To celebrate the last day of my 35th trip around the sun, I went to Refinery 29’s pop-up museum, 29 Rooms. It describes itself as a “funhouse of style, culture, and technology” and is essentially a huge pop-up tent with 29 individually curated rooms – some curated by corporate sponsors, some by artists, and some by political “brands.” It’s only running for a couple of weekends and is currently sold out, but if you have tickets and wanted a sneak peak or you just want to live vicariously through me, read on! (You can also probably find tickets on Craigslist, Stubhub, or Instagram.) If you happen to be going to 29 Rooms this month, a word of advice – be ready for long lines and no available water. I had the CUTEST shoes that I was going to wear, but when I saw the long line to get in, this very pregnant lady decided to stick with her flip flops. And there is a Perrier booth handing out free Perriers, and a cold brew coffee brand giving away coffee, but again, this pregnant lady is not feeling the sparkling water or coffee! You can bring water in with you, and I wish I had read the FAQs and brought some water! Also, there is plenty of parking, but be prepared that parking is $18 for 3 hours if not validated at one of the nearby retail shops/restaurants at The Row.
29 Rooms is very similar to the other pop-up museums happening such as the Museum of Ice Cream, The Happy Place, and the upcoming Candytopia. It’s a weird phenomena that seems to be very social media driven – places designed for you to go and take Instagram photos! Love it or hate it, I don’t think this trend will be dying down anytime soon based on the number of people I saw there today! Plus, these companies/”museums” must be making $$$! Tickets for 29 Rooms was about $21/pp and that is on the lower end. The other pop-up museums all charge $30+.
And I totally dig the concept, I mean, people have been trying to get interactive with regular art museums for the last few years. Have you ever been yelled at to not touch the art, but you WEREN’T touching the art and some asshole security guy is just telling you something you already know and trying to make you feel bad? Yeah, that happens to me at almost every real museum. Luckily, at these pop-ups, you can interact with the art. So, we were there the full 3 hours and we only got to 12 or 13 of the 29 rooms, but this one curated by the artist Alexa Meade was my favorite. It features a two sided wall where she painted the wall AND painted fun clothes and props so you can play dress-up and disappear into the painting. It had a 15-20 minute wait, but was totally worth it.
The place is really a selfie/Instagram paradise. Not my favorite backgrounds and I don’t take selfies, so it wasn’t my favorite of all the pop-up museums, but it was interesting. And, there’s a LOT of political messaging as well with “rooms” by Planned Parenthood and the Women’s March.Here’s some snaps of some of the rooms minus me:And then this happened:Again, the event is sold out, but you never know, it could get extended. And we were there the full 3 hours and only saw less than half of the rooms and literally in some just snapped a photo and GTFO, so be prepared to feel rushed or pick which rooms you definitely want to visit by stalking the #29rooms hashtag on Instagram before going. And have fun!