Broken bottles, used fireworks shells, stray tortillas, water balloons, and raging bonfires fueled by lawn chairs and wooden street barricades filled the intersection at Third and King streets last night. The police were chill about it for the first couple hours, watching in riot gear from half a block away as the excited and dense mass wilded out, dancing, shouting, and climbing stoplight poles, showering in champagne and spiking empty bottles into the pavement.
Those bottles didn't sprout from the ground the moment Sergio Romo struck out Miguel Cabrera to seal the Giants' Wold Series victory, though. Safeway runs were needed.
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There was striking juxtaposition in those Safeway runs. A two-minute stroll from the huddled madness outside AT&T Park -- where young men and women hurdled over bonfires and gigged to Mac Dre and Too Short -- to the orderly and polite lull inside the grocery store -- where young men and women patiently waited in half-hour lines, hugging champagne bottles and reflecting on the night's ecstasy.
"So, you think Barry Zito earned his contract?" a man in glasses and a backwards Giants hat asked a couple -- a man in a Giants shirt and a woman in a black hoodie -- standing behind him.
"I think so," said said the man in the Giants shirt. "What more could you ask for than a World Series?"
"Yeah, he needed this one," said the man in the glasses. "When's the parade? Have they decided yet?"
"Couple weeks, I think," replied the man in the Giants shirt.
"Actually," another guy standing in line jumped in, "I heard it's gonna be Wednesday morning, at like 11."
"Where'd you hear that?" said the guy in the glasses.
"Saw it on my Twitter."
"Dang, might have to call in sick for that."
The customers soon reached the cashier. Arms loaded with champagne bottles and a case of Guinness, two young men marched toward the front door, weaving around the flow of patrons entering the store. They smiled at the security guard checking receipts, then were back on King Street, on a night warm enough for T-shirts.
The two young men snaked through the growing crowd in front of the ball park, until they were safely tucked within the heart of the mass -- where smoke clouds hovered and revelers hopped up and down shouting, arms around each others' shoulders. Wide-eyed and smiling, the pair each shook up a bottle, popped the cork, and sprayed the spitting mist everywhere.
In a few days the celebration would continue, as the Giants parade down Market Street to the Civic Center, for their second championship ticker-tape parade in three years. But on this night, the celebration was still beginning.