Among the many things I can say about Ocean Beach, one is that this community sure knows how to get behind a party.
According to friends of mine, OB old-timers, this year’s Street Fair was tame. No longer are people allowed to drink openly in the streets, for one thing. From my perspective, though, it was a solid party. All productivity ceased, no one even pretended to work or get errands done.
From 9:30am -8pm the town was taken over, and all night the madness continued. No parking, mad traffic, parties everywhere, the beach full. Around 9pm I saw around 20 people, all wearing superhero costumes, riding in an impromptu bike parade. They rang their bike bells, honked their horns, and whooped, led by a biker dressed as Michelangelo (from the Ninja Turtles) and waving nun chucks over his head. This did not take anyone by surprise.
As I walked home with a friend late that night, the town still raged. Blinking lights down the street revealed bicyclists, singing. A drunk guy ambled past alone, nodding as he passed us and slurring “spread that OB love!” I’m pretty sure he also flashed us a peace sign. Reggae music blared from the party we’d just left, and more music could be heard farther down the street. Things were calm, no traffic or destruction, but it was clear that the party vibe had settled in for the night.
The willingness of OB to drop everything for a great party epitomizes one of the great features of this community – a focus on the here and now. We can work any day, but good surf or a good party only come around every so often, and we grab onto these things with all we’ve got. I like to get things done, and sometimes the island-time atmosphere is difficult for me, but other times I appreciate it for bringing me into the moment. The day of the Street Fair was one of those times.