Day 105 - Festivals
I love a Fair. It’s a time for the community to gather and celebrate a common interest. And if you know me well, you know I enjoy a good celebration.
I have spoken to a number of people who don’t like crowds, or for some other reason avoid such festivals. I guess I’m lucky that I can really get into the mass energy and enjoy myself. One friend is put off by the tourists who attend, photographing everything they can for the “shock value” (though I find nothing shocking about anything I see at these events; perhaps I’m jaded). Another doesn’t like the public displays of tastelessness. I find the whole thing amusing.
My day started with breakfast with Rodney (or “Rho” - a nickname he likes, so I’m trying to pick it up after nine years of calling him by name). Rho is one that does not enjoy street fairs, so breakfast beforehand would work. We had a lovely time at Harvey’s - one of my favorite places in the Castro - catching up and flirting with the server. I was delighted when he agreed to go with me to the fair.
Folsom Street Fair is a leather/fetish festival and a staple of the annual “South of Market” fairs in San Francisco. I have been to “Folsom” only once before, and I was hoping the rain wouldn’t dampen spirits this year. Fortunately, the rain quit before the festival began, and it was surprisingly warm for a rainy morning. The clouds parted shortly after noon, and the rest of the day was perfect.
Rho stuck with me for about an hour, and then he headed home. I then ran into an acquaintance from Los Angeles that I hadn’t seen in about four years who gave me an enthusiastic hello, and with the promise of staying in touch, we went our separate ways. I then ran into Joe and Dave from Modesto, and we were joined by friends of theirs as we walked around watching the various demonstrations and visited booths from diverse vendors.
I was delighted to have Nacho catch up with us early on, and we spent the rest of the day together. What a great guy - it was one of those meetings when you feel as if you’ve known each other forever and feel uncommonly comfortable. The Fair was as busy as I remembered it, but better than the last time; experiencing it with Nacho made a big difference (I sometimes feel a little out of place when wandering through the masses by myself; this time, I was with an attractive, charismatic man that kept me laughing). It was a fantastic day.
I am so glad I had the opportunity to attend this year’s Folsom Fair. This trip will go into the books as a highlight of the year.