Thursday, October 30, 2014

In which my neighborhood is on fire, again.

So to be honest I am not much of a baseball follower, but it's hard to ignore it when your entire city & all your friends are pulsing with nervous energy & oozing team colors from every pore for weeks on end. Unlike in 2010, I was in fact aware that the World Series was going on this year (all my friends are either Giants or Rangers fans, so I just thought it was baseball as usual), and kinda-sorta half-heartedly kept an eye on the internet for the game scores when I could (because even if you don't really describe yourself as a fan, it's hard to be someone who likes sports and not pull for the team from the city where you live at least a *little* bit).

We were at karate the night of Game 7, but listened to part of the game on the drive over & then checked the score at 8:30 (by then it was over).

It also turns out it's hard to ignore sportsball championships when they tend to result in your neighborhood turning into a rough approximation of a war zone.

Don and I came home from karate around 10pm & ate leftovers rather than trying to get food in the Mission (which is what we usually do after class). At that point our house was already vibrating with the sounds of perhaps three helicopters more or less directly above it.

As always when the Giants win the World Series (lol), we girded our loins, grabbed our phones & cameras, & walked the two blocks from our noisy but relatively tame block to the bonfires-in-the-streets, swinging-from-lamp-posts, no-holds-barred insanity of Mission Street.

The thing about sports championships in SF (I assume it's similar in a few other cities) is that there's a sweet spot for going out & high-fiving strangers & dancing on top of your car with a team flag while your buddy lays on the horn (if that's your bag). Past World Series victories have not been on karate nights so we've been able to get out early & enjoy some of that. But inevitably, there comes a point in the evening where the crowd gets just a little too drunk, a little too raucous, things start to turn, and suddenly it's riot gear & setting fires & throwing broken bottles & knocking over Muni busses. Sadly, by the time we got to Mission Street around 10:30, it seemed that that time of night was growing nigh.

I have to say this was amongst the least safe I've felt living in San Francisco, and yet I kind of felt mesmerized by the insanity of it all & couldn't stop snapping pictures and possibly maybe getting a closer than I really should have to some situations. (I found out later there were at least two shootings within a four-block radius of my house.)

When we found ourselves gasping for air in the wake of a smoke cloud of police fire retardant & trapped in a mass of drunk people in Giants gear running frantically from the riot police / street sweeper (maybe both), the possibility of getting shivved by a broken bottle (or, more likely, getting knocked over on top of one) seemed a little too real and we made our way back home as quickly as we could.

I am all for sportsball & reasonable celebration, but this pretty
much how I feel about the whole aftermath situation.


  1. There's always a few idiots who take it a step too far and ruin a good party. I hope it's all settled down now,

  2. Whoa - you were right in the action! Generally the SF Giants riots seem to be focused on the Mission District - right at Mission and 22nd I think was where the news said the most chaos was lol. I think the Mission District was also where that Muni bus was torched in 2012. I think I would act similar to you - I would be mesmerized by all the madness, though at the same time - thinking that I need to get away from there before I get injured. I happened to be in SF in 2010 on the day the Giants won the world series (for a concert), kind of crazy being up there for that.

  3. Let's not forget this gem... SF in 11 seconds, and don't miss the lady at the end:

  4. This line cracked me up so much: "As always when the Giants win the World Series (lol)..."
    I hate that a few people get drunk and ruin things -- I assume those are the people who should never have alcohol at all.