It's true -- after this season there will be no more Sex and the City. The citizens of our great metropolises will soon be victims of forced abstinence, no longer spending Sunday nights in bed with Carrie's wack-ass wardrobe, Samantha's sexual acrobatics, Charlotte's preppy perkiness, and Miranda's uptight urbanity. It was a wild ride, and now that the series is on its last Manolo Blahnik-tipped legs, it's time to pay homage to the creator of the characters who've kept us titillated for six years, Candace Bushnell.
Carrie's alter ego comes to discuss her newest dish, Trading Up, a contemporary tale of mores and manners that delves into the adventures of gold digger Janey Wilcox (originally introduced in Bushnell's naughty novella of 2000, 4 Blondes). Janey, a Victoria's Secret model, is immersed in the bitchy and backstabbing world of New York's wealthy, where fashionable accessories like Fifth Avenue apartments, $100,000 autos, and media-mogul financiers are de rigueur. Watch lit and style intersect at 5:15 p.m. at the Commonwealth Club, 595 Market (at Second Street), S.F. Admission is $15; call 597-6700 or visit www.commonwealthclub.org.
-- Sunny Andersen
If Thomas Kinkade is the Painter of Light(TM) (more accurately the Painter of Crap(TM), in my opinion) then Rene Garcia Jr. is definitely the Painter of Glitter. Any similarity between them ends there, since Garcia's deliberately unreproducible creations are smart and cool. The only other comparable artists are those freaky Frenchmen Pierre et Gilles, whose highly retouched photos are the Texas of parallel universes: just like everywhere else, only more so. The works at the exhibit "Super-Duper: Action Packed Art Thrills" have a similarly hyperreal effect: The viewer is surrounded by sparkle. Garcia's subjects -- hot rods, the '70s, damaged superheroes -- are all lovingly rendered, but the artist is especially crazy about witty naked-lady scenarios, the best being Han Chola. There are some simple portraits (Mick Jagger and R. Buckminster Fuller, for example), and all of it is made from the sparkly stuff -- the description of Carmen reads "glitter on pink vinyl." The opening reception begins at 5 p.m. (the exhibit continues through Sept. 27) at Glama-Rama, 417 South Van Ness (at 15th Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 861-4526 or visit www.renegarciajr.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Art Gets Into Your Pants
Underwear that's fun to share
"Who doesn't like panties?" asks Chupa Cabra of "Panty Waste: The World-Famous Underwear Museum." Judging from the number of folks vying to have their undies-related artworks exhibited here, not too many, it would seem. Cabra and co-curator Ricky Lee recruited submissions with fliers posted in the Mission, and they're astonished by the number and diversity of entries from skivvy-loving artists. "Sculptures, paintings, drawings, real underwear with sewn-on patches and glued-on jewels," says Cabra, describing the selection. "We got some people to donate the blotter paper used for LSD and made panties out of that. I personally made a thong out of mouse bones that I got from owl pellets, stuck together using wire and thread. They're too delicate to wear, but they look really cool."
It all started when Lee's set of quirky friends began bringing unusual underpants to her after they'd returned from various vacations. "I was getting this nice collection of strange novelty panties, and we thought if we started an underwear museum in San Francisco we would get lots of German tourists visiting and we could get their money," laughs Lee. "We decided to open it up to local artists, and it's been really amazing how many people in the Bay Area already make unusual underwear or art related to underwear. It's very strange, in fact."
Those who want to view the briefs, panties, thongs, boxers, and unmentionables-focused pieces on display have until Monday to take a peek. The exhibit is up at Balazo/Mission Badlands, 2811 Mission (at 24th Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 920-0896.
-- Joyce Slaton
You'll Be Home by 11
Midnight movies are so much fun, but what 9-to-5 wage slave can stay up that late after a hard workweek? Sensible "biologically female drag queen" Margarita Machismo has the answer, screening far-out films at a reasonable hour each Friday at "Midnight at 8." This week's selection is Grey Gardens, a documentary featuring Jackie Kennedy's sublimely kooky New York relatives. The show starts at 8 at Femina Potens, 465 South Van Ness (at 16th Street), S.F. Admission is $5-10; call 861-2240 or visit www.margaritamachismo.com.
-- Joyce Slaton
Has Wired Expired?
According to Gary Wolf, his ex-employer Wiredis just a shadow of its former self. The magazine/ Web site barely survived the boom and bust, despite influencing countless publications with its digiculture coverage and corporate customs, including strategy meetings reportedly held under a fog of pot smoke. Wolf reads from Wired: A Romance at 7 p.m. at the Booksmith, 1644 Haight, S.F. Free; call 863-8688.
-- Joyce Slaton