Canceled Event For 2020 Not The Same Virtually As In Person
A waiter at Barleymash restaurant in San Diego’s Gaslamp looked up from his table for a second on a Friday evening in last July after seeing a flash of a person in a superhero costume.
“Hey!,” he exclaimed to his customers. “We just had 10 seconds of Comic-Con.”
In front of him was a completely vacant seating and bar area, as restaurants are restricted to only outdoor dining in the COVID-19 pandemic. Which prompted me to say, “I bet never in your wildest dreams imagined the bar to be empty during Comic-Con.”
He paused for a second to think and quietly replied, “yeah. It’s really strange.:
It’s strange because it’s strangely quiet. Just down the street, the Padres played their season opener (in July) with nobody in the stands. They are not allowed to attend games.
Normally this time of the year, the Gaslamp is buzzing with activity, with pop-up places from corporate sponsors, high-rise buildings are wrapped with advertisements and thousands of people dressed up like comic book heroes, Trekkies and science fiction folks are walking around, standing around posing for pictures, filling up the bars like Barleymash and basically turning fictional characters into their real-live fantasies.
In 2020, with the event an on-line experience because the actual one was canceled for fear of further spreading the coronavirus, about the only evidence of Comic-Con is the occasional person dressed as a superhero and a small “memorial” at the Tin Fish restaurant.
The people in the street are not ComicCon fans coming in from all over the world, but locals who are eating and drinking in the street as part of the Curbside Gaslamp’s outdoor dining program.
And those Padres, fans, well a few walked around the Gaslamp in jerseys and shirts but one could not get over the feeling that something was missing.
That’s because it was missing, and that’s part of the new lifestyle in the COVID-19 era.