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.
Yesterday dawned grey and cloudy yesterday. But this city, it woke up to orange and black as far as the eye could see. Over a million people congregated around Market Street yesterday. You can bet no one in downtown San Francisco had any cell reception between the hours of 10.00 am to 1.00 pm, but the atmosphere was electric. A part of me was still worried about random, escalating violence. Fortunately, there wasn’t anything crazy. I guess the fact that it was morning helped with this. Still, there were a few that got way more excited than they should have.
People like these misguided souls who decided a 3Form bus shelter top was a strong enough surface to climb up on (“hello, bunch of architects here hollering for you to get off it if you value your life. Oh wait, you can’t here us from all the way across the street here, what with that obnoxious really loud speaker system blaring Journey’s ‘In the City’ on repeat.”) Or those other folk who decided to give those poor news van a structural integrity check.
Or this lady who hid when the news guy in the van had a conniption and yelled everyone off the truck. I wish I knew what happened to her, but I looked away too long. The next time I looked she was gone.
I’m as much of a baseball fan as I am a football fan (read: not.at.all). But I love parades. And fireworks.
And winning! *cough*cough* Where was I? Oh yes, I’m not a fan of the sport (or many sports) but I can appreciate how much training and work goes into winning these things. (I do really. What I lack for in enthusiasm is more than made up for by Amey. He’s a huge fan. I’ve learned more about baseball than I ever wanted to know. Any gaps he’s left in my education are filled by equally fanatical colleagues.) So well done Giants! I was there to cheer along with the real, die-hard fans.
Even though some of them took it too far, I think. That poor, stuffed tiger!
But look how beautiful the dragon was.