Happy Birthday Golden Gate Bridge!

Edit: I fixed the opening date for the bridge. 

Would you believe that the Golden Gate Bridge is 75 years old? 
It was built in 1937 to connect San Francisco to Marin county. I have to imagine that it was pretty difficult to build a $37-million-dollar bridge during the middle of the Great Depression. 
The first person to drive across the bridge was President Herbert Hoover on May 27, 1932. There was a grand celebration for the opening, and San Francisco threw an equally giant party for the 75th anniversary. 

I went down to Crissy Field for food, and live music, and FIREWORKS! I got to hear The Family Crest again and they brought the house down with a mashup of songs about San Francisco. And the fireworks were freaking fantastic!! They had firework cannons all long the base so it looked like a waterfall of fire. And they also has fireworks on boats. It was a pretty awesome way to celebrate the birthday of the most famous SF landmark.
One more thing… I’ll be outta town for a few weeks, so I won’t be wiriting. My next update will be on Sat, June 23. See you then!
Here’s a video of the fireworks.

Bay to Breakers

I can honestly say that it was the weirdest thing I have ever seen.

I’m refering to the Bay to Breakers race that is held annually in San Francisco. It’s a 7-mile race from the bay to the ocean, and it is one of the most highly anticipated events in the city.

I wrote about this race last year, but simply by hearsay. This year, I witnessed the race with my own two eyes, and I can honestly say it was the weirdest thing I have ever seen. Ever.

The race starts at 7am with the serious runners. Then around 8ish, the second group shows up, with no intent of running or even finishing the race. This second group is there to party. The racers in the party group show up in crazy costumes. They drink beer, smoke weed, and pray to still be standing at the halfway point.

My husband and his coworkers joined the party aroung 8:30 dressed as american dinosaurs. I didn’t run; I just stood on the sidelines and took pictures. I saw a group wearing Tetris pieces, four gals dressed as KISS, and several hammers dancing to “Can’t Touch This”. One of the best costumes by far, was a group of guys donning salmon costumes, and they were, you guessed it, running up stream!

Yeah, the costumes are out there, but the weird things were mostly related to the consumption of alcohol. I saw more naked people than I’d like to admit. I saw people drunk off their behinds and making a ruckus. I saw a man urinating in the street.

The most profound observation I made about this race is the complete chaos that it causes around the city. There were no buses to be had. All morning. The roads were blocked off downtown so driving was out. I had to get a taxi to take me halfway to the race and then I walked 1.5 miles to reach the runners.

So, I am really glad that I got the opportunity to witness this iconic San Franciscan tradition. This was a hectic and exciting day. More hectic than exciting, really. If I was to describe my Bay to Breakers experience in six words I would say,
I am never doing that again.

P.S. By the time I went to church at 11:00 (my church is located along the race route), the street was completely clean as if nothing had ever happened. Nice work street cleaning team!!!

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

I grew up in Georgia, so for as long as I’ve been alive, I have been a Braves fan. But now I live in San Francisco, and I am struggling to find the appropriate way to support my local baseball team.

You see, the Giants have had a pretty good team in recent years, and so people in this city are very excited and pumped up about baseball. I have noticed that mentioning the Giants is a great way to start a conversation and going to games is a great way to bond with friends. So I have decided that I am going to support the Giants and keep up with the team as a way to connect and bond with folks in my new home.

I went to two games last week: one loss and one win, both exciting games. The first game came , the Giants were down by two and came by to tie in the bottom of the 9th, then they lost it in the 10th. The second time, they were ahead, let the opponent tie it, and then won it in the 11th inning with a walk-off single by Hector Sanchez.

Both of these games were incredibly exciting! Each time when the game got close, or it came down to one final strike, the entire stadium would rise to their feet and chant “LET’S GO JI-YUNTS!!” And if a player hit a homerun out into the bay (a splash hit) the crowd would go crazy!!

People of San Francisco love their Giants, and they wave their orange banners and sport their orange caps proudly. You can even catch a few fans wearing a fake beard in support of pitcher Brian Wilson (get well soon, man!). And even if a person is not a huge baseball fan, they still pour into the stadium and cheer on the team. Or maybe they go to the games simply for the 40,000-fan “Don’t Stop Believing” sing-along.

Since the stadium is right by the water, there is no surprise that the game is attended by a few seagulls. But the thing that I found surprising is the timing of their appearance: right at the bottom of the ninth. It’s as if somehow they know that the game is almost over and all the remnants of popcorn and hot dog will be available for munching. But how do they know the game is almost over?

So I write all of this to say that sometimes, it’s nice to join in the comaradary of a local sports team. And even if my heart still belongs to the Braves, and Chipper Jones will always be my homeboy, I choose to join in the San Francisco madness. I choose to Fear the Beard.

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