The crowd here was also entertaining, but not in a wholesome, family friendly kind-of way.
It was Floatopia 2010, this year's (first?) organized event to skirt San Diego's relatively recent beach booze ban. See, it used to be that you could drink alcohol on San Diego's city beaches, but in 2008 a trial beach booze ban was voted into permanency. No more beers on the beach.
However, the law does not forbid the consumption of alcohol in the water, as long as your feet are not touching the sand, so it didn't take long for partiers to jump through that loophole with pumped-up floaties full of beercans.
Each year the event has grown. This year it was so big that we actually felt it.
At 10:30 am, T leaves to check out scene. This is all there is:
plus a new-fandangled, mobile police/lifeguard station at the ready:
2:16 pm, we arrive home from the pool to find NO street parking available.
3:09 pm, T leaves to re-check out scene with two neighbors.
3:24 pm, I start to get annoyed by helicopters overhead.
3:35 pm, T returns to say there are a lot of people
a lot of very drunk people
4:40 pm, T brings Anneke home and tells her to stay inside, because, I kid you not, some guy is starting to pull down his pants to defecate on our neighbor's lawn. (He thinks better of it when his less drunk friend tells him there are kids and a group of guys across the street watching him.)
Although more than 9,000 people rsvp'd to the event on Facebook, the final count put the crowd at somewhere between 5,000 - 6,000. And although there weren't major problems, there were, of course, some. A news story I read said lifeguards reported that 12 people had to be rescued and 2 were taken to the hospital. Police issued 30 citations and 2 people were taken to jail for public intoxication. (If they were on our street they probably could have made a few more arrests for DUI, public urination, and the like.)
The event stimulated a lot of, um, discussion on our street. Me, I'm more of a 'whatever floats your boat" kind of gal, and I also think that if you live at the beach, you're going to have to deal sometimes. And, really, whatchagonnado? It's public parking, we don't own the street.
But not all my neighbors feel this way.
It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.
Will the council member who spearheaded the beach booze ban take any responsibility for the new party scene the ban's created? One that's more organized and more dangerous? (I mean really, don't let people get drunk on the sand, where they can pass out and perhaps get a wicked, ouch, sun burn....let them get drunk in the water, where they can fall of their rafts and drown.)
I say it's just one more reason to repeal the beach booze ban.
And if you're not going to do so, get the floatapalookas some porta-potties, would ya?