Sun- and chili-lovers from near and far showed up for the 30th annual Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cookoff on Saturday, which turned out to be one of the most gorgeous days in the history of June Gloom.
Ignoring the weather report, I was sporting jeans, flip-flops and a tank top and after about 45 minutes ended up pulling what my friend Carolina called a “Britney” — running into Dreamgirls on Newport Avenue and buying a skimpy $30 dress in an attempt to cool off and air out after roasting in the heat. Others rolled up their sleeves, hiked up their pants and guzzled Karl Strauss from the beer garden while the self-declared MC freestyled on a nearby stage.
Gyro, bratwurst and Hawaiian-nachos stands littered the street where tattooed hippies and tanned surfers searched for the perfect morsels. Parents pushed strollers and kids begged for cotton candy. Exotic hats, jewelry and even Lucha Libre masks filled tents as vendors eagerly awaited a sale. The annual OB community mural project was in effect again this year, and even sold out its painting opportunities just a couple hours after the fair got underway.
One of the weirdest parts of the day — and trust me, there were more than a few — was a man along the beach boardwalk with an over-sized picket sign citing a laundry list of categories under the heading “Satan’s Children.” I was unamused to find that I could be included in at least five: Covetous Moneygrubber, Clueless Fool, Boozer, Mouthy Women, and my favorite, Sin-loving Heathen. The sign read, “REPENT OR HELL.” I guess I’d have to choose hell.
As the sun sunk down over the horizon the crowd dispersed and The Boozers found their way to the nearest watering hole. The Harp was our reprieve, where we met up with Chris’s dad for a couple pitchers. According to Caro, the blue-eyed silver fox could drink any one of us 20- or 30-somethings under the table if he tried. Chris took the less embarrassing route and sipped “beer” from the iBeer drinking simulator app on his iPhone.
The afterparty was continued at Stacy (Part 2) & Dan’s place, just a couple doors down from my former apartment on Bacon (“like Kevin!”) Street. I even got a tour of my old place from the new resident, just to make sure the $900 my former landlord deducted from my security deposit had gone to good use. The place looked a little spiffed up, but it still had the same ratty old carpet as the day Aubrey and I moved in just over five years ago.
Eventually we migrated next door to Nati’s, arguably one of the best Mexican food restaurants in San Diego without the words “taco shop” attached to the name. I credit Z (“like the last letter of the alphabet!”) with, hands down, the best conversation topic of the day: “Would you rather have a prehensile tail . . . or wings?” You couldn’t imagine how long this debate could last until you try it. Let me say that it went on long enough that the group seated next to us got up and moved shortly after we started discussing how wearing clothes would equally be a bitch with either a tail or wings.
Don’t even get me started on “teleportation vs. telekenesis.”