Archive for May, 2010

Bay to Breakers Liquor Store Map 2010

Posted in Uncategorized on May 14, 2010 by djtennessee

It's back for 2010!

Here it is, lovelies… your 2010 fully updated and annotated Liquor Store Locator Map for the 99th Bay to Breakers.

I am sure I am not alone in having experienced the sheer hell of being well-deep in the thick of one’s Bay to Breakers run and not being able to find a liquor store for blocks, even miles. At that point you know you’re not the only one running low on your stash or supply… there is a palpable sense of anxiety building among the crowd that fewer and fewer people possess a dwindling, finite number smokes, beers, and liquor beverages until the next far-off corner market. Golden Gate Park is especially high risk in this regard. Once again I fight this syndrome by equipping you, my drunken comrades, with the advance warning system of a Bay to Breakers Liquor Store Survival Map. Each liquor store occurring along the route is duly noted and numbered, with its name and cross-street detailed in the text below. Hope this helps!

Your 2010 Liquor Store Map! Click for full size.

Both the starting and finishing stretches of the Bay to Breakers race course are badly barren of liquor stores, but with a healthy abundant patch basically on Hayes Hill and in Western Addition. There are actually no more liquor stores along the course after the New Star-Ell at Divisadero and Fell. You are already entering the Threshold of Despair! It also happens to be just shy of the halfway point also, so it really makes sense to stock up there.

Once you’re in Golden Gate Golden Gate Park and feel you need to break from the race to buy booze, you really want to have a strategy to get to a certain liquor store of which you actually know the location. Do not just leave your friends and wander and figure you’ll see one. They are really rare out here. Oh, and you know what else is hard to find? AT&T reception.

If you’re at or before the Conservatory of Flowers, best advised to break North to Arguello and Balboa for beer runs and such. Once you get to DeYoung territory, you’re going to instead want to break south for Irving and Judah options. Generally speaking, the Sunset is more favorable for liquor store options and the Richmond way bleaker.

The 19th Street option is your last genuinely good option before the Safeway on LaPlaya at the end — but getting off the race course path and up on to 19th Avenue passing overhead requires navigating through a crazy, challenging little forest trail. You have to really want your alcohol to be doing that. Once you’re past the Race Photo station and Footstock turn-off, any attempt to go off course and get booze or cigarettes and then try to find your friends again will surely take longer than just gutting it out and finishing the race course. Even if you’re just walking. You’re almost at Mile Six. Beach Chalet will be having a rocking after-party where you all can at least get a drink, regroup, and figure out where it goes from there.

Each liquor store occurring on the race course that will actually be open Sunday is morning is marked on the map with a number, corresponding to the list below. Beware that some of them are labeled as False Hope — places which are not yet open, or do not sell alcohol.

1 – The Gold Club – False Hope! – (Howard & New Montgomery) They’re totally not open until 7pm tonight. They shouldn’t even be on this map! I just know that when you walk by, you can’t resist woot-wootin’ and hollerin’.
2 – Yerba Buena Market – (Howard & Sixth) FINALLY! Your first open liquor store on the race course! Expect to wait in line.
3 -The Chevron/Andretti Speed Mart/Burger King/Starbucks Blight – False Hope! – (Howard & Ninth) You can see it coming from far away, and it really looks like it should have beer! But you get there, and it doesn’t. Happens to lots of good people every year. Useful only for cigarettes and their dynamite array of blinky toys.
4 – Go Go Market – (Mission & Ninth) Only the course’s second liquor store open on a Sunday morning, and we’re already nearing the two-mile mark. Shocking, huh? They’ve been open since 6.
5 – Civic Center Market – False Hope! – (Market & Larkin) You won’t find them open unless you’re already trailing the race by a solid hour.
6 – Anna’s Market – False Hope! – (Hayes & Gough) Also does not open until 10 a.m. If you’re running, or even managing to walk forward, you’re long gone by then.
7 – Nabila’s – (Hayes & Laguna) This is your last one before heading up Hayes Hill.
8 – Haye’s Market – (Hayes & Buchanan) Now there’s a liquor store every other block.
9 – H&W Market – (Hayes & Webster) Now there’s one on every block and it’s like an embarassment of riches.
10 – Tim’s Market – (Hayes & Fillmore) Now you’re on a block that has two.
11 – In & Out Market – (Hayes & Fillmore) This being the other one.
12 – Divisadero Farmer’s Market – (Hayes & Divisadero) Runners will have just completed Hayes Hill, so it’s surely Miller Time.
13 – New Star-Ell Liquor -(Fell & Divisadero) This is actually the last liquor store directly along the race course route. That’s just astonishing to me. There are still more than four and a half miles left!
14 – Faletti Foods – (Broderick & Fell)
15 – Nimer’s – (Fulton & Lyon)
16 – Parkside Market (Hayes & Lyon)
17 – Home Service Market – (Hayes & Central)
18 – Fulton Food Shop – (Fulton & Mason)
19 – Deli Plus – (Hayes & Ashbury)
20 – Cindy’s Market – (Hayes & Cole)
21 – Lucky – (Fulton & Masonic) I’m recommending you skip off the course in the middle of The Panhandle (at Masonic) and venture up to the Lucky Supermarket at Fulton St. You should seriously stock up here. You’re about to enter Golden Gate Park. Any veering off the race course to buy booze once you’re in that open, pastoral park will involve a 20-minute minimum round trip, and who knows if you’ll even find your people again. You should buy however much here you think you need to finish the race, and devise some way to carry it all.
22 – Parkview Market – (Frederick & Stanyan) Now you’re in Golden Gate Park, and you’re heading way out of your way. Can you make it to 8th Ave.? It’s a much shorter time investment.
23 – Safeway – (7th Ave. & Cabrillo) This is THE easiest way to get liquor once you’re in Golden Gate Park! Just turn left out of the park at 8th Avenue.
24 – 828 Irving Market – (9th Ave. & Irving) You really should just turn around and go back to Safeway, but if you feel the need to be making forward progress there will now be a string of liquor stores in the Sunset.
25 – Sun Valley Market – (10th Ave. & Irving) Can you make it to 19th Avenue? You should really try instead of doing this. This involves cutting off the race course at the DeYoung Museum, picking up MLK Drive and taking that down to until it turns into 9th Ave., and then cutting up to 10th. The 19th Ave. option involves a lot less extracurricular travel. This is way more trouble than it’s worth, but you do have the option
26 – Eddy’s Discount Liquor – (11th Ave. & Irving) See above, add one block of pointless extra travel.
27 – Andronico’s – (Funston & Irving) There are some serious bull in a china shop possibilities here for you all hammered-ass drunks in this high-end gourmet grocery store. They have beer and wine.
28 – Arguello Market – (Cabrillo & Arguello)
29 – Balboa Bi-Rite Market – (26th & Balboa)
30 – Balboa Liquor & Deli – (36th & Balboa)
31 – Balboa Produce Market – (37th & Balboa)
32 – Richmond Market – (41st & Balboa)
33 – Freddy’s Ocean Beach Deli – (LaPlaya & Balboa)
34 – Europa Express – (LaPlaya & Balboa)
35 – Better Food Market – (32nd Ave. & Balboa)
36 – Safeway – (LaPlaya & Fulton) – You should just finish the race and then come here. You have, like, four more blocks!
37 – 9th Avenue Liquors – (Judah & 9th)
38 – Al’s Market – (Irving & 9th)
39 -The 19th Avenue & JFK Drive Non-Intersection – (19th Ave. & JFK Drive) It’s right at the waterfall! The oasis of available cigarettes, beer, and liquor for which you are currently so jonesing is only blocks away! But these streets do not intersect, you need to be going south on 19th Ave. which is the overpass going above you. There is no walkway. You need to dash into a well-worn trail to the immediate left right before the overpass (yes, you are now on a dirt trail) and take that up to the Boating & Refreshments cabin. Take a right onto their driveway, and then there’s a paved path to the immediate right which will take you down to 19th Ave. That takes you smack dab into civilization. 19th Avenue is also technically Highway 1 at this point… how ’bout that? Do the reverse of this process to return to the race with your hard-earned haul.
40 – Handy – (19th Ave. & Irving) Last chance for liquor until 25th Avenue! And do you know for sure you’re even going to make it that far?
41 – Sunset Super – (25th Ave. & Irving) If you somehow miss the turn-off at 19th and manage to make it through all the heavy brush and chain link fences, there’s another beer-only option a little further down the Sunset. They have regular domestic beer — but every single grocery there otherwise is full-on Chinese. It’s all Pocky and sea animal-flavored fried chip snacks. On the plus side, you can score rice wine and Chinese liquor.
42 – Judah Mini Market – (Judah & 28th)
43 – Sunset Strip Liquors – (Judah & 31st)
44 – Charlie’s Market – (41st & Irving)
45 – Your Market, My Deli – (48th & Kirkham)
46 – Beach Chalet – (Fulton & Great Highway) A great place to regroup once you’ve finished the race is the Beach Chalet and it’s notorious after-party. They’ll have no cover, Bay to Breakers drink specials, and live music from Manicato. Let your people come together and devise further party plans after you’ve all finished the race.
47 – Western Sunset Market – (46th Ave. & Judah) This one has liquor! This is your Finish Line-area liquor store with liquor!
48 – 7-11 – (46th Ave. & Judah) This one does not have liquor. It is a 7-11. It has beer and cigarettes.
49 – 76 Food Mart – False Hope! – (Lincoln & La Playa) Yes, that big orange 76 will look awfully alluring. But they don’t have beer, just snacks and cigarettes!

A full size of that graphic good for printing is available by clicking on the map.


Smoking While Exercising: What Could Go Wrogn?

Posted in Uncategorized on May 13, 2010 by djtennessee

Image from the film "Splash" (1984)Ever since I saw John Candy having a cigarette while playing racquetball in “Splash”, I’ve thought that people who smoke while exercising just look cool and sexy as hell.

So I’ve conditioned myself to smoke both weed and cigarettes when I run. Yes, there are mountains of clinical data explaining what an awful idea this is. But almost everything I advocate doing on this blog is an awful idea from a clinical standpoint.

Let’s just say you already smoke cigarettes and/or weed… what if, while running, you stop to smoke a bowl or have a cigarette, then run another couple miles?

Your heart rate is going to go up, but it’s not like that never happens. Your lung capacity will diminish, so your stamina will suffer some degree of a slump.

Let’s say I’m running and I just stopped for a cigarette or a big bowl of grandaddy purp. Right about the ninth step, I’ll get that “Damn! I don’t feel like doing this right now at all!” feeling. But just keep striding through it, and it passes, and you’re fine. I don’t think smoke breaks will significantly hurt the exercise regimen of a smoker.

Plenty of everyday smokers have been great athletes. I’m told Mario Lemieux, Vlade Divac, Keith Hernandez, and John Elway all smoked at the height of their career success. Bay Area hockey fans will note that the Sharks’ Dany Heatley smokes. And you know that more than half of the NBA smokes weed.

Smoking is unconditionally bad for you. But if you exercise, you are an inherently less-unhealthy smoker. “If people can quit, that’s the best thing,” Dr. Robert Sallis, director of sports medicine at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Fontana, tells the L.A. Times. “If you can’t stop smoking, exercise will mitigate some of the effects.”

Smokers who run know that nothing beats a cigarette while you’re walking in your “cooldown” period after a multiple miles run. Plus you hack up a ton of garbage while you run, clearing your airways. And you sort of thwart the pulmonary diseases that the smoking is giving you.

Stoners who run know that the iPod plus some Northern California skunkweed is a stellar combination. You can just zone out on the music and forget you’re running. But please do pay attention to traffic.

I watched “Splash” again just to get that screengrab above, and really recommend you treat yourself to a repeat viewing sometime. It is really a magnificent film. One of the things I was taken by was a line from the late John Candy, not about smoking, but resonant to readers of this blog:

“Drinking is really a matter of algebraic ratios. How drunk you get is dependent on how much alcohol you consume in relation to your total body weight. You see my point? It’s not that you’ve had a lot to drink, it’s just you’re too skinny.”

Never forget John Candy.

Hayes Hill: You Better Work

Posted in Uncategorized on May 12, 2010 by djtennessee

Image courtesy RuPaul's Dragulator

Are you actually running the Bay to Breakers? Best be prepared for Hayes Hill, the most painful, ball-bustingly difficult component of this race.

The Hayes St. Hill is the notorious uphill stretch of the Bay to Breakers that separates the runners from the partiers for the remainder of the day. It’s the only substantial incline runners face on the course, a five-block 11.15% uphill grade that has thwarted honest efforts for years and inspired “I Survived Hayes Hill” t-shirts.

They say the top of Hayes Hill is “the highest point in the race”. They’re actually wrong. Wonder Mike at SFCitizen points out that the highest altitude one reaches on the course is actually in Golden Gate Park by Stow Lake, where you are running an area that feels totally flat. You are actually running slightly, imperceptibly uphill nearly the first two-thirds of Golden Gate Park.

Actual altitudes of B2B course, courtesy SF Citizen

So, you really gonna run this thing? If so, I have some great strategies for conquering this unforgiving hill. If not, you do not need to bother reading all this, ’cause you will just party the whole way up. It’s nothing personal. You’re still my type.

Image courtesy Scott Dunlap's Trail Runner's blog

I’ve found the best way to attack Hayes Hill is not to approach it as one big horrible hill, but as five consecutive, very beatable hills. As you dash through Hayes Valley and you see that fucker coming, that’s when you rest up. Then you just take those five hills quickly and effectively and get it over within five minutes instead of 45 minutes.

Those five consecutive very beatable hills are as follows:

Laguna St. to Buchanan St. – You are hardly running uphill at all for the first block. It is easy, then boom — you’re already 20% finished with Hayes Hill.

Buchanan St. to Webster St. – You are running only slightly more uphill for the second block. Easy sleazy.

Webster St. to Fillmore St. – Here’s where it gets serious, but not til almost up at Steiner. Which is past halfway! Ergo, this is sorta the homestretch already.

Fillmore St. to Steiner St. – Just keep pounding. Running slow is still running, and still faster than walking. You can totally see the top of the hill, so work the emotional momentum of that.

Steiner St. to Pierce St. – This is the end! Pump your legs like pistons and just finish this block. Nicely done! Nothing ever “feels” uphill the whole rest of the race course, plus you’re going to The Panhandle where the block parties are gonna get super-crazy.

With this advice, you will knock out the hardest component of the race course with minimal pain and you will guarantee yourself some distance from those slow, drunken bozos who are clogging up the streets. All of whom I adore, by the way.

Another thing to consider — this is where all the liquor stores are. To wit… prior to Hayes Hill you have run 2.5 miles and you will have encountered only three liquor stores open for business on a Sunday morning. On Hayes Hill, you will encounter five liquor stores open for business on a Sunday morning. And for the entire 4.5 miles of the race course still remaining after Hayes Hill, you will encounter only two more liquor stores open for business on a Sunday morning.

If you think you might need to stop at liquor store, consider Hayes Hill your last good chance. Once you hit The Panhandle you will not encounter even one more liquor store without taking a substantial detour off-course.

Sashay! Shontay!

Exercising While Intoxicated II — The Relapse

Posted in Uncategorized on May 4, 2010 by djtennessee

Image from the film "Wendigo"

People, this blog is back.

This blog has been shut down by Blogspot, condemned by the San Francisco Chronicle, and personally blamed for the rowdiest, most destructive, piss-drunkest Bay to Breakers in the race’s nearly 100-year history.

All I ever wanted to do was just train to run a full 26.2-mile marathon while getting drunk and high.

So I started a Blogspot blog in 2008 to chronicle my experiences and give advice to those who’d perhaps aspire to do something similar. It was rocking. Sometimes the blog would get, like, three or four comments.

My at-the-time editor over at SFist let me do a couple of cross-posts the week before Bay to Breakers 2008. It was fun. We screwed up a ton of things and I was flaky as hell to deal with.

One of the posts somehow struck a chord, a customized and precise Bay to Breakers race course map with the locations of any and all liquor stores found along the path. Bay to Breakers veterans will tell you that it’s feast or famine in finding open liquor stores on that race course Sunday at 8 a.m.

The original 2008 Liquor Store Locator Map

Now I cannot possibly imagine that this crude Photoshop job somehow changed the behavior of thousands of people that day. I think their PR team’s sexualized “Show Me Yours!” 2008 ad campaign had substantially more to do with that.

But I am told by people who remember that day that, yes, it was drunker and uglier than any other recent year. “Drunks everywhere, people urinating on peoples front stairs, both females and males, and basically a very ugly event,” complained police captain Teri Barrett.

Fast forward to mid-morning two days later after the race, I get up to rub one out to my Bay to Breakers pictures, and my editor pings me to say that very Liquor Store Map post on SFist was specifically called out in the San Francisco Chronicle’s “public outrage” piece published that morning. They connect the Liquor Store Locator map with this year’s exceptionally bad debauchery, quoting me and everything. Unless “everything” means actually publishing my name.

The public outrage sets off a specific alcohol and nudity ban for the 2009 race. The alcohol and nudity ban sets off a “Boycott Bay to Breakers” counterprotest movement. Niether side succeeds, I do another Liquor Store Locator map for 2009, and that year’s race returns to pretty much acceptable levels of mayhem. All controversies disappear. Until…

The updated 2009 Liquor Store Locator Map

Last summer, Blogspot gets wise to the constant and gratuitous drug and alcohol discussion on the blog they are hosting for me and shuts it down without notice. If not for these Wayback results, all that work would have been lost.

So I’m back on it with a WordPress blog, and their terms of service don’t say that I’m in any jeopardy openly discussing booze and narcotics. Well, they don’t say those particular words, but I am confident that’s the gist.

And this won’t just be a Bay to Breakers blog anymore. I’m training to run a full marathon drunk and high someday, and blogging the effects of this training year-round right here.

People tell me that I will “die” if I try to run a marathon drunk and high. I don’t think I will die if I try to run a marathon drunk and high.

I do wonder if I may somehow get in some legal trouble for chronicling this pursuit online. I would hope I could just pin this all on creative license, and not really be held accountable by claiming that none of it was really true. But if I did find myself in genuine legal trouble, or even jail, for keeping a blog about drinking and using drugs while exercising… well, that would just be hilarious.