November 1, 2010

Mitzvahs that cost 3x as much as our wedding

The other night, 2E's and I were fortunate enough to attend a bat mitzvah at a stunning private residence in Bel Air. We've been to our fair share of high profile events since we moved here at the start of 2008 -- both as guests and as photographers -- and bar and bat mitzvahs have comprised most of those events. (2E's knows all the tween socialites.) We've grown accustomed to indoor parties with DJs, straightforward catering and a chocolate bar of sorts ... but the hosts of this weekend's mitzvah raised the bar. What set them apart was not how much was spent but rather how it was spent and the people who made it happen.

First, we were thrilled to learn upon our arrival that our old friends at Coolhaus (who provided the dessert at our wedding) would be making their ass-kicking ice cream cookie sandwiches at the close of the evening. I've never seen a horde of thirteen-year-olds so willing and eager to get in line for something.

But before we got busy on dirty mint chip ice cream wedged between soft-baked goodness, the kids and I partook in some Double-Doubles c/o In-n-Out Burger's convenient Cookout Trailer.

According to one of the men who was working the truck, the average price for a 4-hour event like this (which includes a full menu with unlimited burgers, potato chips and soda) is about $1,250, which -- considering the response from the crowd -- is beyond reasonable. (As a vegetarian option, In-n-Out can do grilled cheese sandwiches.)

And all food aside -- we were introduced to a man named Karl Johnson, Master Scissor Artist Extraordinaire from a company called Cut Arts. Karl sets up a card table, empties the contents of his briefcase, invites guests to sit down and gets to work on what he calls Original Silhouette Portraits. While I was hesitant at first, watching him sculpt 2E's precise silhouette out of cardstock and a pair of scissors was both bizarre and mind-blowing.

 Eerily on-the-money

Contact Karl via his website or via email at

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