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“There’s so many people on the street tonight! Must be some Halloween shit.”

Two queens hop off of the sidewalk and walk towards the Bowery Hotel, their matching trench coats flying behind them, their hats steady about their heads. The mess they’re talking about is the crowd creating a fire hazard outside of The Hole – another clusterfuck art show brought to you by Tim Barber.

The last one of these I went to was three years ago in Soho. My intentions to actually see the artwork were thwarted by the crushing mass of cool kids congregating on the street and the cops on horseback yelling for us to all go home on loudspeakers.

Tonight’s already more successful. There are no cops, no horses. I push my way through 20-somethings dragging on cigarettes and work my way into the expansive white of the gallery, filled with girls with smudged eyeliner and hombre roots, clutching Alexander Wang bags. Boys take pulls off of cans of Coors, holding skateboards and smelling vaguely unclean.

I scan the group for friends, none of whom are here.

Voices rumble incoherently, a waterfall of noise between six surfaces. People are and aren’t looking at the art: gasoline in gutters, semi-dried blood rushing out of a girl, a seriously plagued dick sticking out of a hole in a sheet.

I still can’t find my friends. I wander around alone in a sea of people I more often see in street style fashion blogs. The expensive girls look like they’ve stepped straight out of a Balmain campaign. The cheaper ones – the stylist assistants and the editorial interns – wear flea market finds and top knots like Shrek horns. There are the girls who look like Stella McCartney or the girls who look like Wednesday Adams, and there’s lots of red lipstick.

This is our Factory.

The ratio of unwashed to washed hair (for both women and men) falls somewhere around 2 to 1.

The average age appears to be early twenties to mid-thirties.

There are many beards.

And military jackets.

And punks and surfers.

My favorite is the boy with eyebrows drawn in like Freddy Munster, each one filled in and shaped with a black pencil as though the glued-on scraps from an art project, smashed under a mop of bleached blonde hair and above a smile that reminds me of my best friend from middle school.

I leave the party feeling vaguely inferior and crushed by the realization I am, despite previous indications, tediously normal.

[Photo: Courtesy of Frank151]

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