Snow in San Francisco?

Ice ice, baby...
In a town where 50 degrees is considered chilly and even the remote possibility of a dusting of snow is a banner news event, it was conceivable that San Francisco's Occupy encampment could exist indefinitely.

And yet, on the very night the cops moved in and cleared everybody out, it snowed in San Francisco. Sort of.

Two miles up the street from the huddled masses at Justin Herman Plaza, City Hall was bedecked with a transparent plastic awning, a red carpet, and, most eye-catchingly, mounds of snow.

Last night was the Christmas shindig for the San Francisco Consular Corps, and, as in the past, mounds of the frozen white stuff that hasn't fallen in San Francisco since 1976 were piled on the Civic Center side of City Hall.

While many cities diligently work to move snow out of their streets, San Francisco has packed it in (at private expense, according to the snowmen who provided the materiel). When asked why mounds of snow resembling the aftermath of Todd Palin roaring down Grove Street were necessary, the assembled diplomats asked, diplomatically, how one could celebrate Christmas without snow.

They are, evidently, not from around here.

Last night's snow job was handled by Arctic Glacier ice, operating out of Fremont. Dispatcher Sean Smith said dousing the east side of City Hall with snow required feeding 20 tons of ice through a machine, an endeavor of between 60 and 90 minutes. "A catering service or some other kind of service" threw down about $5,000 for the frozen decor.

This recurring gig is not Arctic's biggest in the city, incidentally. Last year they ground up 65 tons of ice to create a Civic Center snow park for the kiddies.

At last, San Franciscans were able to write their names in the snow. In Civic Center, perhaps they'd have been "writing their names" whether there was snow or not.

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