Maverick’s Surf Contest Screening at AT&T Park (2/13/10)

I love good old-fashioned epic. And nothing¬†fascinates quite like the invitation-only Maverick’s surf contest, in which 24 of the world’s top big wave riders compete on one of the largest known breaks.

The contest window spans November to March, when winter storms produce monster waves. And when conditions are right, the surfers vote whether to hold the contest.

I’d been diligently watching the Maverick’s watch all season. After rain and wind scuttled a few otherwise promising swells, the contest was finally called for Saturday, February 13. With 50,000 spectators expected at Pillar Point, a viewing area the size of my unsizable apartment, and the wave half a mile out to sea, I chose to brave the $25 entrance fee for the live broadcast at AT&T Park instead.

Arriving at AT&T Park

When I arrived, there were a few hundred other souls in the outfield upper deck. The sun had burned through the fog, and it quickly became apparent that my black turtleneck¬† was a huge mistake. (As was the lack of sunscreen.) I was tempted to buy a $20 Maverick’s tank top. But, with the crew raffling off t-shirts at half-hour intervals, I thought I’d take my chances, given my streak of wins lately (air plant, clown improv workshop).

Read more…


The Spontaneous Building of Shelters in GG Park (2/14/10)

On Valentine’s Day, spontaneous hunting and gathering-type activities were observed on the Golden Gate Park bandshell green. The ever watchful Jen walked her dog on the concourse and reported that gardeners had pruned the plane trees and left piles of branches lying on the ground, which people were using to build little shelters.

People Creating Shelters

When we arrived with cameras, and sans dog, there were at least 25 little structures on the green. Friends, couples, and families of all races were busy bending and tying branches to form all manner of dwelling, like so many Andy Goldsworthys.

We wandered among the shelters, some in the process of being built, some occupied by people enjoying their handiwork, and others abandoned.

I asked one father about his vision for a shelter he was constructing. “I’m just playing. But my wife created that,” he said, pointing to a little hut with a heart on top, woven with flowers. “Aren’t I a lucky man?” I couldn’t disagree.

The Hut That Love Built
The Hut That Love Built

Read more…