I knew it was going to be crowded when I looked at the real-time Muni schedule this morning and saw that if I missed the next Muni, I would need to wait almost an hour for the next one.
Anyway, I got there early so I looked at the booths being set up. BTW, drinks are pretty much a rip-off. :P You’re basically forced in to a $5 donation to get a sticker for $1 off drinks, which is still about $1 more than they should be.
After that, went to line up and get a good spot. Luckily, they said tripods were allowed so I was able to use my tripod for the first time. :D While I tried to pick a position that would minimize the possibility of people hitting it, people still managed to find all sorts of ways to bump into the tripod legs (mainly kids). UGH. Also, it was just my luck to be stuck with a group of chainsmokers who were upwind from me. I think I inhaled the equivalent of 20 second-hand cigarettes. Actually, I was more concerned about the ash and particulates getting onto the sensitive parts of equipment since it was fairly windy. Thank goodness for lens hoods. That said, I did develop a bit of a rapport with one of the women, since we were both yelling at the event security people to get out of the way of our cameras. :P
The parade itself was LONG. It went over by about 2 hours. Lots of newly married people, many with signs stating how many decades they’ve been together. Also quite a bit of celebrities like Margaret Cho and Gavin Newsom.
After the parade was over, I made the stupid mistake of actually thinking I could go look at the exhibitions. Very bad idea. I managed to escape and left immediately. The food wasn’t exactly appetizing anymore since it was the exact same stands that I’ve seen to every other event in recent memory (e.g. Carnaval, Precious Cheese North Beach Festival, Alice’s Summerthing). Instead I got food from a place called Broaster Cafe, which actually wasn’t too bad. The drink was way overpriced though (when I’m paying over $1 for a “fountain drink” I expect at least a large cup, not “go pick a can from the fridge”
I never did meet up with Tili (my new housemate) who was supposed to be there as well because they were at Montgomery and I didn’t stick around long after the parade because of the huge crowds.