Oh I went to the park. And I walked all the way around the stage where Patti was going to play--from a distance of about a quarter of a mile, that is. Maybe half that at points.
The stage was elevated about six or eight feet from the ground and was separated from the crowd by what looked like a 10-foot moat with chain link on each side and filled with yellow jacketed security personnel. The only way I could have communicated with anyone on stage would have been to throw something at them and I don't think that is likely to be a good way to get anyone to read my book--that is, to throw it at them.
I thought about staying anyway, with the crowd of thousands filling the little valley that functioned as the stage's amphitheatre. Honestly I had thought they were going to set it up on one side, the lower side of the gully, and let the opposite side be the seating area, since it is would have more naturally have placed the crowd on an upslope in front of the stage. Instead the stage was at one end and the crowd stretched out the length of the hollow and up onto the one side that wasn't covered with trees.
I hadn't anything to sit on and nowhere really that would have made for a good spot to sit.
And did I mention the place was overflowing with--and I don't mean this in a derogatory sense really, but there is something about them that makes me want to scream and run the other way--old San Francisco hippies. And young San Francisco hippies. Although it was foggy and chilly I still got the distinct feeling that I was surrounded by Burning Man regulars. They were all wearing a full complement of clothing so as not to freeze in the fog, but the young woman standing with the "Free Hugs" cardboard sign summed up fairly well the general atmosphere of the place.
Straight couples were making out in the woods everywhere. Like, every ten feet and behind every tree or thicket.
I crossed the green and walked up into the trees on the other side, turned east, and walked until I got to the bus stop on Stanyan St. The 33 arrived within ten minutes and deposited me on Mission Street about fifteen minutes after that. I thought about offboarding at the Castro Street Fair, thinking that at least there probably would not be straight couples making out on the sidewalks, but the hike back out of the park had soaked me through to the point that my leather jacket was damp from the inside out and although I had brought extra shirts I did not have another jacket on me. And by this time the fog had overcome Twin Peaks and spilled across the whole city. So I stayed on the bus and came home and fell asleep until about 3am this morning.
So. That's my sorry tale. It's not that I don't like being outdoors. I love being outdoors.
Crowds of people belong in auditoriums.
And the next time Patti plays in one, I will go and camp out in front of the microphone. Most of the clubs here let the artists and audience actually interact with each other. I thought that was why we went to see people play. Just hanging out on the grass with a billion people I don't know is not really my favorite way to hear music.