Thursday, July 30, 2009

And another Halloween cometh. For the third year, the "Home For Halloween" campaign will help spread the word about Halloween activities in communities around the Bay Area. This year, October 31 is on a Saturday, so we know it will be a busy, festive night. And, like the last two years, there will be NO OFFICIAL PARTY in San Francisco's Castro District.

However, clubs and restaurants will be open, and doing a booming business. But, there will be NO STAGE and NO STREET CLOSURES.

Like last year, we're looking to have a safe-and-sane "All Hallow's Eve" in the Castro, and all over the Bay Area. Over the next three months, we'll be updating this site with info on area events, public safety and public transit. And, we want your input! So, please use the event form on the homepage at

Also, in the coming weeks, look for a "new look" for our Home For Halloween website, including more opportunities for you to tell us your plans and interact with the campaign.

Updates: Supervisor Bevan Dufty joined with members of the Campaign and Mayor Newsom's office last month at the Eureka Valley Rec Center to update the Castro on this year's plans. People were pleased with our efforts over the last two years, and supportive of plans to keep Castro busy, bustling and LGBT-and-friends-friendly on Saturday, October 31.

So, like last year -- enjoy Halloween in your own home community, including the Castro! But, if you've got mischief in mind, we definitely want you to "stay home for Halloween." Our public safetly, parole, and SFPD partners will be out in force throughout the Castro that night to make sure everyone stays in a festive, friendly and respectful spirit.

More anon

Saturday, November 1, 2008

All Saints Day

Halloween is over -- officially. It's November 1, All Saints Day. Unofficially, Halloween ain't over 'til the bar bouncers sing, and that's 2am, about 1 hour hence.

But.....the second annual "Home For Halloween" campaign is over and again (thankfully) a success.

Castro businesses -- busy.
Castro residents -- the neighborhood quiet.
Castro visitors -- respectful.

NEXT! :-)

Oh -- the Abominable Snowman, Sister Dana (in VERY Pink wig with "jack-o-latern knocker) and a Fallen Angel (from Manila) just walked into Brandy Ho's.

Happy Halloween!!

more anon

Friday, October 31, 2008

All Quiet on the Castro Front

So far, really good:

Castro's "First Lady" Donna Sachet just came by for a visit and a celebratory glass of vino, fresh from her performances at the family-friendly SF Halloween Festival at Lot-A. The crowds were enthusiastic, if not huge (wet weather doesn't a great outdoor event make), and certainly a help in our efforts to keep the Castro from boiling over as in years past. Joining her was our very own "Supe" Bevan Dufty -- fresh from a tour of the District. He seemed pleased: the businesses of the Castro are doing a booming business;. The streets are clear. The sidewalks safe.

A pretty good Halloween I'd say.

As I sit here in "Brandy Ho's", several members of the SFPD sit behind me, taking a break from a VERY long night.

I gotta' say it: I've had the privilege to work on several projects with the City Family, including the Home for Halloween campaign, and the residents of San Francisco have MUCH to be proud of. Most have NO IDEA how hard, and how seriously, our peace and public safety officials work on their behalf. The next time you see someone in a City uniform (ANY City uniform) take a moment to tell them thank you.

more anon,

PS -- an unofficial count from my perch here: 6 Sarah Palins; 2 moose.

Bar hopping and hoping`

....a "Halloween normalcy" has taken hold -- for the moment: loads of people in costume; loads of people enjoying the bars -- all good humored.

I've got everything crossed, of which I have two.

more anon

Street Smarts

...and like a rogue wave, the burst of bicycles moves through, circles around, and dives down upon Castro again-and-again.

The patience of the police is truly astounding (learned from hard experience). I can see some drivers, clearly "Critical Mass Virgins," caught in the middle of this who are NOT possesed of such patience.

Right now, a group of several hunder bikers (many without helmets -- there is a law against riding without a helmet, yes?) is pouring down 18th Street -- many riding against traffic; many doing everything possible to be disruptive -- one with a large amplified sound unit dragging behind to make things even more "festive."

But -- once they bike past: the streets again flow free.

18th & Castro -- open and flowling freely.
Market & Castor -- open and flowing freely.

Hopefully, they will "bike on" and deliver their message to another neighborhood.

more anon

Critical MESS

..well, this is, as they say a "fluid situation". The "respectful" group of Critical Mass riders seems "trumped" by a group of others circling the Castro and blocking streets in-and-around the "94114".

This is NOT the way to have a respectful protest. Taking over a neighborhood against the neighbors will is NOT the way to influence people and build support. This is NOT the night to make more difficult the work of our very hard-working Police, Fire and Public Health professionals.

In short -- this is NOT the night for "Critical Mass" to be a "critical mess" but rather to be PART of all our efforts at keeping the streets safe for cars, bikes and pedestrians.

more anon

And the traffic flows again....

....and it's 8:01pm and the first challenge of the evening has been met: Critical Mass, remarkably creative and respectful has moved on: stopping to greet fans-and-foes alike at the intersection of 18th & Castro. Five minutes later - they were gone. The streets are again full of cars, and the sidewalks full of revelers.

4 hours to go 'til witching hour.

Wouldn't it be nice if everyone was ALWAYS this well-behaved on Halloween and other nights? Wouldn't it be nice if the City Family didn't have to work so hard to project the vast majority of its citizens safe from a few intent on violence?

Well done Critical Mass: thanks for making your statement, peacefully and respectfully, and then moving on so that the rest of us who live-and-work in the Castro can get on with our Halloween -- with our life.

more anon,

PS - a REALLY cool "Borg" just walked by. Gotta' go before I'm "assimilated".