Bay to Breakers is an annual footrace in San Francisco, originally started after the 1906 earthquake as a way to revitalize the energy of the city. In my experience, there is no better event that sums up the very soul of San Francisco. Residents and visitors dress in costumes, some spending weeks preparing for the event – and with a swig of alchohol (or toke of a joint) release their inner child for one Sunday morning every year. Nakedness is welcome as always, although floats and open alcohol containers have been curbed over the years (but hey, that’s what vodka in a Gatorade bottle is for).
It’s the one place where an older man in a trenchcoat splayed open with his penis fully revealed – and video camera in hand – can walk side by side with a young couple pushing their baby in stroller. And this is totally normal. This is the San Francisco I love. It’s about as totally accepting as a city can get, and everyone has a wonderful time. Police officers this year didn’t cite cases of extreme intoxication, but rather had recovery tents where individuals could sober up before being released. A good example of how the city has prioritized small civil infractions, and another reason the SFPD is one step above the rest of the nation with regards to treating people like people and not criminals.
My other half and I arrived about mid-way through Golden Gate park and walked up to the Panhandle where the house parties generally get the crowd going. This year, there was fencing on all sides, and music was kept to a minimum, which kept the area from bottle necking up. Regardless, the Panhandle was still the party spot as always.
Bay to Breakers… I love you.
– written and photographed by Michael Cuffe for Warholian
ALL THE PHOTOS FROM BAY TO BREAKERS 2014
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