Tag Archives: Black Rock City

Oh, The Places I’ve Been

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(by Christina & Jack Dunham)

Burning_Man_aerial

Oh, the places I’ve been
Oh, the things that I’ve seen
If I told you, you’d never believe me
But at least let me try
Or perhaps tell you why
I keep going to Black Rock City

Two Gentlemen So Debonnaire | TheSociaholic

I met an old lady with flair
A maiden with purple blue hair
A pink girl on stilts
Young men in white kilts
Two gentlemen so debonnaire

Men with Flashing Suits | The Sociaholic

I also met devilish horns
Albinos and white unicorns
A man who’s suit flashes
Girls with two-inch lashes
Anubis with towering thorns

Anubis with Towering Thorns | TheSociaholic

And on this same trip I did meet
Some characters most indiscrete
A half-man, half-goat
An 8-inch deep throat
And a gypsy with jingling feet

Silver Green Firefly Art Car | TheSociaholic

On one day we road as a pack
On a silver green firefly’s back

Orange Pink Maze | TheSociaholic

We biked through a maze
Of Orange Pink haze

And ran on a hamster wheel track

Hamster Wheel Track | TheSociaholic

And on the deep playa we tried
A bicycle slingshot we spied

Bike Slingshot | TheSociaholic

The bike in its socket
Took off like a rocket
And thankfully, nobody died

Sunken Ship docked at the pier | TheSociaholic

A sunken ship docked at the pier
From there, pounding waves you could hear

Land Boats Glided Through - Burning Man 2012 | TheSociaholic

Land boats glided through
A pirate ship, too
That was manned by a strange buccaneer

Hand-crafted Vietnamese Iced Coffee | TheSociaholic

We indulged in some sugary eats
Like hand-crafted coffee and sweets

Watermelon Shaved Ice at Burning Man 2012 | TheSociaholic

Watermel’n shaved ice
And gluten-free, nice!
Soft porn and hot donuts were treats

Road on for miles upon miles | TheSociaholic

We road on for miles upon miles
To gaze upon beautiful smiles

Playa Art Car | TheSociaholic
Blew kisses and cheered
At all that was weird
As we ambled along silly aisles

The Man | The Sociaholic

And toward the big man we did walk
Where thousands of others had flocked
To see the man burnin’
Was what we were yearnin’
We should have invested in clocks

The Man Burns | The Sociaholic

The night sky was lit up with fire
As effigy burning transpired
Big ego was burned
And then Wall Street’s turn
As lovers were kindling desire

Big Ego | TheSociaholic

We witnessed brave warriors in flight
As they fought under ThunderDomes light
They leapt from the ground and
Their heads took a poundin’
I sure hope those guys are alright

Thunder Dome  Fight Night | TheSociaholic

In the midst of a freezing cold white out
With our very survival in slight doubt
We were saved by a craft
And sat in the aft
And so to TravNasti, a Shout Out

TravNasti of Danstronauts | TheSociaholic

From OT, Osiris, Disorient
To Distrikt and Robot Heart we went
We danced til we dropped
We rocked it non-stop
Until the sun rose in the orient

Opulent Temple | TheSociaholic

And so to our burn family
Rod, Shaun, Mark, Tim, Pang, Tom, Michi
To the veterans and freshman
Like Shauna and Stefan
Hope this trip has fulfilled fantasies

DeMentha Family | TheSociaholic

Of course to our friends at DeMentha
From Germany, France, Barcelona
To the SF Bay crew
To old friends and new
We had such a blast burnin’ with ya!

Burn Family | TheSociaholic

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Seven Days in the Dust

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By far, the nicest, friendliest people I have ever met reside in Black Rock City, NV.

Biking Around the PlayaIt’s a city that moves at a small town’s pace during the day, where neighborhood cafes serve up piping hot cappuccinos and pastries, and local pubs pour generous pints of pilsners and porters; where adults and children alike pedal bikes around dusty roads, and colorful, fanciful four-wheeled vehicles crawl along at a max speed of 5 mph.

At dusk, the city transforms into a bustling metropolis with hip clubs hosting world-class DJs and live bands, and even livelier revelers. No cover, no VIP lines, no pretense.

Bliss Dance - Burning Man 2010 | TheSociaholicResidents let loose in true bacchanalian fashion, with herds hopping from one party to the next, or racing to the horizon to greet the dawn. 30-foot structures explode with dancing fire and the Esplanade glows Vegas-like with its line-up of neon lit car and characters. Lovers wander hand-in-hand through a circus of light and spectacle.

In this city, art is king. From mobile museums and makeshift galleries featuring paintings and photography; to interactive art that pulsate with light or breath fire with a touch of a button; to massive installations – three-story balsa wood temples, large-scale serpentine sculptures, and computer-controlled propane cannons that explode in rhythm.

Love Art in GoldArt is for more than just admiring. It is for touching, exploring, contemplating, climbing, participating and playing.

Black Rock City is located about 100 miles northwest of Reno near the southern end of the Black Rock Desert, past the towns of Empire and Gerlach. It is the site of Burning Man: an experiment in temporary community, a practice in radical self reliance, an opportunity for self-expression for a society of artists and activists, a collective effort with its own culture and traditions, where “transactions of value take place without money, advertising, or hype.”

Burning Man aerial, 2011 | TheSociaholic

The city is laid out like a giant wheel where the “spokes” are numbered radial streets which cross concentric lettered streets. And smack-dab in the middle is an 80-foot high anthropomorphic wooden structure that symbolizes different things to different people. It is neither deity nor demon, a towering effigy affectionately known as “the Man,” the spiritual center for the city’s inhabitants who abide by Ten Principles that include Radical Inclusion, Self-Reliance, and Self-Expression.

Arctica Ice VendingWith the exception of ice offered for sale, no vending is allowed. Gifts, talent, and companionship become currency. Bartering, while frowned upon, occurs by mutual consent. No trash cans are provided, and yet there is no trash to be found. Everyone takes care of their own, and each other. Despite the dust and dirt of the desert, it is one of the most pristine places I have ever seen. The mind-altering experience feels like visiting another planet.

The Playa

Unfortunately, it’s an evanescent city that only exists for one week out of the year, in the days leading up to Labor Day weekend. Covering less than five square miles, it is a fully functioning city of 50,000 locals, with a central post office, airport, mobile clinics, media mecca, law enforcement headquarters, volunteer medics and rangers, a department of public works, and even its own DMV (Department of Mutant Vehicles).

At the end of the week, the entire city is completely disassembled, many of its sculptures and structures burned, leaving no trace of the thriving city or its inhabitants. All that is left is a wide expanse of deserted flatlands, bookended by mountain ranges in the distance, sporadically attacked by hurricane-force winds and dust storms, and pierced by triple digit heat. 400 square miles of stark desert lake bed, the largest alkali/mud flats on Earth, simply known as “The Playa.” No running water, no electricity. Nothing.

Seven Days in the Dust By far, the nicest, friendliest people I have ever met reside in Black Rock City, NV. It’s a city that moves at a small town’s pace during the day, where neighborhood cafes serve up piping hot cappuccinos and pastries, and local pubs pour generous pints of pilsners and porters; where adults and children alike pedal bikes around dusty roads, and colorful, fanciful four-wheeled vehicles crawl along at a max speed of 5 mph. At dusk, the city transforms into a bustling metropolis with hip clubs hosting world-class DJs and live bands, and even livelier revelers. No cover, no VIP lines, no pretense. Residents let loose in true bacchanalian fashion, with herds hopping from one party to the next, or racing to the horizon to greet the dawn. 30-foot structures explode with dancing fire and the Esplanade glows Vegas-like with its line-up of neon lit car and characters. Lovers wander hand-in-hand through a circus of light and spectacle. In this city, art is king. From mobile museums and makeshift galleries featuring paintings and photography; to interactive art that pulsate with light or breath fire with a touch of a button; to massive installations – three-story balsa wood temples, large-scale serpentine sculptures, and computer-controlled propane cannons that explode in rhythm. Art is for more than just admiring. It is for touching, exploring, contemplating, climbing, participating and playing. Black Rock City is located about 100 miles northwest of Reno near the southern end of the Black Rock Desert, past the towns of Empire and Gerlach. It is the site of Burning Man: an experiment in temporary community, a practice in radical self reliance, an opportunity for self-expression for a society of artists and activists, a collective effort with its own culture and traditions, where “transactions of value take place without money, advertising, or hype.” The city is laid out like a giant wheel where the "spokes" are numbered radial streets which cross concentric lettered streets. And smack-dab in the middle is an 80-foot high anthropomorphic wooden structure that symbolizes different things to different people. It is neither deity nor demon, a towering effigy affectionately known as “the Man,” the spiritual center for the city’s inhabitants who abide by Ten Principles that include Radical Inclusion, Self-Reliance, and Self-Expression. With the exception of ice offered for sale, no vending is allowed. Gifts, talent, and companionship become currency. Bartering, while frowned upon, occurs by mutual consent. No trash cans are provided, and yet there is no trash to be found. Everyone takes care of their own, and each other. Despite the dust and dirt of the desert, it is one of the most pristine places I have ever seen. The mind-altering experience feels like visiting another planet. Unfortunately, it’s an evanescent city that only exists for one week out of the year, in the days leading up to Labor Day weekend. Covering less than five square miles, it is a fully functioning city of 50,000 locals, with a central post office, airport, mobile clinics, media mecca, law enforcement headquarters, volunteer medics and rangers, a department of public works, and even its own DMV (Department of Mutant Vehicles). At the end of the week, the entire city is completely disassembled, many of its sculptures and structures burned, leaving no trace of the thriving city or its inhabitants. All that is left is a wide expanse of deserted flatlands, bookended by mountain ranges in the distance, sporadically attacked by hurricane-force winds and dust storms, and pierced by triple digit heat. 400 square miles of stark desert lake bed, the largest alkali/mud flats on Earth, simply known as “The Playa.” No running water, no electricity. Nothing. In just a couple of days, my husband and I will be making our fourth annual pilgrimage to Black Rock City, joining a group of 43 other individuals from across the globe. Organized into a theme camp called DeMentha, our little footprint at 3:00 and D will be serving up “minty goodness” with afternoon Mojitos and music to chill by, all under a large shade structure equipped with a cooling mister. I look forward to days spent riding bikes around with friends, and checking out music and art at every stop. Family-style dinners in our communal dining tent at sunset. Free shows, snow cones, movies, popcorn, popsicles. Freedom. Participation in Burning Man continues to test our ability for self-sufficiency and allows us to explore our own eccentricities. Being forced to go without so many creature comforts, one becomes more appreciative of the simple things in life. Giving thanks takes on new meaning. I look forward to my seven days in the dust.In just a couple of days, my husband and I will be making our fourth annual pilgrimage to Black Rock City, joining a group of 43 other individuals from across the globe. Organized into a theme camp called DeMentha, our little footprint at 3:00 and D will be serving up “minty goodness” with afternoon Mojitos and music to chill by, all under a large shade structure equipped with a cooling mister.

I look forward to days spent riding bikes around with friends, and checking out music and art at every stop. Family-style dinners in our communal dining tent at sunset. Free shows, snow cones, movies, popcorn, popsicles. Freedom.

Participation in Burning Man continues to test our ability for self-sufficiency and allows us to explore our own eccentricities. Being forced to go without so many creature comforts, one becomes more appreciative of the simple things in life. Giving thanks takes on new meaning.

I look forward to my seven days in the dust.

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