My Best Of The Best Of Part II: Sports & Recreation

Sports & Recreation

This is the second installment of My Best Of The Best Of. You may see the introduction here.

Best Foot Race: Bay to Breakers (R)

You know why I like Bay to Breakers? Because it gets all the never-left-the-frat-house kids out of my neighborhood and into yours! Take ’em! They do their drinking and by the time they arrive home, they pass out. Making for a quiet, joyous day.

Yes, I think it’s just peachy that San Francisco still allows this kind of sanctioned debauchery to take place once a year (especially after Halloween was canceled last year).

The one year I attended (as a voyeur, not a participant) we arrived on the late side and really only witnessed the aftermath of public drunkenness. It was a mess. Vomit, bottles, your average sorority girl passed out on the curb in Golden Gate Park with no friends in sight. Lovely, really.

There are five types of San Franciscans who do the BtoB thing:
(1) Costume-enthusiasts With A Cause. Very similar to the original Burning Man crowd, only less smelly and actually likable. They’re cute, and crafty, changing the world one silly get-up at a time. Aw.

(2) College Years Were The Best Years Of Your Life Dudes. These guys (and girls, unfortunately) come up with some half-assed dress-up idea–M. participated this year in a group called the Olympic Hoola-Hoop Team, ooh, brilliant!–and don’t bother to register so that the race can actually raise money for beneficiaries such as Breathe California, which fights lung disease, and SPARK, which creates apprenticeships for youth in SF. No, no, they’re there to get drunk and laid. They always succeed at getting drunk.

(3) The Nudity Is For Everyone Crowd. Obviously, mostly men. For the record, I am sex-positive and think nudity is nice, you know, in my home, on the beach, and.. well.. that’s about it. But to their credit, the nudists usually register and somehow find a spot to place their number (eyelash glue? duct tape?) but never over their packages.

(4) Real Runners. Few in number, they show up when the race starts, run the whole way, and are finished by about 8:00am. The silent-ninjas of BtoB, they’re really training for some other marathon and figure, eh, what the hell, I’ll do this one for my morning warm-up.

Finally, (5) voyeurs, stalkers, weirdos, gawkers, and tourists. I can’t really knock this bunch because without them, groups 1 through 3 would have no audience, and that is their “running” raison d’etre.

In conclusion, the whole event is tacky, but sometimes delightfully so.

Best Fitness Club: Crunch (R) / (with a bar) THE SPORTS CLUB/LA (W)
I will give Crunch this: they have a fabulous advertising campaign. Whoever chose the shop was a very smart capitalist. And hot damn! Those ads are everywhere. It makes me almost want to.. whoa, whoa. Whoa there.
I do not “work out”. I think it’s depressing. But I have been a guest at The Sports Club/LA a few times for business meetings and let me tell you, that place kicks Crunch’s ass. They have a full-on lounge, for goodness sake. And a real swimming pool. I hear that gyms are great for picking up dates (though I don’t know anyone who’s actually done that from either end). So maybe that’s what Crunch is all about. It’s cool with the youngins’?

Best Yoga Studio: Mission Yoga (R)/ International Orange (fancy spa-and-yoga combo) (W)
I actually voted online in this category because, though I don’t workout, and though I practice yoga only once in a blue moon, International Orange (IO) is the place to do it. No smelly hippies and there is enough room to actually stretch. Important to me, as I am very long.

Best Beach: Ocean Beach (R)
Okay, SF Weekly readers, let me get this straight: the best beach is Ocean Beach, but the best place for a first date is Baker Beach? So, the best place for a first date is a sub-par beach? Ehhhn.

Ocean Beach is indeed beautiful. Its best feature is that it’s rather expansive, and rarely gets crowded. That may also be because it’s directly on the Pacific (hence the creative name) and freezing about 95% of the year. I know, I know, this isn’t Southern California (thank god), but my favorite beach is Crissy Field. It’s close by, I walk my dog there (as in, we walk from my apartment to the beach) and there’s a little estuary where it’s fun to dip your feet in and watch kids made sandcastles and moats. Plus, you have a stellar view of the Golden Gate.

Best Public Pool: North Beach Pool (W)
I want to go here. So. Bad. I love swimming pools. This weekend I am putting it on the list. Thanks, Weekly.

Best High-Risk Water Sport: Kite Surfing at Ocean Beach (W)
Well, first of all, Weekly, it’s called kite boarding if you’re in-the-know, which I happen to be because M. is an avid kiter. Also, Ocean Beach is not the spot to do this. 3rd Avenue is the spot. At Ocean Beach, the wind isn’t consistent and the water is colder. Kiting dudes may have a thing for extreme conditions, but even they draw the line somewhere.
Best to get to know your crowd before you venture out into the waters, because, just like any hot-dogging, cro-magnum sport (given, this one’s a little more gay than scaling the face of Half Dome) there are laws of the land, territory protection and what amounts to some serious D.R.A.M.A.

However, if you can hack it, I will say this: the boys who kite have rockin’ bodies. That’s all I’m saying.

Next up: Food & Drink!


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