Tuesday, May 15, 2007

LOOPTASTIC LOOPTOPIA

Seeing as Looptopia is totally old news at this point, I feel it is a perfect time to post about it. For those of you who are not in Chicago, Looptopia was supposed to be an all-night celebration of fun with events throughout Chicago’s Loop District (the main business center) that typically closes down about 8pm at the latest. Sometimes people come from out of town to Chicago and are very confused that “Downtown” is totally shut down after dark. That’s just how we roll. The fun is in the neighborhoods. So Looptopia, inspired by events in Rome, Paris, and Montreal, was supposed to be a cultural and artistic spectacle and keep the Loop open late so people could enjoy the wondrous fun that the area has to offer.

This event promised to suck royally from the get go. It did suck. While it sounded like a good idea in theory, I didn’t believe the hype. I particularly didn’t believe it when I saw the list of events. However, I was intrigued and already downtown so I decided that I should go. I don’t take enough advantage of the free things that go on in our fine city and didn’t want to miss yet another free event. Even though I knew I might have more fun in my house. As things ended up, despite the suckage, had enough fun that it was worth not going home. However, I easily could have had as much fun at my house.

I started the night with Monica’s sister Chanda and Lakeiya. Dave was supposed to meet up with us but his arrival was postponed because he was bringing us sandwiches and had to make the bread. Dave is adorable. The three of us ladies started the night at “Miss Looptopia” a reported drag show where at least half of the competitors were not in drag. A group of hugely tall people planted themselves directly in front of the stage and refused to move an inch. Apparently there were tons of people trying to get in but weren’t allowed because there was no room. The show started about 15 minutes late, showed three performers, and took a 20 minute break. Huh?? The then had three more performers, took a fifteen minute break, had three more, and closed the show. Mind you, the acts were between 1 and 3 minutes long. The waiting was insane. They were also pretty crappy drag performers. One was of awesome quality, one of the ladies sang a fabulous song about how she wasted to be “Misses Alyssa Milano,” and the trashiest mess of them all was crowned Miss Looptopia. Huh??

We then went to Harold Washington College to create tiles for a mondo mosaic that will go up “somewhere at some point,” and my tile will be in position K-10 when that happens. The idea was that you had to use four lines that continued up from the time before yours and other than that you could do whatever you wanted. You weren’t supposed to write anything but the person giving me my tile said nothing about that. I made a cracked out looking person out of squiggles with the caption “it was a hard day,” beside her face. I want to see it in action. I wonder if I ever will.

By this point Dave and Krista Lee had arrived so we met up with them to see a guy play and we saw the last 30 seconds of his act. We then sat down to have sandwiches. I am quite glad Dave made them MMMMM. As we weren’t going to use the port-o-potties we popped over to the office for a regular bathroom and, as Dave brought some wine and there were cops all over outside, we sat down and had a drink. There were some snacks left over because the Alternative School Prom was that night and they had provided the students with some snacks so that was also nice.

We then headed over to the Art Institute to meet Monica, Morgan, Cheryl, and Fernando. We lost Krista Lee on the way because she met someone and they wanted to play chess. There was a wicked hardcore pillow fight in front of the steps. Loved it. The place was so incredibly crowded that we were simply overwhelmed. The group split up again after wandering the museum for a while looking for “Dreams and Nightmares” which was on the program for 10:30. It sounded cool but some people wanted to see fire and puppets. Dave, Lakeiya, Chanda, and I finally figured out where to stand and when the man waved his hand for Dreams and Nightmares the insanity began. He began speeding through the throngs and Chanda grabbed my hand and pulled me after him. I kept getting wedged between the pushing stream of people and the other people standing in line to get drinks. It’s lucky that I am not averse to bumping into people. We lost Dave and Lakeiya but hoped to find them eventually. We finally get to a gallery, when the group was united, and were given a very informative lecture on surrealist painting. I enjoyed it very much. Our tour guide felt like a superstar.

We then went to meet up with the rest of the group and check out the “knitting” at the Cultural Center. On the way Chanda and I played a game where we would walk in a straight line and not move and see if we could get people to move out of our way. It was fun. I was pretty good at it. Chanda almost got hit by a car and let out the most blood curdling scream I have ever heard directly in my ear, Ouch. The cultural center was incredibly busy, we couldn’t find knitting. We met up with the rest of our friends and said good-night.
You are probably thinking that it sounds like a wonderful time, and it was. However, the Looptopia events had relatively little to do with the fun time. It just goes to show that good people can have a blast with anything despite poor event planning, low staff, utter chaos, and too many people. The bottle of wine probably didn’t hurt either. Looptopia planners, better luck next time.

Lola, The Kinks- I have been listening to this song all morning. I wanted to listen to it on repeat because it just fit my mood perfectly (don’t ask what that means because I can’t explain it and it isn’t what it sounds like) but the biggest drawback to an iPod is the lack of a repeat function. I had to keep pressing buttons, I was annoyed.

Even Though I am in the Closet, David Cross- This is a bit about the importance of going to the Moon. David Cross is really funny. Every time I see his face I just want to laugh because he is the greatest. I don’t think this has anything to do with being in closets.

The Acid Queen, The Who- These titles, along with the Lola and Miss Looptopia, is a pretty perfect fit. Nice work random.

15 comments:

dmarks said...

Ever heard "Yoda" by Weird Al?

dmarks said...

(I need to scroll down further before I post!)

"Acid Queen" by The Who? Wondered if you ever heard Tina Turner's version. I think it's the best of several.

Mrs. Loquacious said...

I thought the idea with the mosaic tiles was cool, although a little restrictive with their rules. I'd rather have the rule that you had to decorate your tile using a specific set of colours, period. It would look amazing to see how it all turned out.

I usually don't like street-style festivals b/c I hate crowds of people, especially those who are drunken and/or pushy. It ruins my fun.

I agree, though... fun is more defined by who you're with than what you're doing. :)

Katrina said...

Yep, fun is definitely what YOU make of it rather than what is actually planned. Glad to hear you had a good time despite the lameness of the event.

With Love, Fat Girl said...

Ah, the art institute. I loved it there. I even did Cameron's blank stare at the pointilism painting, as I'm sure just about everyone after the late 80's has...

Monica said...

David Cross' titles never have much to do with the bit. "Weathermen have become obsolete!" I love him. I miss seeing him on my TV every few days...

thethinker said...

Was your friend Chanda trying to walk in a straight line through traffic to see if the cars would move out of her way?

terry said...

sounds pretty nightmarish to me, but it also sounds like you and your pals could make anything fun.

Natalie said...

Dmarks- Yeah I have both those, they just didn't come on random. I came home and pulled out some Weird Al tapes and learned Tony's favorite song is Stuck In A Closet With Vanna White.

Mrs. L- The other bummer with the tiles is they were not in color. You just had to carve a design out of clay.

Katrina- I hope that if they do it again there is some better planning. It could almost be great.

WLFG- I would have liked to hang out but it was way crowded. They said there had never been that many people there.

Monica- Did you see him on "ripped from the headlines" on Criminal Intent?

Thinker- No, but it seemed like it.

Terry- We try and it usually works.

CSG said...

it's frustrating when good looking activities end up being weak. But I'm to hear you had that so much fun.

Eve said...

I like the LP Conservatory for free things to do. It's nice and warm inside.

Johnny Yen said...

Kim had suggested this event, but we mistook the day and didn't go. Glad to know we didn't miss much.

Instead, I treated her and my stepdaughter to a day at the Art Institute and ice cream by the Bean on Mother's Day. We had a good time. I need to get to the Art Institute more often.

Johnny Yen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I was at Miss Looptopia too -it was a loopalicious event - It was funny and wild and a good time was had by all - and the Looptinis were great.

dave said...

we set off knowing how silly it was going to be at looptopia, so we really can't say anything about i guess.

but i had such a hoot. i'm glad you called me out! sorry i was so late, next time i'll start the bread the evening before.

i did the same thing the other night where i was up until after midnight for bread... my timing is all off.