Thursday, October 30, 2008
A memorable and deserved championship from a deserving team. Finally, Philadelphia had an outpouring of joy into the streets, and for many of this this was our first time seeing such a thing as an adult. I know some of you are new arrivals to the city, but many of us have been waiting a quarter century for this, and Phils fans specifically almost 30 years.
I never saw such a mixed crowd have such a good time as a group as last night. Very racially mixed, you never see that here. Even the jaded hipsters were celebrating. The funny thing was I never felt threatened even though the mood became "let's smash and burn stuff." The first hour was kinda a letdown, but it built in number and intensity.
Had a bottle of champaign, bumped into several people I knew just in crowds. Sprayed some, drank some.
I made a huge mistake by not bringing out a camera last night (or maybe not, I would've worried about it the whole time.) Broad St. was NUTS, a sort of happy riot, and the closer you got to City Hall, the more "destructive nuts" it was. Dozens of bonfires, burning dumpsters, parking meters ripped out of the sidewalk (HOW DOES ONE DO THIS?!), Robinson Sporting Goods at Walnut got a little looted, the Commerce Bank at Sansom...the poor Commerce Bank... first the bottles through the windows, which I guess was inevitable, but then a guy has a can of red spray paint, pulled out of nowhere, and within 5 seconds of the windows breaking, he starts tagging the place. It looked like people had practiced. People just don't much like banks.
Some people actually had bikes locked up on Broad - not for long. One ended up on a bonfire, apparently we think bikes are made out of wood. Locking your bike on Broad St. on a potential clinching night is what I think the kids these days call "epic FAIL."
Police stretched way too thin... saw a small female cop (4 ft tall 3 ft wide) GET HER HAT STOLEN... people pushing alley dumpsters into the street and lighting them in front of the police, mostly very small women who kept saying "hey, stop that... you stop that... HEY THAT'S MY HAT!"... it was like Chief Wiggum was on the case... this is not Rizzo's police force.
People threw crap at the Union League suits on their balcony, which was funny as hell. Somehow people climbed up to the second floors of office buildings and sat on the ledges and in the window panes. Not a few people, HUNDREDS of people. Fireworks, M-80s, people packed in pick-ups, bouncing them up & down... everybody high-fiving, hugging... not one angry person.
The bus shelter at about Chestnut collapsed from the weight of people, I couldn't figure out what I was looking at at first when I saw the twisted remains & shattered plexiglass.
People were climbing the BIG Avenue of the Arts streetlights - the brown old timey ones, about 40 ft up - and stealing the big World Series banners suspended over the street. AMAZED no one died. Saw about 10 of those. second one a small college age chick that a few thousand people watched, we all thought we were going to watch her plunge to her death... nope, she got it, slid down, huge round of applause, "TI-NA! TI-NA! TI-NA!" The rods the banners hang from extend several feet out, so I thought people were going to fall extending themselves to push the banners off the ends.
Lots of smashed windshields, overturned car at Broad & Ellsworth (also at Broad & Walnut, and several farther into South Philly I hear), riot police surrounding it as I'm sure otherwise it'd be set on fire, that seemed, reasonably, a police priority.
A guy fell off of the top of a normal 25 ft streetlight - missed that, I miss the good stuff - apparently the crowd CAUGHT him and he got crowdsurfed about a block, a new hero. It's become like a folk legend on the radio already. Craziest was the guys standing on the top (!!!) of traffic lights. Lots of them. Again, how do you do this?! Everyone doing that pulled out a cell phone & took pics.
One friend was at the game, getting off the subway at Washington & Broad saw a guy get hit by a car, shin bone sticking out of his leg. That's the only casuality I heard of, and only 3 arrests I could see, one guy tried to take a dual-head parking meter, he got nicked. Too heavy to make off with easily.
Streakers, flashers, Halloween costumes... a very good time for most and comparatively few head injuries. See you at the parade!