North Beach is Red!

Honestly, it was all a bit surreal. For a brief moment in time this past Saturday, a single block of Grant Avenue in San Francisco’s historic North Beach neighborhood, was transformed into a borough of North London.

Inside Maggie McGarry’s Irish Pub, hundreds of the Bay Area Gooners, our Arsenal FC supporters group sang, chanted, and cheered on the English club as they battled back to win the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium.

A hundred or more other supporters who could not gain entrance as Maggie’s capacity had been reached, crowded close, watching the match through the open pub windows.

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© 2014 Thomas Wechsler – All Rights Reserved.

When Arsenal’s talented midfielder, Aaron Ramsey scored the winner late in the final period of extra time, it was in a word…pandemonium. Joyous rapturous,euphoria.

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© 2014 Thomas Wechsler – All Rights Reserved.

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© 2014 Thomas Wechsler – All Rights Reserved.

Screaming, crying, hugging, laughing, the crowd spilled out into the street.

 © 2014 Thomas Wechsler - All Rights Reserved

© 2014 Thomas Wechsler – All Rights Reserved

 © 2014 Thomas Wechsler - All Rights Reserved.

© 2014 Thomas Wechsler – All Rights Reserved

And it was brilliant!

A Bay Area Gooner Goes For GOAL!

Micha X. Peled is a regular at our Arsenal match viewings at Maggie McGarry’s – that is when he’s not traveling the globe, promoting one of his award-winning documentaries.

We introduced you to Micha through our Meet the Gooners series (you can read more about his love of Arsenal here). But Micha has a new project we’re very excited about.

Micha X. Peled, filmmaker & Gooner

Micha X. Peled, filmmaker & Gooner

GOAL! The Incredible Journey, follows a group of women trying to extricate themselves from homelessness through the Street Soccer USA program and who end up representing the United States at the 2013 Homeless World Cup.

As Micha says,  Our goal is to make an inspiring, uplifting film that will encourage people to look at innovative approaches to helping the homeless population, and to consider the power of sports to make positive social change. 

But Micha needs our help! The production team has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to finish the film. Needless to say, documentaries don’t get the sort of financing super-hero films do, despite the fact they often tell more heroic stories.

There’s still production, editing, music rights, audio mixing, and various post-production tasks still to do.  We’ll be hosting a charity raffle at Maggie’s during the FA Cup Final to benefit the film, but you can help now.

Please follow this link and consider helping Micha complete GOAL! The Incredible Journey.

South Bay Gooners

For years now, die-hard Arsenal supporters from Silicon Valley, Santa Clara, San Jose, and surrounding areas having making the trek to Maggie McGarry’s to watch the Arsenal matches with the Bay Area Gooners.

While no one could question the dedication of Gooners who drive 45 miles in the wee hours of the morning for matches sometimes starting as early as 4:45AM, it was only a matter of time before something had to change.

Under the initiative of Sumit Kallo,a pub was found, and the South Bay Gooners were formed.

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They now meet for every match at Jack’s Bar & Lounge in San Jose for most Arsenal matches.  More information can be found here.