Best Gay Historic Spot - 2008
Given - CLOSED
Harvey Milk — the gay city supervisor assassinated at City Hall in 1978 (and the subject of an upcoming film by Gus Van Sant) — owned a camera shop near 19th and Castro streets. His storefront served as a major hub for gay political organization in 1970s San Francisco. These days, the site of Castro Camera isn't the historical monument you might expect: instead, it's an upscale tchotchke dispensary called Given, and owner Nick Romero sees no need to downplay his shop's association with the past. Last fall, he commissioned local artist John Baden to paint a candy-colored mural in which Milk, surrounded by flowers and starbursts, smiles as a bullet approaches his brain. The result will either move or appall you, but you can't deny that Given is a politically savvy little enterprise — something the Mayor of Castro Street would no doubt appreciate.