For years there have been individuals that I’ve seen around town who captured my imagination. This project, Drawn From the City, became an excuse to find out about their lives through interviews, documenting the cultural life-blood of the city.
Occupation: I am mostly a writer and impresario. I’m on the board of directors for the Adobe Books & Arts Cooperative. Mainly I put on music shows, about 40-50 shows a year in different venues.
Where do you live? I moved from NYC to SF in 1992, and I currently live in the SOMA, which is kink central of SF, a fun community. I have lived in and put on shows at the Vortex Room for the past several years and I’m currently fighting an eviction. The eviction arose because the landlady wants to cash in and sell the building, and it will be worth more empty. I'm paying a heck of a lot of money for a very good lawyer, who trounced her first suit, but it's a war of attrition. Eviction is a rite of passage into a part of the adult world I never wanted to join.
Style inspiration: I’ve always liked to wear suits, and as time goes on I get more into velvet three-piece suits. As a kid in the '70s I was mesmerized by the pimp characters on cop TV shows who always wore fabulous suits. I’m also into “power clashing.”
Is there anyone in the city whose style inspires you? I used to be pretty picky and even a little snooty about subcultures, but as the city changes I am just excited to see anyone who puts effort into their style.
What is your favorite place in the city? I like wandering to a variety of neighborhoods and trying to get inside of different people’s houses. When I was younger I used to crash fancy adult parties, and dominate the stereo and sometimes cook food. This developed into a lifelong obsession with crashing parties. I've spoken publicly on the subject, though these days I’m more into ingratiating myself and getting invited in. If you see someone with a moving van, you can offer to help carry stuff. There are plenty of techniques. Of course it helps to be a somewhat presentable, friendly person.
Do you have a favorite thing about the city? When I first visited San Francisco many years ago, I was bowled over by what a friendly, playful place it is. Having grown up in NYC, I was used to people being more reserved and stressed out. Although handheld devices and ear buds have destroyed the social fabric almost everywhere, I still enjoy the vibe on the streets of SF.
How do you feel about the changes in the city because of the current tech boom? The domestic displacement and general generification (is that a word?) of city life is indeed discouraging, but dem's da breaks. Not to say you mustn't fight the power. In fact, if I go to a friend's house and find any power un-fought, I get rather upset.
What has the city done for you? Ask not what your city has done for you, but what you can do for your city.
Check back in next Tuesday for more Drawn from the City.
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