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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fewer Feathers Fly at Valentine's Day Pillow Fight

Posted By on Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 3:55 PM

click to enlarge Fewer people, fewer feathers... - GIL RIEGO, JR.
Update: The Department of Public Works says it cost the city $3,500 to clean up feathers at the Justin Herman Plaza yesterday. Itemized bill to come.

Original Story 1 p.m.: If anyone is thrilled with the long overdue rain in San Francisco, it's the city's public works officials. Yesterday's downpour kept hundreds of people from slinging feather-stuffed pillows at the annual Valentine's Day pillow fight.

Doing the back-of-the-pillowcase calculation, fewer pillow fighters means fewer feathers. And fewer feathers means less time for Department of Public Works crews to clean up after the mess.

Because San Francisco is a zone that defies the rules of conventional economics -- let alone mathematics -- it's not yet certain the city's cleanup costs will be lower than in years past. However, Gloria Chan, spokeswoman with the Department of Public Works, tells SF Weekly that as only 300 people attended the event this year rather than the usual 1,000, it crews took "a lot less time" to clean up afterward. 

And time, as you know, is money. Einstein proved it.

"The event was significantly smaller than in previous years," Chan affirmed.

But we will have to wait and see if and how a " significantly smaller event" translates into money saved. In 2009 and 2010, DPW shelled a cumulative $35,000 to clean up the mess on the plaza.

Last year, it cost the city $16,056.46 to scrub up after the latenight event. In 2009, it was exactly $19,164.87, slightly higher due to the much-needed plumbing work after feathers clogged the drains. Find the itemized bills here.

We will update you when we get this year's tally.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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