“We used to call this Café High,” author Sean Wilsey says of Café International, our meeting spot, before letting out a hearty chortle. By “we” he means his late-80s classmates at the Urban School, the private prep school 10 blocks or so from the Haight and Fillmore coffee shop. By “high” I assume he’s alluding to marijuana in some form or another, but I’m too intrigued by Wilsey’s instant openness and nostalgia to probe. Despite four other high schools (he never graduated), myriad other cities (he doesn’t come back to San Francisco very often anymore), and 25 or so intervening years (he’s pushing 45), Wilsey still grasps the vibe of his native hood with the exactitude of a lifelong resident.
To call seminal SF perfomer and alpha theater aficionado Arturo Galster merely a "drag queen" is to do his range -- from the legendary Vegas in Space movie and pitch-perfect live-sung Pasty Cline interpretations to his recent technicolor turns with the Thrillpeddlers -- a disservice. But his name will always call to mind that moment in the late '80s and early '90s when SF's drag scene unmoored itself from polite old school diva kabuki into a squall of gloriously punky, ironic camp.
Our 40th annual Best of the Bay issue is coming Oct. 15! Voting for all Readers Poll categories will open Sept. 3 and close Sept. 24.
Bookmark this link to vote for your favorite local businesses, hot spots, people, services, and more beginning Sept. 3 -- your voice is important!
This year's theme is Dia de los Meurtos, in celebration of true Bay Area spirit. And mark your calendars for our infamous, star-studded Best of the Bay party Oct. 16. Come party with us, and spread the word!
A mask-wearing musician, a Star Trek alum, coming-of-age tales, a rom-com with a sci-fi twist, a rom-com with a zombie twist, and a romantic drama (rom-dram?) with a metaphysical twist are all part of the weekend movie outlook. Read on for reviews and trailers!
Midway through the introduction to More Curious (McSweeney's Books, 342 pp., $22), his recently-published collection of essays from the last 15 years, Sean Wilsey (who appears at the Booksmith Thu/21) reveals his quest to combine the styles of Thomas Pynchon and New Yorker legend Joseph Mitchell — paranoia and precision, respectively.
The introduction itself is a joyfully meta attempt at this very task. The 20-odd pages of often non-sequitorial rumination about the aforementioned authors, the triviality of the 1990s, and the first Obama election can be mistaken as “formless while still astonishingly informative” or “so intricately constructed and fact-filled that the form is too complex to be instantly identified.” The happy reality of all of Wilsey’s essays is somewhere between these two perceptions.
The weather was gorgeous, the lines weren't too long, and the people were friendly -- and hungry -- at the sixth annual SF Street Food Festival last Saturday.
About those shorter lines, though -- that meant we had access to pretty much any food we wanted in less than 10 minutes! (Except for the ever-popular ramenburger from Nombe, the line for which stretched almost the length of a block.) Uh oh, we were faced with unlimited choices, too many for our stomachs to bear, try as we might. And we might!
Outside of the multiplex this week, don't miss Midnites for Maniacs curator (and Guardian contributor) Jesse Hawthorne Ficks' very special tribute to William Lustig at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Exploitation icon Lustig will appear in person to chat about his films, and they're screening the entire Maniac Cop trilogy ... so why haven't you gotten ticketsyet?
Also, check out the Turkish Film Festival, which runs August 19-21 at the Embarcadero and screens new films from Turkey for free! You can reserve seats here.
Meanwhile, Hollywood would like to remind you that age ain't nothing but a number (The Expendables 3), that feelings are important (The Giver), and that not all cops are evil (Let's Be Cops, which technically is about fake cops). Reviews, trailers, and more below!
Whether your caffeinated allegiances lie with Blue Bottle, Four Barrel, or a non-coffee drink, CoffeeCon San Francisco offered something to appeal to everyone’s cravings on July 26. Venturing out of Chicago for the first time, the consumer coffee festival boasted a multitude of roasters — many of them local and therefore well-acquainted with using glorious Hetch Hetchy water in the brewing process — and a wide variety of presentations to intrigue both casual coffee drinkers and connoisseurs. Plus, unlimited coffee samples!