Saturday, October 28, 2006

putting the wee back in

Halloween is here and, once again, the city is trying to scale back the revelry by issuing a press release. Strict crowd stemming measures are being imposed including reducing the number of entertainment stages to one! That is going to keep the bashers at bay. (To be fair, they're also adding a lot more cops on the street. Which is always confusing on Halloween. Are they real cops, or naughty cops? I guess the ones with horses are real.)

This is not the first time the city has attempted to keep people out of the Castro on Halloween night, even moving the "official" event to the Civic Center for several years. And, um, nobody went to that. They still came to the Castro, they still had to close the streets, and people just milled about for a few hours, drinking, occasionally getting stabbed.

The stabbings year, 2002, was indeed the scariest. Ali (or Alison as some of you who know her from the Price is Right) has the habit of designing costumes that require some large piece of plywood, cardboard or chicken wire to fan out from her head. At the intersection of Castro and Market that year, Ali's simply phenomenal costume as the opening credit sequence of The Brady Bunch (she was Alice in the middle) was being smashed into rather brusquely by the drunken mass of rude non-costume-dressed people who were apparently in a rush to stand on the street in a different location. There was an unpleasant mobbish feel, individual control being lost, and a feeling of imminent danger (not helped at all by barricades funneling people into small entrances). This prompted a quick escape to a bar for Ali and me, and for us to lose the rest of our group that evening including Mark who, dressed as Cindi Mancini from Can't Buy Me Love, had to be stuck keyless outside our apartment for two hours with kind people offering him directions to the police station. Oh, and I was Bjorn Borg that year.

I wonder if 250,000 people will listen when asked to leave an hour earlier. There has always been a somewhat exuberant anarchy to event, something uncontrollable, and generally in a positive way, you know, like a huge, fun party. But I suppose even at huge fun parties, assholes show up and break stuff. We'll see what happens this year. Or maybe I'll just hear what happened this year. I have no costume ideas yet. Neither does Mark. But my friend Gabe is making an awesome movie about it.


Post a Comment

<< Home