I was inspired by the Redneck to check out the latest situation of a famed annual event that is approaching here in California. And I am not talking about Ahnold's colonoscopy. Though in some ways it is similar. The Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco. And this year, it's its 25th anniversary!
But, it seems things just aren't the same . . .
Not too long ago, the fair was a celebration of the wild lifestyles that defined South of Market. Now it's just one day, more of an homage to a side of the city that's been tamed in a stunningly short amount of time.It's amazing how much South of Market has changed since 2002. Most of the grittiness is gone, eliminated at an astonishing pace by development and gentrification. This year's Folsom Street Fair will take place in the shadow of luxurious new housing complexes, with the background noise of even more construction.
So what's gone the way of the past?
This isn't to say that all of the old SoMa is gone. If you look hard enough, you can find it, although with some telling changes. Just the other night I stopped by a bar once called My Place. It was infamous for the antics that happened in its bathroom, which had to be the filthiest restroom in town, both for its hygiene and customers' behavior. Now the bar is called Chaps II, and that bathroom has been replaced by one that's beautifully tiled, spotless with soap and towels, and serves only one person at a time.
Last year I saw some photos published of the event that defied belief - open sex acts, right in the streets. If you want to know who sponsors this, check here.
Oh, and for you Californians, remember to vote.