More Important Than Ever: SF Pride

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In the wake of the recent tragedy in Orlando, San Francisco Pride is more important than ever. We need to be together with friends and allies, feel loved, and share our stories. SF Pride, for many of us is usually a 3-day non-stop dance party where ingesting a variety of substances and acting like a fool, is mandatory. But maybe this year, in addition to the cray parties and the fabulously flamboyant parade you want an experience that’s a little less induced by the worst hangover of your life. We’ve got some options for you, some with snacks and cuddle puddles, some with long overdue discussions, all of them though with the intention of increasing visibility and the love for our LGBT community. Here’s a look at the non-traditional and a little off the beaten path (pun intended) pride weekend, June 23rd-26th, HAPPY PRIDE Y’ALL.

MUSEUM OF THE AFRICAN DIASPORA

Sweet and Dandy Film series, June 23rd, 6:30pm

If you want your pride kick-off party to involve popcorn and intellectual conversation, this is for you. Sweet and Dandy is an 8-week film series, it’s last week culminating over Pride weekend, and it examines the cultural narratives of the queer community in documentaries and movie shorts. So bring your onesie and thinking hat because you’ll leave this film series undoubtedly knowing more, feeling more, and having increased empathy for the individual struggles of gender politics.

PRIDE BRUNCH

Hotel Whitcomb , 11am-2pm June 25th

Brunch and celebrating fabulous things are what we do best, so naturally someone put them together, Pride Brunch! This event brings you brunch with the finest folks and the most delicious delicacies including music by the Dixieland Dykes. With Barefoot Wine & Bubbly and Tito’s Vodka hosting the event, why not start Saturday off right with what sounds like some bomb Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s.

PRIDE PUB CRAWL

Wild SF Tours, starts at the Castro Theatre

For those of us who like to pair a nice cold one with our cultural knowledge, this pub crawl is our new BFF. It’s about as non-traditional as it gets when it comes to getting to know your city. The tour guide walks around with a guitar and tells you about historical landmarks while playing diddies in A-minor. Play drinking games and learn how to master the ever-growing acronym LGBTQQOIAAPT (I mean wow), while getting woke about the why’s and how’s of Pride weekend.

LOVE SPACE

Civic Center Plaza, June 26th

If you’re looking to go more traditional but want to keep things low key, this space is your new home. It’s basically a huge tent in the middle of civic center where you can eat cookies, hydrate yourself, and catch a little break from all the wonderful chaos. This spectacular, colorful, natural and non-commercial oasis provides a heart-connected sanctuary in the midst of an often overwhelming festival. Come and celebrate queer creative spirit with heartfelt conversation, cuddle puddles, and the most fabulous Drag Snack Shows in San Francisco.

Who Cares About Super Delegates When There are Super Slides

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One of the perks to living in SF is that the city seems determined to let you be an adult-child for as long as possible. If you don’t want to grow up, there are events, restaurants, holidays and so on that will help you maintain your youthful sense of play and curiosity. So forget about the woes of adulthood and focus on the more positive aspects of being a grown-ass person, which is mainly that you can take yourself to the park. If San Francisco doesn’t already feel like a playground to you, here are four places that will ensure you forever think of the city as a place where you don’t have to take yourself too seriously.

SEWARD STREET SLIDES

Eureka Valley (above the Castro)

As an adult it’s hard to get back to those moments where things feel new and exciting like when you were a kid. Where the simplest things were exhilarating. But if you want to rediscover the simple joys of the slide, bring some wax and grab a piece of cardboard and scare the shit out of everyone watching by getting airborn on the turn of these cement masterpieces. Nestled in a small park above the Castro, you can swing from trees and rekindle your childhood enthusiasm for the cardboard box.

YODA FOUNTAIN

Lucasfilms in the Presidio, SF

This might not appeal to people who weren’t Star Wars nerds as kids, but if you were, childhood dreams do come true. Right in our very own backyard the closest thing to religion besides religion was born: Star Wars. On Saturday afternoons there are food trucks everywhere, so grab a kimchi taco or whatever and bask in the peaceful glory of Geaorge Lucas’s masterpiece.

YERBA BUENA GARDENS

745 Mission St, SF

This is a perfect place to escape on a lunch break or to relax in between museum hopping. It’s an oasis in a paved-over part of town. The waterfall drowns out city noise pollution so you can find your spot in the grass and watch all the hustle and bustle from your small tuft of man made bliss. Even if it’s just for 30 min.

URBAN PUTT

1096 S Van Ness Ave, SF

Ok so this isn’t exactly an open public space, but it is a great place to enjoy childhood simplicity while also having an adult beverage.

Guide to Getting Things Lit AF in June

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When it’s Wednesday night and you’re at home asking the interwebs what to do in SF this weekend, you probably get a bunch of touristy suggestions, like, walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, Pier 39, Mission walking tours, etc. Those are all awesome, but if you call SF home, how many times can you see the seals by the pier and go to Crissy Field before you vomit with wholesome weekend fun. So put on your party outfit and beer goggles, here are a few of the best events in June for people that live here.

FORTLANDIA

June 4, from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM @ Fort Mason

Grab your sunblock and Teva sandals and get down here for a new summer series of silent dance parties at Fort Mason. You will all look like a ridiculous bobbing wave of ironic t-shirts in headphones, but in your ears there is an epic party happening and you’re about to break into the running man.

NAMETAG DAY AND AFTERPARTY

Multiple locations

San Francisco is notorious for being a hard place to meet new people, hence Nametag Day. A day that comes around once a year where you get out of your apartment, pack into bars, and actually meet people IRL. A concept after our own pickle hearts. So if you want to meet other awesome people like yourself RSVP and go drink with strangers who want to talk to other strangers.

ONE MORE TIME: THE THROWBACK PARTY

RIckshaw Stop, June 4th 9:30pm – 2am

A millennium dance party featuring the era’s best pop, electronic, hip-hop, and r&b. Get ready to break out your stunna shades, crop tops, v-necks, and guyliner and get your freak on. Blocks of music from the 90’s-2000’s will be played til 2am, reminding you why J.T. leaving NSYNC wasn’t the worst thing ever. DJ’s will take you on a year-by-year voyage spinning all the hits and guilty pleasures. Oh and did we mention it’s for a good cause? Proceeds will go to SF Society Ties, a group that raises funds and awareness for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

SF PUBLIC CANVAS

In The Tenderloin outside of Hastings Law, Thursday Jun 16th

If you’ve never heard of this, you have to check it out. Watch dancers scale down buildings and tip toe on roof tops while a loud speaker blasts modern classical and experimental music. There are night performances with large scale light shows and glow-in-the-dark dancers doing pirouettes and adagios underneath. This incredibly vibrant neighborhood is fighting gentrification and creating a dialog with art and movement, so bring a chair and get ready to look up with your mouth open for a few hours.

4 Things Keeping SF Weird

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There’s a lot of conversation and fear around how the city is bending toward a future of tech elite millionaire’s and a middle class dystopia. How the weird and culturally diverse are being pushed out in order to make way for luxury condos and AirBnB tourists, and everyone has an opinion on how to stop it and who to point a finger at. These are all very real and sensitive issues facing our community but we wanted to highlight some activities and places that are keeping our weird San Francisco hearts full of paint, glitter, and unicorns. Here are some things you can do this week, right now, that will remind you that San Francisco is still creative and vibrant, you just have to look a little harder now.

GUERILLA DYKE BAR TAKEOVER

MAY 20th

The housing crisis in San Francisco has not only affected tenants and priced out many people who have been living here for decades, but it has also devastated the lesbian bar population almost entirely into extinction. From the ashes, The Guerilla Dyke Bar Takeover was born. It’s a monthly party, where a different local bar is chosen and every Lesbian on the LGBTQI spectrum shows up and turns it into a dyke bar for the night. Get ready for a sea of mullets, fohawks, and pleather jackets flooding the streets of the Mission on Friday night.

MUSEUM & GALLERY CRAWL

May 19th

It’s that time of the month again, in a good way, it’s Third Thursdays, that’s today, the 19th. It’s a free event, RSVP online, and hop around downtown SF to see live performances, drink champagne, and look at art from the masters of the 20th century to the rising stars of the most contemporary art scene in san Francisco today. This will be the best zero dollars you ever spent.

RED DOOR CAFE

1608 Bush st, SF

Bring your humor and personality, because if you don’t you won’t be seated or you’ll probably leave feeling offended. The walls are painted bright shades of orange and red, there are naked barbie dolls and toy animals glued in provocative positions, and colorful dildos in place of flowers as your tables’ centerpiece. But despite the loud decor, the food is delicious and if you’ve lived here a long time, it’ll probably bring back memories of the good ‘ol days.

ART AT THE DUMP

503 Tunnel Avenue, SF – May 20th 5-9pm

The Artist in Residence Program at Recology San Francisco provides artists with a free pass to scavenge at the dump. Childhood dreams do come true. Trash and scrap metal are gathered at all hours of the night and day, and in the program’s 24-hour all access studio, artists repurpose San Francisco’s treasures of the underworld. This is not the kind of recycled art you did in 5th grade with dry macaroni, it’s a must see show that redefines waste and brings to the surface issues of sustainability in our modern urban spaces.

Bay to Breakers and Other Opportunities to Watch People Pass Out on the Street

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Day drinking in San Francisco is a local pasttime. It’s what we’re good at. Whether it’s long brunches with bottomless mimosas or getting your sunburn ‘n chill on at Dolores park with a rum-filled coconut; san franciscans aren’t scared of paying with a little acid reflux in order to booze it up in the sun. But if you’re going to do that this weekend, how about doing it to support a good cause? Two great San Francisco traditions in one, rallying for humanitarian efforts and feeling tipsy. Here are a few places where you can appreciate a great day of debauchery while giving back to your favorite city by the bay.

SF MADE BENEFIT at ANCHOR BREWING

MAY 11th

SFMade is a non-profit that helps local artisans continue to manufacture their wares in San Francisco. You want a mason jar wall mount or a hand-crafted oak table, or a million other necessities that aren’t mass produced with unknown chemicals? Then come out and drink, we shouldn’t have to twist your arm, you’ll be drinking anyway, so come here and do it. Put your money where your beer is at.

BAY TO BREAKERS

From the Embarcadero to Ocean Beach May 15th

Bay to Breakers turns 100 and is one of the biggest in the U.S. You can dress up or go naked and run the 7 mile marathon, or even better, watch from Hayes Valley. It’s all fun and games at first, and then this day drinking (literal) marathon gets real when participants reach the nearly vertical climb of Hayes street. Watch with the painted ladies in the background as adult Ninja turtles, robots, and elvis impersonators buckle from heat exhaustion and lay down on the sidewalk for a quick nap before continuing on towards the ocean. Oh ya, and the people walking around with donation barrels, throw a couple bills in there, it’s usually for supporting local schools or more community events like this one.

SF INTERNATIONAL BEER FESTIVAL

Fort Mason May 21st

Sample over 300 beers from the best craft brewers in the world, it’s pretty much the world’s fair for beer, and it’s for a good cause. Since 1984, the San Francisco International Beer Festival (SFIBF) has raised money for the Telegraph Hill Cooperative Nursery School (Tel-Hi). The event staff consists of the proud parents of Tel-Hi’s preschool students. They donate their time and efforts to bring you this historic San Francisco festival-the oldest beer festival on the west coast)

CARNAVAL

MISSION DISTRICT, SF MAY 28TH-29TH

Yeah yeah, we know, but carnaval is in February you say, welp, that’s New Orleans and this is San Francisco, our version of Carnaval is a bit different. Celebrating its 38th anniversary, this is San Francisco’s version of Mardi Gras and one of the largest annual public events in the city. It features Carnaval dancers with a mixture of Latino, jazz, samba, and Caribbean influences, so come out and drink, eat amazing food, and support community centers throughout the neighborhood. The festive and colorful parade on Sunday morning is not something you should miss. It’s one of those rare occasions where you can see the extensive cultural pageantry of SF all in one place.

SFMOMA is Reopening and You’re Not Invited

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We’ve waited a long time for this, two years to be exact, the SFMOMA is reopening May 14th! We’ve missed you so and longed for your return because of the art, sure, but also because what better way to appear artsy and cultured on a first date than suggesting you go to MOMA? We’ve had to settle for bars and coffee shops. Even worse is when family comes to visit and instead of a pleasant day of silence while looking at art, you’ve had to go to Pier 39. So this is indeed a time of celebration and rebirth on many levels. Sadly, however, all the tickets are sold out for the opening party, but in order to honor the glorious return of this awesome institution in spirit, here’s a list of some other great art galleries in the city where you can feel all warm and artsy inside.

111 MINNA GALLERY

FiDi, SF

Maybe it’s not a place for when mom and dad visit, but it’s certainly an interesting spot to say the least. A place for experimental art and experimental cocktails. Try the neon green Tokyo tea, dance all night, and experience amazing performances and glow in the dark paintings.

SOUTHERN EXPOSURE

The Mission, SF

This gallery has been a springboard for emerging artists since 1974, and is one of the last standing non-profit spaces dedicated to providing resources and giving visibility to visual artists breaking onto the scene. But don’t be fooled by its OG status, they are known for throwing parties that will get hashtagged #LitAF for years to come while also managing to attract serious art buyers and curators.

THE TENDERLOIN MUSEAM

The Tenderloin, SF

The Tenderloin District officially consists of a 31 block radius and this museum has been an essential part in preserving the neighborhood. Activists on the directors board won city planning landmark titles so old buildings couldn’t be knocked down and replaced with luxury condos. The museum chronicles the living and ongoing history of the “immigrants and iconoclasts, artists and activists, sinners and saints,” who created the community and played an integral part in building the cultural richness of San Francisco. (Quote by, The Rev. Cecil Williams, when speaking about the history of the TL.)

THE SHOOTING GALLERY

Little Saigon/Lower Geary, SF

The home of this gallery is in an old industrial bakery and is one of the sole proprietors holding down the art scene on Lower Geary. This self proclaimed gallery of street art and pop culture has a mission to the necessity of giving visibility and celebration to artists whom some consider “lowbrow.” If you think art is dead and Warhol was our last great hope, visit this place, get weird, and restore your faith in a scene that is still very much alive.