Who: Brandi Niedermeier, 35, of Oakland
What: Most of us know flash mobs as those random spectacles of synchronized dance seen on TV and in commercials. Brandi Niedermeier, mother of three and recycled art maker/teacher, has replaced flash mob dancing with bubble making. Those who stumble into a bubble flash mob will witness thousands of iridescent orbs taking flight and step back into the innocence of childhood.
When: The first successful bubble flash mob took place on Emeryville’s Bay Street in December 2011, to the surprise and glee of holiday shoppers. Two months later in February 2012, another mob spread bubble cheer at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Many more are on the way, and Niedermeier hopes the idea will grow in popularity. Bubble flash mobs are planned in advance so that participants can gather their suds and meet at the appointed time and place.
Where: “I try to choose sites that are full of people,” Niedermeier says. “A public place with lots of kids and people out for a good time.” She has her eye on Golden Gate Park, for instance, but part of the fun is you never know when the next bubble flash mob may strike.
Why: Unlike dancing, bubble making requires no practice, though you may have to teach your 3-year-old how to blow into the wand a time or two. Niedermeier says it’s something kids of all ages can participate in, and everyone enjoys it. “ ‘Make bubbles, not war’ came from my son at the last bubble flash mob, and I latched onto it,” she says. “There is no message behind the event; however, it is my desire to have fun and bring joy to others … We all need to get out and play sometimes.”
How: Niedermeier plans to organize many types of flash mobs, including five-minute freeze mobs and dance mobs, which require a lot of practice in advance. Groups are open to all interested participants, who may contact Niedermeier at email@example.com or join her flashmob group at FlashmobEastBay@yahoogroups.com.