Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Bagpipe to Gamelan

On Sunday morning, May 7th, a lone bagpiper in full kilt drag played for a couple of minutes underneath my living room window before climbing into his car which was parked across the street.

The reason for his mysterious presence became clear as I passed through the Civic Center Plaza which was parked to the brim with police cars from all over the Bay Area.

They were mostly K-9 units and they had come for a memorial service for Sgt. Darryl Tsujimoto, a 15-year San Francisco department veteran and head of the canine unit. He apparently keeled over while conducting a trail scent training last week on Treasure Island. Though there was nothing particularly heroic about his death, expiring while in uniform is usually good for a memorial service involving hundreds of colleagues, and today's was being held in City Hall.

According to most reports, Sgt. Tsujimoto was a genuinely good man who obviously connected with dogs on a very special level. Even the creepy Department of Homeland Security showed up to pay tribute. Speaking of which, I wonder how these officers felt when they saw the horrible Abu Ghiraib photos involving police dogs. Ashamed? Interested?

The new Federal Building that has been under construction seemingly forever at 7th and Mission Streets is growing more imposing with each passing day. An all-glass-covered building in earthquake country doesn't strike me as the best idea in the world, but nobody asked.

I was on my way to meet up with my friend Kimo for the Second Annual Mermayd Parade (click here) that was supposedly marching from Yerba Buena Gardens back to Howard and 11th for the How Weird Street Fair, and Kimo had even brought along a mask because I told him admission was half-price with a costume.

We never did find the Mermayd Parade contingent, but instead stumbled across the opening event in the months-long Yerba Buena Gardens concert/event series, which is both free and outdoors.

Click here to check out the schedule, which has quite a few interesting items.

The concert area was set up with a gamelan orchestra, and we decided to check it out. More to come in part two.


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