From the outside looking in, the Castro appears to be a fantasyland where the gays join manicured hands in harmony, stitch colorful AIDS quilts, spout bons mots, and can't even think straight what with all that homosexuality seeping up from the famous street. Inside, however, the Castro is a far different, darker reality: eye-roll-inducing politics; paranoid rumors (or are they?!) of racism corrupting its watering holes, segregating the black, the young, the white, and the elderly; and an aesthetic that one can kindly describe as tacky. Worst of all, it's assumed that the queer ladies hole themselves up in their flats, sip their Celestial Seasonings herbal blends, and comb their cats. Not so. Harvey's "Brownies for My Bitches" coaxes the girls out to sway to the hard hip hop and house stylings of DJs Motive, Melissa, and Serotonin. The doors spread wide open at 10 p.m. this Sunday, Oct. 3. Admission is $5; call 431-4278.
-- Brock Keeling
The Castro Street Fair -- one of so many street fairs that San Francisco offers, because you can never have too many chiropractic exams or meat-on-a-sticks -- is the sign of summer's end. So, after celebrating the arts, crafts, retail shops, and baby strollers of the Castro, head down to SOMA's Glas Kat to "Remember," a club that will bring you back to the venue's days as the Trocadero Transfer, when mustaches, an orgasmic Donna Summer, and condom-free sex once reigned supreme. The legendary DJ Robbie Leslie, who sharpened his skills at Fire Island's Sandpiper and Manhattan's Studio 54, and who survived the age of disco and hedonism, spins the sounds of the '70s and early '80s. Bring along fans, tambourines, finger cymbals, poppers (oh, excuse me, "VCR head cleaner"), and other relics from that bygone era, which died, in so many ways, far too soon. The music starts at 6 p.m. this Sunday, Oct. 3. Tickets are $15-20; call 495-6626 or visit www.remembertheparty.com.
-- Brock Keeling