All 5-year-old Miles Scott wanted was to become Batman for a day. And San Francisco obliged.
Oh, did we ever oblige.
When the Greater Bay Area chapter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation started organizing this event, they hoped that maybe a hundred or two hundred volunteers would help Miles live out his dream of becoming the Batkid and fighting crime in San Francisco/Gotham City. Yeah, right. This is San Francisco, legendary home of legendary parties, legendary costumes, legendary role-playing, and legendary crazy events. One or two hundred?!
Try 12,000+. And counting.
The city government (which loves a good time as much as the rest of us) got involved and helped whip up a series of daring challenges for the Batkid to face. At least two were known to the Scott family in advance: a classic rescue of a damsel-in-distress tied to the railroad tracks–um, make that cable car tracks (this is San Francisco–oops, I mean Gotham City); and then a heroic arrest of The Riddler as he tried to rob a bank. I don’t know if the family knew about the next one; this one could have been a surprise adventure. As they joined Mayor Ed Lee for a celebratory hamburger at Burger Bar, a crowd of people formed outside the restaurant and pleaded for the Batkid’s help on yet another crime: The Penguin had kidnapped Lou Seal, the official mascot of the San Francisco Giants, uh, the Gotham City Giants, and only the Batkid could help. I hope he got to finish his lunch.
With the aid of thousands of “Gotham City” citizens, and his good buddy Batman, the Batkid rounded up the usual gang of suspects; you can read the “indictment” here. In fact, the San Francisco Chronicle released a limited edition of today’s paper as the “Gotham City Chronicle,” and you can read the front page. The writer of the headline article? Clark Kent, of course; you weren’t expecting Peter Parker, were you?
The whole adventure turned viral worldwide. President Obama contributed a Vine video, while Batman artist Graham Nolan contributed a Twitter drawing of the Batkid triumphing over Bane. You may follow the full timeline of the day’s event at the Chronicle’s blog: here are some more pictures I took during my lunch hour; unfortunately I had to get back to my desk before the Civic Center party officially began. Fortunately, my fellow San Franciscans never wait for a party’s official beginning to begin partying.
Incredibly, the City still managed to conduct City business today, including civil weddings, such as this couple in the foreground of the next picture, who scheduled their ceremony long before the Batkid event was planned.
I suspect it will prove very hard for them to forget this day.
Vonn Scott Bair