Out-of-towners exclaim San Francisco ‘is unreal’

Even the sun decided to come to San Francisco for the beginning of Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game festivities.

Thousands took advantage of The City’s locale, driving in or flying in for the weekend events, and The City’s performance thus far has been impressive, according to some. But others were waiting for the party scene to fire up.

“San Francisco is unreal,” said Al Chernish, a 60-year-old from Welland, Ontario, about 17 miles from Niagara Falls.

Enjoying a round of beers at MoMo’s across the street from AT&T Park, Chernish said he and his wife, Jane, have visited every All-Star Game since 1990 with pals Dan and Phyllis Radobenko, also of Welland.

“We’ve been to every city since 1990 and this city is clean,” Al Chernish said. “We’re pretty impressed.”

The group said public transportation was unexpectedly easy to use and the locals more than friendly. As for the friendliness toward Giants slugger Barry Bonds during Tuesday’s All-Star Game, Chernish said he would not boo the slugger, but expected many of the fans to let Bonds know their feelings.

Of course, what is an All-Star weekend in any sport without the parties? In that regard, some were still waiting for hoopla to kick in.

Janelle Sinclair drove up from San Mateo with friends and was enjoying a cocktail at MoMo’s during the Futures Game, having partied at Jillian’s, XYZ at the W Hotel and Duplex the previous night. Sinclair, 30, recently traveled to Las Vegas for the NBA’s All-Star weekend and said the party scene here probably had not started up because the players weren’t in The City yet.

Yet if visitors are not here for the parties, then the pure baseball spectacle draws them in during a midsummer’s break from the daily grind.

Mark Macias, 46, brought his 14-year-old son, Ryan, up from San Jose and they are staying near San Francisco International Airport.

“As soon as I see the signs for San Francisco, all my troubles are in San Jose,” the elder Macias said. “While I’m here, I’m thinking about baseball.”

Macias said his son has d r a g g e d him to every possible event, including the popular FanFest at the Moscone West Convention Center.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Ryan said. “When are you going to get a chance to do this again?”

Not all fans were in town solely to cheer on baseball as a sport, but also to cheer on specific players, or sons. Before the Futures Game, Pam Lofgren — whose son Chuck, a 2004 Serra High School graduate, pitched during the game for the United States in a 7-2 loss to the World — offered her son some advice to stay relaxed and warm up well.

“I couldn’t be prouder,” Lofgren said. “This is just frosting on the cake.”

dsmith@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden and Jill Biden arrive at Biden's inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021, in Washington, DC.  (Win McNamee/Getty Images/TNS)
Joe Biden issues call for ‘unity’ amidst extreme partisan rancor

‘I will be a president for all Americans,’ he says in inauguration speech

MARIETTA, GA - NOVEMBER 15: Democratic U.S. Senate candidates Jon Ossoff (R) and Raphael Warnock (L) of Georgia taps elbows during a rally for supporters on November 15, 2020 in Marietta, Georgia. Both become senators Wednesday.  (Jenny Jarvie/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Vice President Harris swears in senators Padilla, Warnock, Ossoff

New Democratic senators tip balance of power in upper legislative house

President Joe Biden plans to sign a number of executive orders over the next week. (Biden Transition/CNP/Zuma Press/TNS)
Biden signals new direction by signing mask order on his first day in office

President plans ambitious 10-day push of executive orders, legislation

Kamala Harris is sworn in as vice president by U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor as her husband Doug Emhoff looks on at the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Alex Wong/Getty Images/TNS)
A new turn in history: Kamala Harris sworn in as 49th vice president

Noah Bierman and Melanie Mason Los Angeles Times Kamala Devi Harris, born… Continue reading

From left, Doug Emhoff, U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Jill Biden and President-elect Joe Biden wave as they arrive on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol for the inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. During today’s inauguration ceremony Joe Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images/TNS)
Joe Biden inaugurated as 46th president as Trump era comes to an end

Todd Spangler Detroit Free Press Taking over the reins of government at… Continue reading

Most Read