17 June 2015
Preparing for Pride at #ALAAC15
ALA is in San Francisco over the weekend of June 27th. Pride weekend, including the pride parade, is also over that weekend. This will make the ALA conference a lot busier, sparklier, and definitely more interesting. Here are my tips for surviving Pride week in San Francisco:
1. Prepare for Crowds. Do not, let me repeat, DO NOT drive into the city over the weekend. If you are staying in the city, use public transit and leave your rental at the hotel. If you are staying outside of the city, park at a BART station and use BART to get into the city. Traffic will be a hot mess and it's not worth the headache to have your car with you.
2. Prepare for Delays. It will be crowded, probably obnoxiously so. If, like me, you do not like crowds of people, plan breaks into your day when you can duck into a coffee shop or get a breather somewhere quiet. Bring your headphones and listen to something calming.
3. Prepare for Sparkles. There will be lots of glitter and lots of flamboyantly dressed people celebrating Pride. There will also be people not wearing much of anything at all. You will see a wide variety of people, and I advise you to simply enjoy your day and have fun people-watching. If, however, you wish to take someone's picture and they are not, for example, marching in the pride parade or otherwise put themselves officially "on display," it doesn't hurt to ask first before taking photos. Most people won't mind, especially if they spent a lot of time on their costume, but it's always polite to ask.
4. Prepare for Sunburn. You can and will get sunburned even if it's a little cloudy. Bring sunscreen and wear it. You'll thank me later.
If you want to join in on the Pride festivities, the bulk of the events will be happening near the main library and city hall. I would be remiss if I did not also mention Trans Pride, which will be held at Dolores St. between 18th and 19th, and the Dyke March which will rally at Dolores and 18th.
It will be crazy. It will be crowded and loud and busy. The opportunity to see Pride Weekend in San Francisco is a once-in-a-lifetime thing for many people, though, so if you aren't planning to be back here in June next year, enjoy seeing the sights and watching people celebrate. It will be a fun, sparkly, glittery, leathery weekend.