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Car Free Comedy with Kristina Wong

December 11, 2009

I wrote about the “Without a Car in the World” exhibit last week – it ends today, so if you read this blog in the next 2 hours or so, you really should head over to the 18th street arts center to check it out.

In addition to the exhibit, the arts center organized several car-free events during its run. I went to one last week, which featured performance artist and comedienne extraordinaire, Kristina Wong. Kristina currently lives in LA and gets around without a car, but as recently as a year ago she drove an eco-friendly biodiesel Mercedes. Or at least it was eco-friendly, until it spontaneously caught on fire on the northbound 405 in the Valley. Determined to stay environmentally conscious but understandably disenchanted with biofuel cars, Kristina decided to take to mass transit. Since then, her time spent on the buses of LA has given her a limitless supply of comedic material.

As it turns out, Kristina isn’t completely car free. At the end of the show, she rolled into the gallery on her shiny new Fisher-Price plastic push car, flipping off everyone in the audience (including me – what an honor!) Clearly, being a car owner has quickly gone to her head: she posed for me after the show, flashing her new car and cash. Kristina puts on a great show, so go to her website and check out where she’s playing next. Bonus points if you get there by bus or push car.

I also met with one of LA’s car free icons who was in attendance after the show: Siel of Green LA Girl. I had written about her earlier, and she pointed out/complained that in my photo she looked like an “errant student”. Fortunately, we cleared things up, it turns out she wasn’t really displeased with the photo anyway. Apparently, Siel isn’t car free anymore, but she only drives a couple times a week, generally opting to bike or ride the bus from her Santa Monica digs. “It’s nice that a few of the major arterial buses are nearby,” she told me. I took another picture of her, proudly pointing to her entry in the exhibit, though a bit chagrined that her byline incorrectly says she went to UCLA and not USC. In her elgant professional garb, she looks more like an errant grad student.

I also got to chat with the artist herself, Diane Meyer. She was extremely friendly, and happy to hear I liked the exhibit. I congratulated her for having done all these photos while carrying around all that photo gear on buses and trains. “Without a Car in the World” has been a great exhibit, and I look forward to seeing more of what Diane has to offer.

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