Yesterday afternoon in the spirit of The Holidays (but also kind of in the spirit of "see y'all in SacTown"), Mayor Newsom held the first public meet and greet in as long as anybody in City Hall could remember. The Mayor received guests and Venti Lattes at the end of the hall in Room 200 all afternoon, while guests mostly received opportunities to wait in line outside. Also: photo opportunities with Santa Claus and the occasional free tortilla chip or gingerbread cookie.
Before anyone could queue up for the Mayor, however, we all had to queue up for security at the Polk Street entrance. Members of the press never seem to enjoy waiting in lines, but it can be a nice opportunity to get a sense of who comes to City Hall on a Sunday afternoon to see the outgoing Mayor of San Francisco. On the one hand, there were plenty of young parents with the tots in tow, out for a free educational experience. (Always nice to see.)
On the other hand, there were the usual assortment of San Francisco eccentrics: Frank Chu for instance, silently and politely took his place in line in front of me. He was hardly recognizable without his trademark sign, but the blue windbreaker and the galactic look in his eye are dead giveaways.
Not far off from the eccentrics then, are the third group: the aficionados, who are a bit eccentric in their own way. There are some, for example, who express their love for San Francisco's quirky government through their own delightful quirkiness: by singing songs in Board meetings, others dress up in 70's dresses and stick microphones in the faces of government officials. (Indeed, we spent most of our time in City Hall yesterday disguised as a member of the Necessary Conversation crew.) It doesn't really matter though, that's the point of an Open House: you're all welcome no matter how weird or wonderful.