damned sketchy-ass crack whore motel. Plus having 300 people show up across the street was just so freaking bizarre (but in a good way.)

Posted by brent | September 17, 2007 2:08 AM

Purple Mark said he had fun visiting the one unchanged room, which happened to be the first room he ever stayed in here in Seattle.

But, if you missed it, the event will be at two more motels - one is up around Green Lake (from the 22nd to 29th I think), can't recall the other one.

Posted by Will in Seattle | September 17, 2007 11:33 AM

Hey, Will, tell Purple Mark I said hi. I always figured the Bridge Motel was inhabited by secretive aliens. Nice to know that Purple Mark has confirmed this theory.

Posted by Randy | September 17, 2007 1:01 PM

Actually, he liked the spider room the best.

But was the talk of the lunch crowd at the Varsity Inn diner today.

Posted by Will in Seattle | September 17, 2007 1:21 PM

sorry, meant ... my bad

Posted by Will in Seattle | September 17, 2007 1:23 PM

In 2003, I witnessed the aftermath of porch collapse at a party in Chicago that killed 12 guests. I would agree with the aforementioned 'fuckstick' that it's probably not a bad thing to be wary of those kinds of accidents. Or maybe I've just been in Seattle too long and have joined the ranks of the uptight.

Posted by Squeezo | September 17, 2007 5:57 PM

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