Sunday, August 09, 2009

Fort Mason Follies

For all the mean things that people in San Francisco say about the Marina District, there is no denying that the neighborhood is just plain beautiful, and the refurbished military base Fort Mason on its eastern end is a great community center for all types of events. The large pier warehouses are host to theaters, conventions, museums, restaurants, and parties.

I was visiting on Wednesday evening for a dress rehearsal of the Merola Opera's second presentation at the Cowell Theatre, which was Mozart's "Cosi Fan Tutte" in a concept production about which the less said the better. I only lasted about thirty minutes before fleeing.

Filling up the rest of the warehouse space was a week-long Barneys New York clothing sale which ends today.

Though the discounts were extensive, the original retail prices were also rather breathtaking, with flimsy designer jeans being hawked for hundreds of dollars.

At the Festival Pavilion next door, there were quite a few menacing looking security people hovering over a party that was being held for athletes from the week-long Maccabi Games, a Zionist event for 13-16 year olds sponsored by various Jewish Community Centers in three locations across the United States.

According to their website:
"All athletes must be Jewish, which is defined as follows: One of the athlete's parents is Jewish and the athlete is being raised Jewish, or is a Jew by choice and is being raised Jewish. In the spirit of the Games, if the parent or child does not believe that they are Jewish on a year round basis, then the child should not participate in the JCC Maccabi Games."

SFWillie ran into the tennis arm of the Maccabi Games at Golden Gate Park last week, and wrote about the oddness of the scene. He was also struck that "seemingly none of the participating kids were black, or brown, or yellow." The event really does seem to be flirting with a textbook example of racism.


AphotoAday said...

And Im pretty sure Hitler only let Arian children play in his parks...

Civic Center said...

Dear Donald: Let's not drag Hitler's name into this, but the ironies are pretty glaring.

Rachel said...

I'd imagine the majority of participants in the Maccabi games are from more observant/religious families who might not have multiracial families/family members... The rest of us, the Reform Jews are more diverse culturally and ethnically, but might not believe in the Zionist message(I sure don't!)

Civic Center said...

Dear Rachel: I'd say that over 90% of my friends and acquaintances who are Jewish are not big fans of the Zionist message either. The faction who does believe in it sure is loud and powerful, though.

Rachel said...

So true, so true.
Anyway, Fort Mason = Awesome.

Patty said...

Because I'm down in the south bay and clueless about much (heck, I'd be clueless if I lived up there, too!), I'm curious ... what is it that people say about the Marina District?

I enjoy the area when I drive up for work the two weeks I pray I get each year.

And the black bean chili at Green's is absolutely fantastic, btw. I'd drive there just to get that! 8-)

Civic Center said...

Dear Patty: Affluent, white, yuppie hetero squares seems to be the rap on the Marina District from elsewhere in San Francisco. My only problem with the neighborhood is that it's ready to liquefy again in the next earthquake.