So I went out for a walk on Dolores, turned up 17th Street, and found
myself swimming upstream against a stampede of young, mostly
professional-looking men and women, some wearing colored armbands. Some
were carrying maps apparently printed for the occasion.
One cheery, heavyset, tattooed young women stopped me and asked for
directions, and for help in re-tying her armband. She pulled me over
into an alley; apparently she didn't want to be caught cheating. The
situation struck me as comical, and I imagined a police cruiser slowing
down for a look at what must have appeared to be a couple of junkies
getting a fix.
A few minutes later I ran into a couple of young guys, both equipped
with armbands and maps but apparently in less of a hurry than the rest.
(I gathered that it was a race of some sort, and wondered if it was a
scavenger hunt of the sort they have in Portland.) I stopped them and
asked them about it - was it some sort of game? From what I was able to
get from them, it was an annual event that had been started a few years
ago, and had something to do with zombies.
I gleaned the name "Journey to the End of Night" from the maps, and it
turns out the thing is "a free street game of epic proportion run by
volunteer masterminds in cities around the world. It is a race/chase
through city streets at night." [http://ichaseyou.com/]
OK, so there it is. Well, you never know what you're going to run into
when you step outside.