San Francisco Halloween: Official Vs. Unofficial

If you want the short version of what happened last night, take a look at Dave Golden’s great high-ISO photos with his Nikon on Flickr (which would not be possible to produce with Nikon digital equipment even just a few years ago) and this early report on SFGate and this rather negative take from KPIX. And see street party suppressor David Perry’s point of view here.

Or you can have the long version:

First, let’s travel back in time to San Francisco Halloween Past. It looked like this, with huge crowds in the Castro District:

Click to expand.

See the huge crowd?

Even crosstown rivals the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders managed to get along:

But the word crowd starts with the letter “C” and that rhymes with “T” and that stands for Trouble.

So now in 2008, Halloween in San Francisco is officially cancelled, or not, depending you look at it. Last night we had this, a police effort to keep traffic moving through the Castro. At this, the SFPD generally succeeded. Because the spice must flow, you know:

Read all about it here, which reads like the official blog of the City and County of San Francisco. Now, of course you can still see what the old Halloween looked like, before the NIMBY homeowners of the Castro got their way, but just not as much of it.

Honoring the late Yves Saint Laurent:

Credit cards! Now, those can be scary, especially these days.

And speaking of scary, how does evidence of falling gas prices scare potential alernative vehicle investors?

Per reports, about 30 people were arrested in the Castro are for being drunk in public.

Anyway, that was unofficial San Francisco Halloween in the Castro. Some people didn’t show because they listened to the white men here.

As for Official San Francisco Halloween in Parking Lot A:

You could watch Godzilla for free with a handful of others…”

…or listen to a perfectly viable Latin jazz band with a couple hundred of others.

Turnout was about what you’d expect to get in a dark parking lot with heavy police presence.

Speaking of which, the city’s official free party is a magnet for young people and all the assorted trouble young people get into to. You can’t sneak in, so you have to go through a Super Bowl style security cattle chute. So the criminal element circles around the parking lot, attracted and yet repelled.

Add it all up, and the Castro area comes out ahead as far as personal safety is concerned. Next ranked would be inside the perimeter of Parking Lot A. Last ranked would be the area surrounding Parking Lot A. If you charged a cover, then you’d keep out the riff raff, but then why would people come?

A brief police detention on 3rd Street, just outside the official party near AT&T Park.

Possession of eggs on Halloween is not yet a crime, at least not yet, anyway.

Akit brings it all home for us on his blog.

On it goes.

Happy Halloween. See you next year in the Castro!


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