San Francisco is a city where at any moment something may make you laugh and race up the street to get a photo before the unexpected passes you by. At the second annual Passport event, a fundraiser for the SF Arts Commission, we encountered the wacky Lemon Twist Drill Team performing for the people who came to the event.
Passport is a delightful event during which one purchases a "passport" from the Arts Commission, then takes it around to about 15 shops and businesses in the Hayes Valley area of San Francisco to get a unique stamp from each local artist on the pages. Each artist talks a bit about her/his image, then stamps and signs your passport. The businesses get hundreds of new lookers as a reward for housing the artists, the artists get casual exposure (some of them had additional work for sale at the event) and the participants learn about Hayes Valley businesses as well as a bit about the artists.
We went there with pal Sari this past Sunday on the prettiest day of the year and had such a fun time collecting stamps and chatting with the artists. Restaurants were doing a booming business as were even the businesses that were not officially taking part. And, on the way to our car after our feet gave out, we encountered the drill team.
The members were marching to music issuing from a boom box in a convertible in the street that kept time alongside the marchers on the sidewalk. They were accompanied by staff with "Stop" signs to help them cross traffic and to keep the gawkers like us from stepping into their path. The drill team, about 20 women strong, all dressed individually but united by their white, tasseled boots and their shiny silver pompons, kept straight faces the whole time despite the delightful absurdity of their act. Having fun is serious business, after all.
You never know what nonsense will spring up in San Francisco. It's one of the reasons we always enjoy going to the city and why we will certainly be back for the Passport event again next year.