San Francisco TKO

Oh my but it has been awhile since I’ve blogged hasn’t it? I offer no
apologies. I lead a full and complicated life, including a work
schedule that has been quite overwhelming lately, snow storms, PCC classes and a
last minute trip to San Francisco over the MLK holiday. And I haven’t
been to that bastion of gay excess for many years…since 2000 perhaps.
I had a great time, returning with an extra suitcase full of brightly
colored, fruity boxer briefs. (Although we can get ’em here now too…) I have to say, though, that it was
something of a disappointment. Everything queer I expected to find
there was as readily available here, and the queer culture seems even
more fleshed out at home than this supposed gay Mecca. (Ok, so I was
totally enamored of H&M. I’ve missed them so since I left the east
coast and it’s high time we got our own store here).

night’s excursion to the iconic lesbian bar The Lexington was nice (I
dug the dollar margaritas) but non-eventful. I can’t decide if
California’s non-bar-smoking laws are good or bad but certainly you’d
want folks at the Lex to head outdoor because the place in tiny. It’s
always been shocking to me that San Fran only had one dedicated lezzie
bar but it’s about one sixth the size of Portland’s own lesbian
watering hole
. Saturday night we couldn’t really find much to do despite searching through both alternative newsweeklies and I was especially disappointed after I found out about a drag burlesque happening right at home that very night. That’s what I had hoped to find in Cali…(How did that go by the way? Anyone know?)

Our Castro shopping trip was enjoyable but this ‘hood seems the smallest and least interesting of the many colorful Bay area escapes. Certainly, it has less appeal now than my wide-eyed 17, or even 20 year old self thought. It does light up in amazing ways during that infamous June weekend. Even that’s still got to be exciting to my jaded 25 year old mind, but on a January weekend it’s little more than an upper middle class tourist trap.

I did quite enjoy Fisherman’s Wharf, an even more notorious tourist trap, because I expected it and it was a nice stroll after the jolting cable car ride up the hills. Chinatown was also fun, despite climbing a hill that had my girlfriend yelling that she was going to die halfway up. (It’s a shame to see our own Chinatown fading away as the Pearl creeps in a rents go up.) We ate Dim Sum at one of the most "adventurous" spots though when Jane picked up the chicken’s feet by accident I have to admit I was not quite adventurous enough to put them anywhere near my mouth. What is there to eat? There doesn’t appear to be any meat on them to me…

Another pleasant surprise was Japantown, which I had never been to. MLK Monday meant everything was closed, which dashed my Mission area museum and exploration plans so we wandered west. We spent forever in the photobooth trying to figure out how to work the machine’s adorable graphics program that was only in Japanese.

But I digress. San Francisco is worth visiting, but as a queer destination, it only made me appreciate home.

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