Mr. Marina Competition: Bros on Stage for a Good Cause
Godofredo Vasquez Who will be crowned Mr. Marina?
The Marina. It often gets a bad rep, and on certain days it can be somewhat justified. There's nothing like getting shoved off the sidewalk by a group of guys -- four bros wide -- charging down the street in their Sperrys and button down shirts, shouting drunkenly to one another about yesterday's game, and how much they miss those UCSB days.
But there's another group of Marina guys, and they're showing off the kinder side of the men that call this place home. The annual Mr. Marina contest is coming up in March, a fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, where contestants vie for the chance to be crowned Mr. Marina for the year.
We had a chance to talk with one contestant Charlie Walker about why he agreed to take on this endeavor, and had him share some details on why the Marina isn't that bad after all.
Did you have an inkling you were getting nominated this year?
It was a complete surprise; I got an email form the organization [Slap Cancer] saying I was nominated and then they asked if I was up for it and I decided to go for it.
What made you decide to "go for it" after receiving the nomination?
The Marina always seems to have a stigma attached to it, it gets a bad rep, and I'm an ordinary guy, and thought I could [help project] a different view of the Marina and help out a good cause.
Do you actually live in the Marina District?
Yes, I've lived by the Palace of Fine Arts since December, 2010, after moving back to the Bay Area from L.A; I'm originally from San Jose.
So what are your favorite hangout spots in the Marina?
For bars, Monaghan's and the Bus Stop, which is actually up on Union. For restaurants Delarosa, Ace Wasabi's, and the Brazen Head. [The Brazen Head] is a great, old-school San Francisco spot that knows how to make a proper drink.
Have you met any competitors, and if so, what do you think of the competition?
We met at a mixer, and they're all really nice, down-to-earth guys. Some said they were doing this because they had a personal connection to cancer, and there wasn't any posturing going on; there's a great variety of good personalities.
Are you nervous at all? Some of the stage presentations are pretty wild.
It might be a littler nerve wracking, but you can't take yourself too seriously. You have to keep in mind it's for a good cause and just go for it.
The Mr. Marina competition consists of swimwear, talent, and a "Marina-wear" question and answer portion. That score is combined with amounts raised for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to determine who is Mr. Marina 2014. It's at the Regency Center (1290 Sutter) on March 19; doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35-$70.