A sea of orange & black

November 4, 2010

More than one million people.

That’s the Giants estimate of the number of fans that lined the streets and filled Civic Center Plaza to celebrate our Giants’ World Series Championship.

The air was — electric. It was an incredible rush to be shoulder to shoulder with one million people. A sea of orange and black. A tsunami of joy and support.

There’s something about underdogs and our Giants qualified. No one expected them to win. Which made the victory so much sweeter for fans.

We wanted to be part of this celebration and decided to take a morning train up to San Francisco. Our plan was to get to the Civic Center Plaza celebration. We didn’t realize just how delusional we were to think we could arrive in the city around 9a.m. on an 8:13 a.m. train and make our way to the Plaza.
It was a 20-minute wait in line for our tickets in Sunnyvale. Which is 19.75 minutes longer usual. Someone told us he had an hour-long wait at 7 a.m. at a San Jose station. Rumor had it that there was a four- hour wait at that station by 8:45a.m so Caltrain was simply letting people ride free. {If true, it’s a very San Francisco thing to do.}
Caltrain added capacity for 19,000 more Giants fans today. It still wasn’t enough. I take the train all the time and had never seen so many people. But we all waited patiently. I was beginning to understand what the scene 40 miles north would be. There are at last three million people in the close-in Bay area (cities surrounding San Francisco) and seven million in the greater Bay area. The Giants are the Bay area’s team.
It was early, so we appreciated Caltrain’s reminder of the date and time. Especially since the train was scheduled to depart at 8:13 a.m.
Whoaaa! Way too early for gigantic fruit! Yes, Target logo’d a train. Perfect timing for great exposure, too!

We love Caltrain and think the train’s the only way to go. Civilized, relaxing and green. Usually, we kick back for the ride.

Our car on this train had standing room only. Upper level and below. Chanting, partying, drinking, laughing–everyone was bonding. And why not? There were no age, gender, or ethnic differences. First and foremost, we were all orange and black.

We made some new friends at the station and traveled with them the rest of the day. Carol, Conner & Sarah made our day even more fun! Even though Prop. 19 (legalizing weed) didn’t pass, we all enjoyed the aroma of marijuana on the train. Party on! {And pass it our way!}

Our baby-bullet train that was supposed to zoom through with just a few stops was more like a pea-shooter, as everything was slower than usual to accommodate the crowds. This gave everyone in our car time to drink a bit more, smoke another bowl, and chant.

This was the scene as we exited the train in San Francisco:

When we arrived at Market St. and saw the massive crowd we knew it would be impossible to get to the Civic Center Plaza. But we and our new friends found a spot at 3rd and Market and stuck there.

Elbow to elbow. Orange shoulder to orange shoulder.

Giants fever!
I’ve been thinking about a tattoo, how about this?

Really, I expected to see a drag queen in this boa. But, no.

Young, fit and a little crazy, no?

Yes, those are Giants crocs. I wore my orange shoes last week; they aren’t good walking shoes so I left them behind for the day. Had I walked the mile+ from the train station to our parade spot in them I’d be needing cortisone.

This Giants blanket seemed out of place in the unseasonably warm weather. (A gorgeous, 75-degree day. In November.) But Giants fans are used to suffering for our team…the season was sheer torture. But with a happy ending.

Just a parade. JUST A PARADE????! No way!

Stranded buses made an irresistible vantage point for brave souls. After a while, we feared they might collapse under the weight of so many fans, but they held.

So many people! All fans.
Look up–more Giants fans.

We didn’t know whether to yell “Don’t jump!” or “More confetti, please!”

Fans start young in the city by the Bay. The littlest Giants fans were well-represented at the parade.

The Posey girls displaying their charms atop a bus were the hit of our corner. In case you don’t know, Buster Posey is the rookie catcher who’s the teen idol of the Giants team.

My year was made when I saw Tim Lincecum just 50 feet away in the parade. The crowd yelled, “Let Tim smoke!” (A reference to his enjoyment of weed.)

The city that brought us Haight-Ashbury would have to offer fans tie-dyed t-shirts, right?

These children are clearly truant. After the parade, we had lunch at California Pizza Kitchen near them and other young children who should have been in school, but whose parents were wise enough to bring them to the parade instead.

Our cable company, Comcast, set up three huge screens in their windows so fans could watch the celebration outside their office.
These pix don’t show how large the Comcast audience was.

By the time we walked back to the train station, fans were exhausted. The hardiest bunch were crammed into the Civic Center Plaza like sardines, but the rest of us headed south to our homes.
The ride back was quite a bit more quiet than the ride up.

The day was more than I’d hoped for and underscored the love I have for this city and everything about it.

For more photos, visit sfgate.com’s gallery at http://tinyurl.com/2cvdf93

One comment on “A sea of orange & black
  1. Anonymous says:

    I watched the parade on TV and the electricity in the air transmitted through the cameras straight to my living room. Loved your write-up!! Love the Giants! Susan

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