Saturday, March 16, 2019

San Franciso St. Patrick's Day

Letter to the American Conservatory Theatre, 415 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA:

By now you know that we did not attend today's (March 16 at 2 pm) performance. Our seats were Orchestra C6 and C8.   We tried awfully hard to get there.  We left Santa Cruz at 11:15 am.  We were on the 6th Street Exit from 101 into San Francisco by 12:30 pm.  We were heading for the recommended parking garage at 325 Mason Street.

But guess what happened?  We spent 30 minute on the ramp, and then another 45 minutes on 6th between Folsom and Howard Streets.  Finally, we saw that the street was barricaded and no one could proceed on 6th.  

We checked Waze, Google Maps, and Apple Maps and they all said to keep going the way we were going.  Finally, my husband looked up events in San Francisco, and he found that a huge area around Union Square was blocked off because of the St. Patrick's Day parade, which started at 11:00 a.m. and would be ending at 1:30 pm in Union Square.

But guess what?  There were no signs on the freeway, no signs on the off ramp, there was nothing that stated "Area Closed:  St. Patrick's Day Parade"  or "Union Square area closed.  Take detour."  

I checked the pre-show email, and there was no mention of this.

We were less than 7/10ths of a mile from your theatre for more than an hour and we could not get there!  We are not that familiar with the city, so we were not sure where to go.  When we finally were far enough away from the blocked off area  to find a parking garage, we parked, and then realized, that walking to the theatre would take at least 30 minutes, and we would arrive by 2:25, and miss the beginning of the show.

So we gave up.   We spent five hours in difficult traffic,  round trip 150 miles, used a tank of gas, and wasted two tickets worth $90.  Basically five hours wasted.

Now ... St Patrick's Day is TOMORROW, not today, so why the parade?  And the people at the barricades were not police, but rather individuals in orange and yellow vests.  The barricades did not have San Francisco printed on them.  So what was up with that?  

If we had some warning, we could have gone to the Millbrae BART station and taken that in, but we had no idea.

Our friends Joel & Nancy gave us the tickets as they were unable to attend; what are we supposed to tell them?

Perhaps in the future you could let your audience know in advance about major events that will impair their ability to attend a performance, and recommend alternatives for getting to the performance on time.