Tuesday, July 12, 2005


My good friend Kitty calls San Francisco "Friskytown." You can never refer to it as "Frisco" to anyone who lives in the Bay Area; that is completely sacrilegious. You can call it "SF," or even "San Fran," but don't ever call it "Frisco."

Most people who live in the Bay Area refer to it as The City. "Are you going to he City tonight?" "Oh, there's a great show in The City." "I'm having lunch in The City." Stuff like that. Kitty was born and raised in Oakland, in the East Bay (where I also lived for about 15 years) and she is probably one of the few people I can think of who could refer to The City as "Friskytown" and get away with it.

There is even a little tirade delivered by Eddie Izzard at the start of his show, "Dressed to Kill," which was taped in SF and shown on HBO a zillion times. He mocks the whole "The City" terminology and how citydwellers tend to think of Oakland as the giant parkinglot to the east (A line I've definitely stolen on occasion).

Anyway, I was up in the Bay Area about a month ago and had a wonderful night in The City which I keep meaning to write about. Because, snobby as it may seem, The City is awesome.

My brother lives in the charming enclave of Noe Valley, a mere skip from the Castro and the Mission. The thing I love love love about The City is how damn close everything is... There are many different districts, but it hardly takes any time at all to get to any of them. My brother fixed dinner for me & my friend Heather Marie, who works at the Amoeba in the Haight Ashbury. After some cruising there (they still have The Gap as well as the dirty hippies) we went home for dinner.

Then we zipped out to The Rickshaw Stop in Hayes Valley. This area is right near Market and Van Ness, a big hub of roads, with lots of parking. Yay! This spot was a new hub of hip in town, as they offer interesting new indie bands from around the country(like Helen Stellar, Space Mountain, or Casiotone For the Painfully Alone) , fun dance nights (like the ever wonderful Bardot A Go Go) and independent hip hop. We were there on a hip hop night, which started off interesting but then got a little gangsta, so we moved on. But generally a good vibe and cool staff. And Speakeasy beer! Speakeasy beer (a local brew) is the best.

I dropped off my friend and went over to 1015 Folsom in the South of Market area. This is normally a club I would never set foot in, because it's one of those places that usually has a line two blocks deep of ditzy girls with halter tops and guys with slick hair and shiny shirts and then they charge $20 to get in on top of that. But my friend Disco Shawn was DJing, and if I wanted to see him, this was my only chance. And Peaches was DJing the big room. And I was on the guestlist.

The place was maybe 1/3 full, because they didn't advertise that Peaches was in town (because you KNOW the Bay Area crowd loves a freak like Peaches) and also because everybody leaves town Memorial Weekend, and it was the Sunday of Memorial Weekend. But Peaches was on fire... She had a posse of weird looking art fags and hags with her (one wimpy little white guy in nothing but white corduroy shorts and a headband around his 'fro was especially exciting to me) all hanging around the DJ booth, as she enthusiastically played record after record, occasionally fucking up, and singing along loudly. You know, it's always fun to go dancing if the DJs are playing good music, but it's even more fun when they are getting into it as well. And for someone like Peaches, who lives to perform, it was a blast just to watch her. She played the basic hipster stuff; LCD Soundsystem, the Faint, Fischerspooner... But when she played her pal, M.I.A., she stood on the table holding the DJ console and sang the whole song ("Bucky Done Gone"), and she even did an air horn thing for the little trumpet solo bit. Too funny.

I got to spend some time with Shawn, but it was late and we were all tired. On the way back to my brother's, I stopped in the Mission for a taco and then went on home. A wonderful night in Friskytown, one of the best Cities in the world. Really.