My daughter says she say fliers everywhere in Berkeley yesterday, announcing that there will be no Halloween in the Castro.
Wait a minute! Does that mean that Berkeley is now home to the gang bangers and gay bashers that the Newsom administration reportedly wants to stop from coming to the Castro?
It makes you wonder just what is going on in the Mayor's mind. Especially since it's almost impossible to get a straight answer from his handlers. And especially if you had to sit through last week’s report to the Board of Supervisors on the impacts of the global economic meltdown on the San Francisco economy. There were lots of charts and statistics, mostly showing roller coaster plunges of one financial stripe or another, even though we were assured that there is no need to panic. At least not just yet.
But one of the predicted outcome, (In between fairly severe reductions to the City's property tax transfer revenues, as people stop flipping homes so fast, I guess.), was a drop in international and business tourism, as European visitors and convention traffic are forced, for credit freeze reasons, to stay home or go elsewhere.
I listened as the Mayor’s people described how they want to attract local Bay Area residents, instead.
Since the June election, when protesters visually linked Newsom to another Republican, the Mayor seems to have taken a turn to the right in his quest to become the next governor of California, Sanctuary City be damned.
The idea being to get folks who suddenly can't afford to go to Hawaii or New York to visit San Francisco instead, so they can drop whatever money they have left into our parking meters and stores, museums and restaurants. And then they can stay the night at a downtown hotel, before heading back to the Castro Valley, or wherever it is that poor pukes who can’t afford San Francisco’s luxury condos and expensive apartments have to live these days. (San Joaquin Valley, anybody?)
So, anyways, you’d think that Halloween might be a good place to start. And Berkeley is in the Bay Area, n'est-ce pas?
Yes, I know there is a Halloween event planned at AT&T Park. I hear the ad on the radio, every time I drive from the East Bay where I live, to my job in San Francisco. And nothing about that event sounds remotely enticing.
(Especially ever since headliner Martha Wash’s “It’s Raining Men” was turned into a “It’s Raining McCain” parody. But that's another story.)
And somehow, I doubt that the gang bangers and gay bashers will be enticed there either, if that was indeed the plan. (I remember someone at a Halloween planning meeting, two years ago, back when there still was an official Halloween in the Castro, suggest that diverting the “undesirables” from the Castro to somewhere as remote and cold and unfriendly as AT&T's parking lot, would require music and artistes that “undesirables” like.)
Now, maybe it does make sense to try and deter the whole of the Bay Area from crowding into the tiny Castro on one night of the year.
Yet, somehow it feels like a missed opportunity. With more layoffs and credit crunches looming around the corner, shouldn’t the City be moving on their stated plan to try and get folks to come to San Francisco, starting on Halloween, in the hopes that they’ll return for Thanksgiving? Because maybe then, there will be less lay offs and more to be thankful for.
And somehow I can't help suspecting, what with all the right wing money being spent to kill gay marriage, (and their unfortunate abuse of Newsom in the process) and what with Halloween falling on a Friday night this year, that there may just be a whole bunch of outrageous Brides of Frankenstein parading the Castro this year, in their fancy finest, in defiance of, well, just about everybody.
For all Newsom's talk of creating downtown tourist improvement districts, we're still waiting for the Mayor to come up with an economic stimulus plan that will help the whole City. Happy Halloween!