Monday, March 22, 2010


This weekend in my neighborhood there was a whole different vibe than during Ellie's bucolic New London St. Patrick’s day parade.

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?


missing the beach in PA said...

who needs the Irish and a parade??
looks like a fall football weekend in State College...just w/o the water.
and if you were on Facebook, you would have been prepared and rented a port-a-john and charged people to use it (now there's a GREAT fundraising opportunity that Anneke missed out on)
wonder how many girl scout cookies you could have sold??

Old Pat said...

Reminds me of a day long, long ago when two friends and I bought a case of beer to have at a cookout later that afternoon. However, because it was one of those rare hot August days in updstate NY, we sat in the lake (while our husbands played golf) and somehow consumed the entire case. The best part was not needing to get up to go to the bathroom.
Beth and her brother and the other woman's kids were with us the entire time...explains alot!

Me, You, or Ellie said...

The whole thing is just so dumb. I miss the days when we could enjoy a couple of cold tecates on the beach (without having to hide them in a kids' meal cup). As a cause , the only thing Floatopia is likely to accomplish is a ban on drinking within however many feet of the shoreline. Just like the original beach booze ban, it's the result of atypical actions at specific times, but it affects the rest of us all year long. I wish they would have just banned booze on the 4th of July and during spring break, none of us locals have much use for the beach on those days anyway. And I'll bet that 12 water rescues is a pretty low average for a spring break day. We saw half that many in OB on Saturday.

I will say that Floatopia left lots of lovely parking spaces open in OB on that same day! I don't have much sympathy for those of you who live within walking distance of the beach -- and have driveways to park in -- although no one should have to tolerate human poop on their front yard.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Wow, how nuts! What a drunkfest. I tell you what, though. No matter how drunk I get, I will never poop on your yard. Ever.

It does make having a couple of beers while basking on the beach seem pretty stinkin' benign, doesn't it?


Mom C said...

San Diego? or Woodstock? crazy... Mom C.