MOMA Scavengers

To begin with, many thanks are due to Rachel, without whom we would not have been able to participate in the SF MOMA Scavenger Hunt. She took an amazing set of photos from the adventure, and is also an excellent photographer in general–I encourage you to check out her photos, hire her, and lavish praise upon her. I really appreciate her generosity, because it allowed us to have an awesome and very rewarding experience.

This weekend, we boldly went forth to the SF MOMA to participate in an interactive art adventure. We had 9 hours to scavenge the city for 100 items and return triumphant–each item had a point value (from 1-100), and the team with the highest score would win four thousand dollars. We decided this would be an excellent thing, and assembled a team of four to compete–we were among the 52 selected teams (out of over 200 applicants) who traipsed all over San Francisco on Saturday.

Three of us woke up obscenely early and rounded up a car to take into the City in case we needed it (which turned out to be a mistake, because it sat in the 5th and Mission Garage all day), and trooped over to the MOMA by 9:00, where we found a large number of people waiting on line already.

people waiting on line for the sf moma scavenger hunt

As the clock rapidly approached nine, the line snaked around the building, to the intense interest of the businessmen in the office next door.

businessmen curiously look on

We began to worry, intensely, for our fourth member, as did museum staff (including the wonderful Jasmine–thank you, Jasmine, for being such a splendid human being!) At last, the time got down to the wire and staffers told us we only had half an hour or so to find our fourth–otherwise we would be disqualified. We frantically called our fourth repeatedly (no, he never answered and no, he never called us to explain what happened), and then began asking random passerby if they wanted to participate.

I noticed a photographer who I had assumed was on the MOMA staff waiting around outside, and I ambled over to talk to her while I peered into the street for our missing comrade. When she said she wasn’t with the MOMA, but rather following a team of friends, I asked her if she would be willing to make our fourth–she didn’t have to scavenge with us or sabotage her friends, but we really wanted to participate and our fourth obviously wasn’t going to make it.

Rachel (as she turned out to be), kindly agreed, and we made it in just under the wire for the release of the clues and the start of our adventure. As it turns out, I did get to meet the official MOMA photographer, who was a lovely man–he was obviously having a lot of fun tracking us all over the City, and I hope to see his shots up somewhere soon too. We had a number of nice conversations at various points all over the City.

We went over the list and then broke up to make the best of our time. Little did we know that the coffeehouse we chose to go over the list in was being used by two of the judges, who were asking us questions about the scavenger hunt. We met up with them later on at the MOMA and I really enjoyed meeting both of them properly and talking about the hunt, art, and mammary glands.

One of our team members boldly returned to the Island to pick up several of the clues and manufacture the infamous number 61 (he is now known as “Cap’n Raspberry”):

lipstick dick print

After failing to find an actual internet cafe with actual wireless service, I intrepidly shot up Mission street to “meet the Meek and shoot them”. (With a Polaroid, it turns out, not a gun.)

the meek

Our third went into Chinatown, where he acquired all sorts of neat things and incurred the wrath of a shopkeeper.

We reconvened around 1:00 to see where we stood, and realized that we had a large number of items…and that internet access was crucial. We labeled what we had, made a copy of the list (which we should have done in the beginning), talked to construction workers, and parted ways once more.

conference over coffee

Cap’n Raspberry and I sought out Market and New Montgomery for a clue, and our chivalry ended up costing up some points in the end. Our third finally was able to get online and start researching–and sending the Cap and I on various expeditions all over San Francisco.

art class

I went to art class at California College of the Arts, but not before I fell asleep on MUNI, got lost somewhere in South San Francisco, talked to a nice lady with plants, and hiked about two miles in constant phone communication with my internet researcher–“ok, I’m at the corner of Rhode Island and something Heights…help!” In art class we were given an assortment of clay lumps to mold, and the teacher only wanted the best shit:

clay model of poop

While the boys bravely (truly: the Cap’n was bitten by a dog in pursuit of art) sought all sorts of things, I headed to UN plaza by way of Bloomingdales to pick up clue number 90. (By the way, the staff at Bloomingdales are highly efficient, kind, and lovely–despite being scruffy and demanding “a perfume sample and the cheapest wineglass you have,” they were stellar.)

UN Plaza in San Francisco

I collected my clue, we regrouped again, and I headed back to the MOMA to set up our table while they sought out last minute clues.

Tomorrow…layout, and the judging.

[MOMA Scavengers]
[Scavenger Hunt]