My Love Letter To San Francisco [A Tall Glass Of Shame]
You know when a you visit a city that you don’t live in and it just grabs a part of you and in a way forever will be your home away from home? Well San Francisco is my example of just that. It seems every year since I was about 12 years old I would come to this city to visit my sister or friends and to this day I can’t go more than a year without my SF “fix.”
When my sister moved away to SF for college, I got the great advantage of being able to visit her during school vacations. My mother saw this as a great opportunity for us to see each other as well as to get me out of her hair. For me, it was a great time to go into a crazy city with my cool sister and experience a free and open world that was so different from the dull suburbia I knew.
San Francisco has always embraced the odd and unusual. This city prides itself on being open to nearly everything and everyone that life has to offer. I have always loved walking around a city where you can see men in business suits walking alongside a man wearing only a sarong and a drum. For many people the strange moments this city serves up might be too much to handle, but I just laugh and add the experiences to my colorful history.
A good example of the colorful type of people you may encounter on the street would be the San Francisco Bushman that stakes his claim to some pavement up in the Fisherman’s Wharf area every day. He has some branches and likes to scare people for a dollar, this is not your typical way of living. Meet the Bushman of San Francisco!
When I fell in love with the city of SF I also happened to pick up the book series Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin. The series of books, that first ran as a serial in a local paper, depict the lives of several intertwined young people living it up in the late 70′s and early 80′s. These books showed us openly the lives of characters both straight and gay trying to find their place in this big melting pot of a city. These books may have been about events that took place before and around when I was born, but somehow the energy and people that are described in the books can still be found on every street corner of this crazy city. Armistead Maupin once described his book series as his Love Letter to San Francisco and I can see why, you really feel how much he cares for this beautiful pocket of land on the Northern coast of California. His books not only drew acclaim throughout the years but has also been turned into a series of films for TV and most recently a fully staged musical for the theater. Here is a great video about the recent production of “Tales of the City: A New Musical” that ran at ACT in SF this year:
Now, while me and my partner often come up to the city to visit friends, there are always so many events throughout the year that are fun to be in town for: Gay Pride, The Castro Street Fair, Dore Alley Street Fair, the SF Decompression Party, and the reason we came up this weekend, The Folsom Street Fair. The Folsom Street Fair is a crazy event for people of all sexualities, sizes, colors and kinks and is devoted to “providing the adult alternative lifestyle community safe venues for self-expression, emphasizing freedom, fun and frolic, while raising money to benefit San Francisco charities.” Basically it is a fun and crazy weekend where they close off Folsom street, have vendor and food booths and the people watching is amazing. You will see everything you can’t even imagine at these events from people riding other people like ponies, to drag queens, to a full rubberized jester outfit walking their dog… It is the time when all the freaks come out to play and the tables are turned, the “normal” people are the freak show. I have always enjoyed hanging out in the city at this event, you really do see people from all walks of life and get to experience that electric vibe that the city fosters when everybody comes out to play!
Here is a glimpse at the world of the Folsom Street Fair, this video is a tad risque so use caution when and where you watch it…
In closing, if you get a chance to get up to the city, do it! Sure the cable cars are fun and iconic, but get out there and hit the neighborhoods less travelled. Have a great meal in the Mission District, Check out some of the cool little stores and coffee shops out in the Richmond District, See some amazing art in the SOMA District, get beyond the obvious shopping of the Haight Ashbury area and explore some of the amazing homes in and around it. If all you have seen of this city is the Fisherman’s Wharf, then you have no idea of what this city is really like and I will give you a personal tour if I happen to be in town when you are!
For a quick and fun distraction watch the following video. This is the worst, and in a way best, karaoke tribute video to a city I have ever seen/ heard! (This could very well sound exactly like me after 6 strong Long Island Ice Teas at Karaoke)
My gift to you for enduring my random tirade and all the above, I give you a video of a woman I can see hailing from the fine city of SF… Crazy sponge bitch
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featured image credit: brianmedia