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.

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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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"Halloween" is for kids!


As Halloween approaches, there's lots going on around the Bay Area. Here's something taking place on Saturday, October 31 -- perfect for kids and families -- at San Francisco's "Exploratorium."

Creature Features: An Exploratorium Halloween
Saturday, October 31st, 2009
Candy for Kids. Cash Bar for Adults Opens at 5pm

This Halloween, take in spooky science and frightful fun. Creature
Features: An Exploratorium Halloween offers a host of eerie
attractions ranging from giant insects to the Neverwas Haul, a haunted
Victorian house on wheels. Self-propelled, three-stories high, and
replete with period details such as a camera obscura, the Neverwas
Haul invokes the imaginary worlds of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, and
other writers inspired by steam technology. Venture through its rooms,
then visit ghosts of theories past in our Cemetery of Dead Science. In
addition to mad science experiments, pneumatic monster machines, and a
garden of carnivorous plants, you’ll encounter fascinating (and
frequently misunderstood) creatures. Meet leeches, black cats,
tarantulas, giant insects, bats, scorpions and more.

Go to:
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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Castro Street Fair "kick-off"

What a gorgeous day: 23 years ago, was my first Castro Street Fair -- 1986. I knew I had found my home and home neighborhood. Thank you Harvey Milk for founding THE best street fair in the City, if not the nation! (but again, I'm biased).

For the third year, sponsored a Home for Halloween booth at the Fair to answer questions about the City's plans for Halloween, and keeping the celebrations safe-and-sane. Crowd was steady all day, with many people commenting that "it's sad that violence has marred what used to be such a fun event."

All of us involved with the campaign couldn't agree more. But -- that's the world in which we live. So, we have a choice: keep doing the same thing and hoping for a different outcome (the classic definition of insanity) or making a stand and saying "enough is enough." Three years ago, after nine people were shot during the annual Castro Halloween party, Supervisor Bevan Dufty, Mayor Newsom, Castro residents and business owners and other members of the City Family said "enough!"

That first year, many people thought the campaign wouldn't work - but, it did. The hundreds of thousands of revelers gave the Castro a break, and headed elsewhere for All Hallow's -- including the Castro's bars, many of whom closed in support.

Last year, the bars were open, and business was brisk, but -- the street party was again canceled.

This year - it's the same: there is NO street party in the Castro, and NO large-scale public event. And, for those people who DO come to Castro, there will be NO tolerance by officials for:
1) public drunkeness.
2)disorderly conduct
3) underage drinking
4) parole violators
5) bars / stores which do not observe "open container" laws.

However, throughout the City and the Bay Area, there are many smaller events and celebrations taking place on Saturday, October 31. I'm looking forward to them! I'm also looking forward to a Castro that is busy, fun and respectful. I'm looking forward to people celebrating Halloween close to their own "home" neighborhoods and for those of us who call Castro "home", having a enjoyable night in which we feel safe and respected in our "home."

Below: link to TV coverage from today's "Home for Halloween" info booth (thanks for Lisa Chan at CBS-5)

The flyers are being distributed; posters are going up; people are helping spread the word: have a safe and sane Halloween...close to home.

Oh -- to keep track of the campaign, announcements of other Halloween events around the Bay and up-to-date public transit info, follow us on "Twitter" at "Home4Halloween".

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