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First Friday. It's the one thing that if you don't know a ton about local art, you have probably taken part in. First Friday is complicated, as it is a host of groups and concerns working on the same night, sometimes for the same goals. The ICA recently joined the fray with themed events. The MFA has a ticketed event in the Shapiro Family Courtyard every month. The galleries of Harrison, or Thayer st, or whatever they're calling it now offer up public openings while their upstairs neighbors, the SOWA guild, offers open studios.

But those facts all cover up a fundamental question: Why do people show up to first friday? Is it a public event for everyone to look at some new art, is it an event for specialists (collectors, artists, curators, BR&S writers), or is it an excuse to have fun? Miguel Miró-Quesada's essay about first friday explores the sociological aspects of this event, but does it in a way that many of BR&S's writers cannot: as an outsider. His status as a guest in our midst allows him to see us and our social events in a way that we honestly can't. It's been eerie for those of us who knew that he was observing everything, listening to our conversations, and watching our odd mating dances. I hope we get strong reactions from our readers after they read his essay. If you do, please write a letter to the editor.

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