You watch a show for eight years, remarking every single time how original and informative, smart and funny it is. You imgine it would be great to meet the talented person who made it. You would be urbane and sophisticated and crack an erudite joke or two. And then, pretty unexpectedly, you meet him. And all you think to say is…
“Hello, I’m Sharmila.”
The Bay Area Science Festival brought Alton Brown and his presentation “Ten Things About Food I Feel Pretty Sure About” to the Castro Theater last Saturday. Amidst the meandering crowds of the Castro, the weekend before Halloween, the queue weaved and heaved around the block starting early afternoon, hours before the presentation.
As the day turned to dusk and the lights of the neighbourhood got brighter, we started moving into the theater where we were met with a nice surprise. The inimitable Mr. Brown decided he was going to greet everyone attending the show at the door. We turned the corner and there he was meeting and greeting every single person. What a class act! But his being at the door in that fashion, it was surreal. My brain was so taken aback that it temporarily suspended all processing capabilities, as amply demonstrated above.
We were then ushered into the theater, which we had never been to before. What a gorgeous old-fashioned place. It reminded me of some of Bombay’s old art deco cinema theaters, on a much more cosy scale. The ramped seating ensures you have a very clear view. Bet it gives the code enforcers some nightmares though.
Look at that gorgeous ceiling!
Alton Brown came in some time before 7.00pm. He was sorry he couldn’t meet everybody. Apparently, there had been issues with ‘local colour’ outside the theater. “There are things I’ve seen today in San Francisco” he said, “that I never thought I’d see.”
It’s all part of San Francisco alluring charm, Mr. Brown. Or else this would be just like any other city.