Fuck Black Friday: Do These Cool 5 Things Instead
Amidst a plethora of screaming, vulture-like humans crammed into teeny PacSun outlet, my 17-year-old, retail working self snagged a valuable pearl of wisdom: Black Friday sucks. Grown men said creepy things to me (Exhibit A: “Can I try you on for fit?”). People screamed at me because the discounts weren’t as grand as they expected (Exhibit B: “I’ve seen better sales from PacSun mid-year! What’s wrong with you?”). Women carried crying babies all over the store (Exhibit-no, you can picture that on your own).
Sure, we live in a greedy, capitalist society — must we really have a day celebrating this fact with a sadistic corporate circle-jerk session? The answer comes down to a beautifully simple no. Rather than risking your life (yes, people have died in Black Friday shenanigans) for a less-expensive TV, take the opportunity to do something cool during this awful day.
1. Gray Friday, hosted by SF Games and Scavenger Hunts
Remember when grunge was in? I mean, the first time? Fashion has a way of recycling itself. Every proud fashionista will gladly admit to searching second-hand shops to find unique pieces. Instead of waiting in line at Forever 21 like an amateur, check out SF Games and Scavenger Hunts’ epic vintage-inspired scavenger hunt. According to the hosts themselves, participants “will work together to solve cryptic clues, travel to hidden spots and find unique people, places and things. The Gray Friday Scavenger Hunt is a unique puzzle solving urban adventure that helps participants view San Francisco and consumerism in a new light.” Check out this link for more information.
2. Free Hiking in 49 California National Parks, hosted by Save the Redwoods League
If you’re really hankering for an adrenaline rush this Black Friday, take a hike. Literally. San Francisco based non-profit Save the Redwoods League is giving away free passes to redwood parks for Black Friday only. The idea is to get families out of the blinding florescent lights of Wal-Mart and into nature. Isn’t that lovely? You can download your free passes here. Do it quickly, however, as reservations are filling up quickly.
3. Ghirardelli Square’s 51st Annual Tree Lighting
Look, I recognize that not everyone celebrates Christmas. And for those of you who do, we all know it really comes down to drinking and feigning excitement over terrible presents. Why not honor one of the more beautiful traditions of the over-hyped holiday and spend some time watching a giant tree light up? Plus, come on, it’s Ghirardelli Square. Take a look here for times and details.
4. San Francisco Critical Mass
Though this happens the last Friday of each month, I’m inclined to think this one is particularly special because it gives you an excuse to eat extra pumpkin pie the day before. For those of you who are not familiar, Critical Mass is a horde of humans riding bikes through the streets in, well, a mass. The tradition thrives across the globe, so you can rest assured that your distant cousins in Whereverland can join in on the fun too. Grab your bike (or rent one), meet in Justin Herman Plaza at 5:30 pm, and get ready to take this city by a storm!
5. San Francisco Beard and Mustache Club Meeting
Yes, this exists. Similar to Critical Mass, this is a recurring event. Unlike Critical Mass, this is an event solely dedicated to glorious facial hair. See the distinction? Anyway, the club is for people who have or admire beards or mustaches. It meets at Zeitgeist (that bar in the Mission with an outdoor patio and a Donnie Darko–Playboy hybrid logo) at 7 pm. Think about it: You could could go hiking in the morning, recover, then drink again amidst a sea of beautiful beards. You may never get this opportunity again.