This year for some reason, they put a stage across Castro Street in front of The Sausage Factory, taking half a block off the usual area. Maybe this helped contribute to the overcrowded-ness of the event.
The crowd was drunker and more unruly than I remember them being in recent years: a couple of women broke into the band circle to dance; several people tried to burst through the band just because it was their trajectory and they didn't want to walk around; one drunk guy reached around Danny while he was playing and tried to operate his slide for him.
Plus there was the shooting. Luckily, we left around 11 o'clock, so I only heard about this on the news.
There were lots more naked guys this year, though. Ever since I posted nearly two years ago about seeing naked guys strolling casually through the Castro, my blog has been receiving increasing numbers of hits from all over the world from searches related to the fact that it is legal in San Francisco to be naked in public. So I don't know if we're turning into a mecca for people with strong urges for public nudity or if the locals are all just letting it all hang out. I definitely saw one guy visibly on the horns of a dilemma. He was standing in front of the Castro Theater, and he had his shirt of and his belt undone, holding the two ends of his belt in his hands. He kept looking around to see if anyone was watching (though he did not seem to notice me watching him), and he repeatedly moved to re-fasten his belt and then unfasten it again. In the couple of minutes that I watched him, he never made up his mind, even though naked men walked past him in both directions.
More photos on the Flickr set.
On "Eastern European Women"
45 minutes ago