Out and About in Black Rock City: The Esplanade… Burning Man 2013

Sacred Spaces Camp at Burning Man 2013.

The Esplanade is Burning Man’s major road and separates Black Rock City from the Playa. In other words it is prime real estate and home to some of the events major camps, such as Sacred Spaces shown here. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

I could have sat in our camp at Burning Man, watched the world revolve, and felt that the experience was well worth the price of admission.

A constant parade passed by our front door. Costumed everything, entertainers, dressed up bikes, law enforcement vehicles, water trucks, and mutant vehicles were all part of the parade. It’s even possible that an alien from outer space wandered through. Who’d ever know? I was suspicious of our neighbor. And it was nearly guaranteed that representatives of the one-percent travelled our street. The giants of Silicon Valley such as the founders of Google, venture capitalists, and CEO’s of High Tech firms have discovered that Burning Man is a great place to play– and apparently do business.

Given this flying saucer that crashed in the Black Rock Desert during Burning Man 2013, It's quite possible that aliens were wandering our street.

Given this flying saucer that crashed in the Black Rock Desert during Burning Man 2013, it’s quite possible that aliens were wandering our street.

Even Pastie Dan stopped off at our camp. Dan is a budding entrepreneur and a Burning Man institution who provides a unique service. He will gladly give (and apply) pasties to any woman making a request so she can go topless or braless without feeling quite so naked. Pasties come in a variety of sizes and can leave you looking smiley or even patriotic. Perusing the net, I found Pastie Dan’s website where you can check out some of his favorite projects or buy pasties for at-home use. Let’s see, will it be the snowman or the pumpkin? Hmmm… The pasties come with directions. Using the right amount of glue is important.

Pastie Dan in Black Rock City.

Normally Pastie Dan plies his trade at Center Camp but occasionally, he wanders the roads of Black Rock City. He stopped at our camp to see if any of the women were in the market for pasties.

Staying in camp was not an option, however. There was far too much to see and far too many adventures to have. I’ve already introduced the art; there were over 300 pieces at Burning Man 2013. And of course there was the 24/7 entertainment, not to mention the major burns. Everyone knows about burning the Man; it is the signature Bacchanalian experience that gives the event its name. But there are also numerous other burns ranging from the Temple to regional art.

Then there are the events hosted by theme camps. Our “Welcome Home” packet included a 160-page catalogue of everything we might do. Randomly opening the book to page 102, I learned I could paint myself, learn self-hypnosis, redefine who I was, or talk with a paleontologist. Authenticamp declared “Men: dare to receive custom tune-up of your masculine presence by embodied, tuned-in women.” No thanks. If Peggy hasn’t tuned me up after 20 plus years, I doubt it is going to happen.

Beyond all of the above, I find that wandering up and down the roads of Black Rock City, stopping off at Center Camp and occasionally dropping into one of the large theme camps can provide a year’s entertainment in a week. This, and my next two blogs will feature photos exploring the streets of Burning Man.

I am going to start with Burning Man’s main thoroughfare: the Esplanade.

Another view of the Sacred Spaces Camp. (Photo by Tome Lovering.)

Another view of the Sacred Spaces Camp. (Photo by Tom Lovering.)

Roof of Sacred Spaces Camp at Burning Man 13

I wandered into the Sacred Spaces Camp and shot this picture of the roof.

I wandered into the Sacred Spaces Camp and was greeted by this woman. The Sacred Spaces Camp includes artist, musicians, and specialists in alternative healing.

I was greeted by this woman. The Sacred Spaces Camp includes artist, musicians, and specialists in spiritual development and alternative healing.

This year's Burning Man theme about Cargo Cults led to a number of Theme camps to focus on the South Pacific Islands during World War II. This "crashed plane" would have provided  a treasure chest of cargo.

This year’s Burning Man theme about Cargo Cults led a number of Theme camps to focus on the South Pacific Islands during World War II. This “crashed plane” would have provided a treasure chest of cargo.

Views along the Esplanade at Burning Man 2013.

One theme camp along the Esplanade at Burning Man decided to decorate its main tent as a South Pacific volcano.

Not sure where this tutu wearing King Kong fit into the scheme of things but he too, along with the Empire State Building was found on the Esplanade.

Not sure where this tutu wearing 30-foot tall King Kong fit into the scheme of things but he too, along with the Empire State Building, was found on the Esplanade.

This Celtic Castle was one of many venues on the upper ends of the Esplanade where DJs, loud music and dancing rule into the wee hours of the morning.

This Celtic Castle was one of many venues on the upper ends of the Esplanade where DJs, loud music and dancing rule into the wee hours of the morning. (Photo by Tom Lovering.)

NEXT BLOG: We will travel the back roads of Black Rock City and visit such sites as the Library of California and the French Quarter of Louisiana.

10 comments on “Out and About in Black Rock City: The Esplanade… Burning Man 2013

  1. Once again, great photos Curt, and descriptions of the attendees as well. BM should provide good blog fodder for days (maybe weeks). BTW, I have to know, did you or Peggy go for the pasties? ~ James in Kyiv

    • Pastie Dan refuses to do guys, James. 🙂 As for Peggy, she says what happens at Burning Man stays at Burning Man. I think it may have something to do with the Fifth Amendment. PS… expect to see Burning Man for a few more weeks.
      –Curt

  2. Inquiring minds want to know – what’s that thing that looks like a dozen oil barrels on a bicycle next to the volcano? (The very fact that I’ve ended up typing that sentence is proof that this thing pulls you in!)

    As for Pastie Dan… well… I’m older than I thought!

  3. I loved – LOVED – the crashed UFO art piece…! Very nicely done… I hope you removed some of the engineering marvels from it so that you can sell it to the Pentagon. And Pastie Dan… I’d get them for my man-boobs. 🙂

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