I pulled into Tower Car Wash in San Francisco’s South of Market district, and the attendant poked his head in the window: “You have a good burn?” he guessed, proffering up a special brightly colored menu — Burning Man Specials.
The annual desert festival in Nevada ended yesterday — which means 70,000 people, including a big chunk of techies from San Francisco, are driving out of the weeklong rave and back to “the default world,” as they call it. A parade of sandy cars edged through the city all day.
Very sticky sand, as it turns out — the wait for a wash was three hours because of the demand today.
My Mini has a thick layer of that dust from the Playa, shorthand for the site of Burning Man. It doesn’t come off when you blow at it. It doesn’t come off when you wipe at it. It just sticks. I’d forgotten I had a rainbow fur stole and gold genie hat in the trunk and apologized when I started unloading it.
“Oh it’s cool, I’m into that stuff too,” the attendant said.
I’m not sure I’m into that stuff, but okay.
“Brave of you to bring your own car out there,” the attendant said.
Why? I asked.
He looked at the inch-deep layer of dust on the floor mats. I could smell alkaline sand coming out of my fan.
“Um,” he said. His manager walked over and popped his head in the window.
“You have fun on the Playa?” he asked.
More from our Burning Man coverage
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- Two Drinks With Deloitte’s Mohawked Startup-Whisperer Duleesha Kulasooriya
- Re/code in the Media: Samsung, iCloud and Burning Man
- Only in SF: Of Course, There’s a Burning Man Special at the Car Wash Today
- Re/wind: Apple’s New iThing Is Coming, Re/code Goes to Burning Man and More
- K Street Black Rock: Burning Man’s Billionaires Row
- Alternatives to Going to Burning Man (Comic)
- The “Worthless Currency Exchange” at Burning Man’s Camp Bitcoin
- Inside the Spider Houses of Burning Man With Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman
- Ideate This: I’m Living at Burning Man’s Tech Innovation Camp
- Cuddle Puddles! Still Joy in the Mud-Ville at Burning Man.
- Raining Man: The Playa Is a Mud Pit, and the Desert Party Is on Hold
- Is Burning Man Now Just a Tech Conference in the Sand? Re/code Heads to Black Rock to Find Out.
- The Booming Business Behind Burning Man
- Code/red: Steve Ballmer, the Nutty Professor
- Always Wanted a Mass Chat Room at Burning Man? No? Too Bad.
- Billionaires, Sherpas and Models at Burning Man, the Man Behind the Facebook Emotions Study and More Morning #Mustreads