Info Gluttony

The Great Porta-Potty

Posted in thinking about cities, Uncategorized by echan on October 10, 2007

Halloween is three weeks away, and I am already so over it, or at least the adult version of it. This year, I plan to forego all Halloween parties, and take my baby sister to Sea Cliff for her first trick-a-treating experience. I only hope she doesn’t freak out at the site of faux skeletons and witches and cry.

Despite this decision, I am riveted by SF’s attempts to shut down Halloween in the Castro. The City’s battle against the gun and knife toting, bridge-n-tunnle revelers doesn’t seen to be going so well. As the Chronicle reported today, Supervisor Dufty convinced a whopping 17 ‘Stro businesses to close down on Halloween. 17! Ha, that’s basically one or two stores on each block.

Since the City won’t provide porta-potties for the event to demonstrate that there is no party, some Castro residents are trying to defend themselves against rivers of urine from the expected crowd of non-party party crashers. Although this is akin to staking out one’s front porch with a shotgun to deter looters, the City has denied at least one man’s attempt to install a porta-potty for the event:

“Where are these hundred thousand people going to relieve themselves?” asked Michael Staley, a Castro resident who last week applied for a permit to put a portable toilet in front of his home near 18th and Sanchez streets. Last year – and in many of the 12 years he has lived there – people have urinated on the front steps, he said. He wants to see the event shut down permanently.

Staley’s application was denied Monday because the toilet was not to be used at a construction site or for a “specific permitted event.” He plans to appeal.

So, what will happen in the ‘Stro on Halloween? I don’t know, but I have visions of riot police and piss everywhere.


If you are following the City’s directive or common sense and plan to stay away from the Castro on All Hallows Eve, there are plenty of other ways to keep yourself busy.


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