Sunday, November 1, 2009

All Saints Day

And another Halloween -- officially -- has passed. Happy All Saints Day! KCBS & SF Gate have reported a "success"; fun night, safe crowds, bustling streets -- a good time had by all.

Once again, our thanks to the unsung heroes and heroines of the effort: the men and woman of the SFPD, the SF Fire Department, Adult & Juvenile Probation, Dept. of Public Health, Department of Parking and Traffic, BART, Muni, The Sheriff's Department, Public Works, Street Cleaning, The Mayor's Office (especially Martha Cohen) and Supervisor Bevan Dufty. Also, a special "salute" to Stephen Adams and his colleagues at MUMC (the Merchants of Upper Market & Castro) who have worked hand-in-hand with the City Family to ensure that everyone respects the 94114's home for Halloween.

As I write this, the crowds are thinning; the bars are doing a good business and the side streets where people live, relax and pay their rent, mortgages and property taxes are quiet -- appropriately so. Maybe after three years, we've begun to turn the corner on the "hell night" that used to be Halloween and are again making it a night of fun -- and respect -- for those who call Castro home: on October 31 and for the other 364 days a year.

more anon

Saturday, October 31, 2009

9:06pm -- Happy Crowds, Busy Bars

Happy Halloween everyone! The sidewalks of Castro are busy but not overwhelmed. The police are providing guidance, security and occasional assistance helping cars get out of tight parking spaces. It's a popular night for half naked football playes and legions of green-faced witches (this is the home of "Wicked"). Two Muni buses just passed by -- not full (good news) -- and had no problem getting through the intersection at 18th & Castro.

It feels -- a bit -- like Castro Halloweens of the past: festive people in costume having fun and being respectful.

And, the streets are open and traffic is moving smoothly.

So far, so good.

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Halloween is here!

Here at "Brandy Ho's" -- for the second year providing hospitality for the press and members of the "City Family" working to keep the Castro -- and all of SF -- safe, sane and festive on Halloween. Thank you Jack, Cedric and Brandy Ho! Thank you Jimmy Lam!

Just walked around the Castro. Scenes from a Saturday night:
The world's oldest drag queen (or close), elegand and coy, holds up the bar at the "Twin Peaks" -- anticipating an evening of deserved cocktails for which her purse will nary open. Across the street, three revelers revel in their nakedness: their costume bravado, hats and sneaks. A tourist from Australia takes a picture while steps way Orthodox priests perfume the air with incense and vegetarian literature. Mr. Sulu (or his double) shares space with a bodybuilding biker laughs at 18th & Castro.

5:45am -- Halloween is here. So far, so good.
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Bay Bridge or Not - It's Halloween!

..It's Halloween: late night / early in the morning of a long day. Drove around seeing what "All Hallow's Eve Eve" was like. Streets were scattered with people in costume: my last meeting of the day was with someone who could be called in "business drag." :-) Was fun!

My taxi tonight said, "it's slow for a Friday before Halloween" and blamed the bridge as we drove up Market. Tooling through Castro a few minutes later the streets were busy and packed with costumed customers (including one naked "devil" outside Walgreens. I love this town.

Below: a link to the story following yesterday's press conference at the SFPD:

Frankly, things seem....normal: happy revelers; busy bars, bustling restaurants. That's what we all want for Halloween: good business, good behavior.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

It's Halloween Week!

One week to go and all over the City is preparing: costumes are being bought; parties are being planned. And, behind the scenes, the City Family is preparing for a busy Saturday, October 31.

Now in year three, the "Home For Halloween" campaign has helped in keeping Castro (and the rest of the City) safe and sane on All Hallow's. We're all pleased at how many clubs, bars and other venues are planning events that night. Well done! It's EVERYONE's holiday -- including the Castro's but not ONLY the Castro's.

So, remember: have fun and party on Halloween, but DO NOT expect a street party in Castro. Those of us who live and work here want to enjoy the night too, but not have to battle unruly crowds to do so!

This week: flyers are hitting schools and campuses around the Bay reminding people that there is no party in the Castro. Ditto for banners on BART & Muni (remember: last train back to the East Bay leaves at midnight).

Have fun this Saturday, and check out the latest events taking place around the Bay at

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

BART / Muni Plans for Halloween

Two weeks to go before we can all take our costumes off! :-) Here's hoping as in the past two years, people who like to say "boo" do so with fun and respect for the neighborhoods they visit!

Just a reminder: BART / Muni will be operating a regular schedule that night, so, don't get caught on the wrong side of the Bay!

Below: the BART / Muni banners which will be going up this week around the Bay.

More anon.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

"Halloween" Music to "Boo" by

FYI - just had to share this with you! Each day, a different "song for the season".

An "Examiner" feature spotlighting a soundtrack every day for the month of October.

You can check out my daily features here:

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