Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Celling the Message

Well, it's not just Debbie Harry (my age is showing! How '80s is THAT reference!) saying "call me" anymore. As of today, the "No Halloween in the Castro/Home for Halloween Campaign" has its own number: (415) 226-2585.

Thanks to the generosity of David Asheim and local company Guide by Cell (, updated info is just a FREE phone call away. Guide by Cell turns cell phones into audio guides for over 150 organizations throughout the country. Call or text from your mobile at a museum, a garden, or even a store, to learn more about whatever is on display or to hear late-breaking news.

I met David at a benefit for the "Insights" exhibit: work by blind and seeing-impaired artists sponsored by LightHouse for the Blind.

"Hmm...," I thoughth "If Guide by Cell can provide audio tours of museum exhibits like this, maybe it can provide up-to-date public safety information for Halloween as we head into the final weekend."

So, I called.

"We are 100% behind the decision to steer clear of the Castro this Halloween," said Asheim. " Anyone with questions should call the special Hotline number that we established (415 226-2585) to learn more about the rationale and to discover other fun ways to celebrate Halloween."

Thank you David and thank you Guide by Cell. At the moment, people calling in will hear our "Home for Halloween PSA." As we get into next week, right before Halloween night, the recorded message will change. So - for those people who ask you "where do I call for info" here's the answer: (415) 226-2585.

Today, more meetings at City Hall to make sure that everyone has the information and resources needed to keep Castro safe on Halloween. Shared two stories that hit today RE: our efforts, including this one from The Stanford Daily:

and this one from Chloe Veltman at SF Weekly encouraging people to use the "non party" in the Castro as a reason to go the theatre! Well done, and thanks Chloe!

A week from tonight, I hope to be standing somewhere in the Castro, enjoying a peaceful night in the place that I've called home for 20 years.

The place where Harvey Milk created the Castro Street Fair.

The place where Sylvester and Divine ruled the balconies.

The place where courageous shop-owners and residents posted pictures of men suffering from "Gay Cancer" before the rest of the world learned to care about the nightmare of AIDS/HIV.

The place where a Quilt was made with many hearts, hands and hopes for a cure.

This Halloween - I hope another sort of quilt is wrapped around the Castro: one of patience, peace, calm and just a wee bit more respect for the efforts of everyone who is working to keep it that way.

more anon.