Sunday, October 05, 2014
Hardly Strictly Heatstroke
We took a crowded 5L Fulton Mui bus to the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park on Friday afternoon...
...where we saw a veteran Louisiana group, Buckwheat Zydeco, above...
...finish off their set with a call and response anthem that had the overwhelmingly white crowd singing, "Peace, Love, Happiness."
They were followed by Hurray for the Riff Raff, a New Orleans band fronted by Alynd Lee Segarra, a Bronx-born Puerto Rican singer/songwriter who somehow ended up in Louisiana singing Americana tinged folk music.
The band was exceptional, but there was no shade for the audience or performers so we finally foraged for relief with hundreds of other people who were foregoing music for comfort.
Unusually for San Francisco, there weren't many costumed audience members, except for a few individuals who proudly managed to fly the freak flag.
We took another 5L bus to the ocean and made our way to the backyard lawn of the Beach Chalet in Golden Gate Park, which has a sweet Monday-Friday, 3-6PM Happy Hour...
...where we caught the last innings of the Giants 3-2 playoff win against the Washington Nationals.
Returning to the Civic Center, we witnessed a miracle, which is going to prompt a phrase that has never appeared in this publication before, "Muni Does It Right." For years, city authorities have been urging people to take public transportation to the huge, free music festival, but then they wouldn't bother putting out enough extra buses and employees to deal with the demand. This year, finally, somebody at the SFMTA got their act together and it seems to be working.
Best of all, SFMTA fare inspectors were put to work at 25th Avenue and Fulton to make sure that no taxi, Lyft driver, Uber driver, or any vehicle other than a Muni bus was allowed to pause at the bus stop. When they would try to do so, a large woman in a neon vest would dramatically pull out her ticket book and move towards the offending vehicle. Like I said, it was a miracle.