Saturday, November 03, 2007

Dia de los Muertos, San Francisco

SFMike was right. Killed off by too much of a good thing in the Castro, the spirit of Halloween was all over in the Mission District last night at the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) procession.

Unusually warm late fall weather (no fog!) on a Friday night drew an enormous, friendly crowd to this Aztec-themed parade.

I'd forgotten how pleasant it was to be part of a happy crowd at night. People had worked on expressing themselves in semi-traditional costumes.

There were wonderful sights and sounds -- and it could seem a little scary.

Face painting was available.

And many in white-face were having a great time ...

... as were the many undead taking to the streets.

The police were friendly, but seemed a little confused by the crowds. I hope this annual procession has not outgrown the capacity of the neighborhood to accommodate the visitors. I overheard a couple of blonde women working their way through the crowds on 24th Street commenting: "I wouldn't want this in my neighborhood." We're not there yet, not even close.

One of the many hole-in-the-wall Mexican eateries on the street advertised "Special menu for Dia de los Muertos" -- chile rellenos $10.00. The dead are a boon to this community.

I left pretty early and later heard sirens; hope nothing too bad was going on.

This morning the SF Chronicle reports that some Castro merchants are having second thoughts about what they lose by closing down Halloween in the gay Mecca.

"I'm not shutting down the neighborhood again," [Supervisor Bevan] Dufty said Friday, acknowledging that the city's request cost some owners tens of thousands of dollars in revenue.

Hey Dufty -- unless this celebration gets super huge, we''re happy to have the party over here in the 'hood!

1 comment:

Inked_in_SF said...

Although I have lived in SF for about 5 year, and being of Latino heritage, I am sad to say that I had never participated in the Mission's Day of the Dead festivities until this year. I was very pleasantly surprised by the event, the atmosphere, the participation. Like you said, I had forgotten what it was like to be part of a good party with a good crowd at night. I currently live in the Castro, and I was very disappointed to see what was done to Halloween this year. I was shocked. And the attitude that we got from the cops? My god. As if their harassment was justified by the situation; I mean, I understand that they have to set a firm stand, but that did not give them reason to laugh at my drag efforts and my boyfriend's androgynous costume. It was very sad. I understand the city's concern with safety, but perhaps they need to focus on setting an 21 yo plus to get in carding and maybe even a Large cover (15 bucks?). I am sad to say this, but as celebrities get more and more popular, I can only see what happened to the Castro, happening to the Dia de Los Muertos. cheers.

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