Sunday Afternoon Photography at City Hall during Earth Day, 22 April 2012


Good Evening:

As much as I support the goals of Earth Day, too many of the events/gatherings/public meetings I’ve attended have left me dissatisfied. The speakers are earnest, the people handing out leaflets are earnest, and the leaflets themselves are earnest.  Frankly, most of the Earth Day events I’ve attended have been rather dull and not likely to make the world a better place. Or at least, that describes the normal Earth Day events I’ve attended.

San Francisco does not do good normal.

San Francisco does not do normal good.

And San Francisco does not do normal well.

This was my favorite costume of the entire event. San Franciscans and their love of costumes is a Sociology Ph. D. thesis that has yet to be written. Since so many of us come from elsewhere in order to become ourselves, it does seem curious that the first thing we do once we become ourselves is to disguise ourselves as something else. Unfortunately, I lost sight of the African-American woman in a panda costume with a pin that read, “Free Hugs!” She looked very cool. Maybe I’ll find her at the next big event. I wonder if it means anything that the huge number of costumed San Franciscans and the huge number of San Franciscan photographers taking their pictures tended not to pay attention to the earnest speakers on the main stage.

I couldn’t stay long, unfortunately; I had to visit the Civic Center farmers market for my fruits and vegetables, go home to do the laundry and clean the kitchen–the sort of activities that make the life of the creative artist so different. But while awaiting the 6-Parnassus at 8th & Market. I saw an EMT team arrive in time to save the life of an elderly homeless man who seemed to have had a heart attack or stroke. The sunlight and shadows made photography difficult, but the team did their job with consummate professionalism, and they deserve at least this commemoration of their work:

Vonn Scott Bair


4 responses »

  1. What you found was the beginning point of the Cherry Blossom Festival parade. Each year they have a contingent in costume based on video games, anime and manga. The judging for prizes is done at Civic Center before the parade starts. I was one of the judges for many years, a fun but intense task as you have to do your note taking and evaluation in less than a minute given the number of costumes and a limited amount of time to handle the process.

    If you want to see more photos go to Japan Video in Japantown, outside the store they do a display for the current year. It stays up until the next display is ready.

    Or if you want to see actual costumes check out FanimeCon 2012 in San Jose May 25-28. You don’t need to pay any fee to hang out in the hallways just to get into the dealers room, panels, video rooms etc.

    Disclaimer: I will be a guest of the con and doing presentations and on panels.

    • Gilles! Good to hear from you again. Thanks for the information; the funny thing is that it all seemed like one big event. Many of the Earth Day participants came dressed in animal costumes, the Cherry Blossom participants wandered among the Earth Day exhibits, the Earth Day participants wandered among the Cherry Blossom folks trading tips on costumes, and it would not have surprised me if the Mexican dance troupe in Aztec costumes who performed for the Earth Day crowd accidentally won a prize after a chance walk past the judges.

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