Pick a chair-any chair! Jane Warner Plaza in the Castro suddenly deserted.
Dolores Park empty!! Pick a spot and bring a really, really big blanket!
Have you noticed? The City is nearly a ghost town. Between Bay Bridge shut down, Burning Man exodus and scads of citizens pushing off for the four-day, Labor Day week-end Bagdad by the Bay is blessedly quiet. I’m. SO. STOKED! I plan on taking full advantage of the situation and try to do as much as possible during this rare, no lines, plenty of space, bet-I-can-get-a-reservation-now, period.
Here are the top items on my, “Look NO LINES!” Castro to-do list:
A Kryptonite sandwich sits ready to go out to a customer at Ike’s Place in its Castro neighborhood location. Photo by Elijah Nouvelage.
First: I’m going to the ridiculously popular Ike’s Place (3489 16th St.) and get a ‘Pride of the Castro’ sandwich. I walked by today and there was only three people in line and it was lunch time. That’s right-THREE PEOPLE! The usual cabal of fixie riding hipsters completely absent–heaven.
Lunch in hand I’m gonna mosey down a uncrowded sidewalk to Dolores Park (Dolores between 18th & 20th St). If it follows the ‘nobody’s here!’ trend I’ll spread a blanket the size of Kansas on the second tier of the Fruit Shelf usually overrun by speedo clad pretty boys chatting endlessly about Grindr hook ups. Without the crowd barkers hopefully won’t be wandering the park yelling, “weed treats” every ten minutes destroying my attempt at zen. I may even be daring and fall asleep.
A few of the usual Dolores Park items that could be absent this week-end. Photo: Poor Mojo Newswire
Next stop: on the border of our hood, the holy grail of frozen confectionaries, Bi Rite Creamery (3692 18th St). Normal Saturdays the queue stretches for blocks–especially on sunny warm week ends like the one on our forecast–but I am feeling pretty confident it will be manageable. Fingers crossed I can finally try the Vanilla Lavender Whiskey Swirl that I’ve heard so much about at long last.
No LInes?! Is it the apocalypse?!
Later that night I am going to spin the bottle to determine which of the hard to get in neighborhood eateries, always booked to the brim with reservations, to dine at. Now, with the City nearly a 100K people lighter, perhaps you’ll see me in the front window of the Michelin rated Frances (3870 17th St) restaurant getting my grub on or slurping down a bushel of fresh shellfish at Anchor Oyster Bar (579 Castro St). Mmmm..
Sunday it all starts with brunch. The high holy food pinnacle to any modern gay’s end of the week regime. Cafe Flore (2298 Market St.) historically has the best outdoor seating and people watching. Their hard to snag sidewalk tables with shady umbrellas are fought over like precious metals most week ends. Not so during Burner Free Labor Day. I may even be a glutton and have brunch twice at the Castro’s newest spot, Pesce (2223 Market St.) or at my favorite place for dim sum, Mama Ji’s (4416 18th St).
Taking advantage. Quiet week-end equals sidewalk seating at Mama Ji’s!
Little is better than the dark comforts of the Castro Theatre and a Hitchcock film playing for your enjoyment.
After wandering the streets all casual like post brunch I’m going to duck into the dark and cool confines of the Castro Theatre (429 Castro St) and enjoy a fully restored, 70 mm digitized version of Alfred Hitchock’s 1958 classic, Vertigo. This suspense thriller was shot entirely in San Francisco. The opportunity to see how the City looked back when the City was still relatively young is hard to pass up. Besides I should have my pick of seats.
After the show I could grab a ride on the vintage F Line Street Car. It’s slow plodding, usually unthinkable public transportation choice, will now seem like a reasonable and quaint choice. I could probably even get a window seat to watch the sights of our beautiful town drift by as I putter toward Fisherman’s Wharf. I won’t go crazy and actually go all the way to the Wharf–the City is still rife with tourist–and I don’t want to disturb my newly acquired, annoyance free, SF persona.
So what’s your list? As usual there are mass of fun events to check out in our ‘Events Page” for this holiday week-end. Check them out-take advantage-stake your claim on your space-this once a year happening needs to have as much fun and adventure possible wrung out of it as humanly possible!