Sunday, April 30, 2006

Auction! Dance Bust 1 & 2, Spices 3, and the Art of Being an Ostrich

Friday night I photographed an event for First Place Fund for Youth. It was awesome. I've never been to a live auction before, and seeing folks dressed in their finery to donate to an excellent cause was awesome. I got so juiced when the auctioneer, wonderfully dressed in his tux began rolling through his spiel and men and women calmly, slyly smiling as they raised their arms to bid on country homes in Napa and Tuscany. Philanthropy done with class. And it was held at the Berkely Club, a Julia Morgan Building that was just stunning.

At 9:30 I called Emma to see if she was ready for me to pick her up so we could go rekindle our dance tradition at El Rio. I picked her up, we drove into San Francisco, we arrived at El Rio....and the character of it's Friday nights had TOTALLY changed.

Gone was the multi-culti crowd, and the global dance grooves. Gone were the Indian crew throwing down some serious Bhangra at midnight. Gone were the Persian crew doing that oh-so-sexy shoulder shimmy. Gone were the Latin men sailing their partners across the floor to the latest salsa. Gone were the Brazilian women in heels doing a mind-blowing samba.

Gone. All gone.

Instead, we found a crowd there. They seemed to have spilled over from the Lower Haight. Nice enough. Acceptable amount of diversity, but definitely lacking sabor. The dj played something that was written on the board as "global funk".

Emma and I were not feeling said "funk". We moved to the back with the lemon trees and entrance to the dance floor...which was caged behind corrugated metal.

Our hearts sank. We were in denial.

Oh my God.

So I quickly offered The Cafe in the Castro. Fun, hetero-friendly joint. It cost $2 to get in. There was nothing to lose.

We drove, we found relatively decent parking. We got in, it wasn't too packed and the music was 80s.

It was fine.

Until the ads for drink specials chimed in every 15 minutes for Long Island Iced Teas or Kamakazi shots or whatever.

It messed up the dance groove.

12:30 am I suggested we move on to the next spot.

Little Baobob?

Senegalese goodness. Guaranteed packed with sweaty bodies grooving to Afro-pop. And she'd never been!

My goodness!

So we drive to the Mission, park, and stand in line. Little Baobob did not disappoint. It was packed. Reggae, afro-pop. We each had our dance partners. Myself? An older black gentleman dressed in white with a beautifully white beard and head of hair. Excellent, smooth dancer. Then there were the two stumbling Latin dudes who thought they were going to have a boricua sandwich and I squirmed away from them. I'm all for close on the dance floor, but when it starts feeling predatory, I have to go. At the bar, I ordered a water and noticed that I couldn't see Emma in the sea of 75 folks packed into a space about the size of my bedroom. I grooved by myself, catching some air and then an AWESOME song came on and Matthew, who is originally from South Africa and is interning in the South Bay, offered me his hand and we danced. Charming, nice guy. Yay.


Emma and I got caught into a conversation with Etienne at the end of the night. Etienne is from Senegal and works now at D & T downtown. He wants to improve his English and I want to remotely grasp French. He said he'd email me.

Which means no free French lessons for me, but that's fine. Emma's my French connection anyway.

Saturday I woke up at Emma's, brushed my teeth, washed my face and, went to my doctor's appointment and then debated going into the office or working at home. I arrived ON TIME and she wondered what was going on. I told her about smoochy boy on Monday, my work week, why I think I'll never see smoochy boy again, my standards, my family, and she's proud of me for opening myself to more "dating" like relationships with men. I told her I really don't have time for boys, since I am working on myself. Good session. We'll meet up again next week and back home I drove.

Time for a shower.

As I showered, the neighbor's kid is peeking in the bathroom window saying, "Hello!" and I call back "Hello" and am amused that a 9 year old is getting his ya-yas out trying to get a peek at a fairly flabby 33 year old. Mustafa! You so crazy!

Why not a little of both? I've destroyed my living room to sift through crap I need to sift through. I got a managable amount done and then off to editing video.

My eyes are bleary and I'm hungry!

Michelle called to see if I would make it out to Burt's engagement.

I love Burt, but I didn't feel like rocking out.

So I went to eat Puerto Rican food in Fruitvale instead. I was missing my mami.

I also passed by Deep Roots Urban Teahouse.

OH! Kwesi was having his film premier.

Score. I sat on my arse, took in his art and really resonated with his biographical pieces. They were beautiful.

I also found a flyer for world music dancing.

I called Emma and asked if she wanted to check it out.

10:30 I pick her up. We arrive at the Oasis at 11:15. We pay our 7 bucks.

And the place is empty.



Music sounded good, but you know? DJ Papi Chocolate needed to fill the place with a couple of planted dancers to give it ambiance for me.

I was hungry again and asked if she wanted to eat. We decided on late night Asian.

We circle about Chinatown and I get the lightbulb in my head for Spices 3! I missed the dinner Michelle, Burt, Chris, T, and Doug enjoyed, so I wanted to check it myself. She was game.


It does not disappoint. It gives a respectful nod to its sisters in the Richmond District of San Franisco. We shared Hot and Sour Soup, Scallion Pancake, Salt and Pepper Calamari, Vegetable Stir Fry and Rice. And Tea. I told her about the bucket-sized horoscope beverages, but we passed. Maybe next time when she comes back from her research in Northern California later in the month.

Food coma set in.

It was passed midnight. We abort the dancing mission. I drive her home, I return home.

I wake up bleary at 10 am this morning.

Damn, I was supposed to be at Fumi's to help her move. And my phone is crapped out.


I arrive at 11:30 or so, but not before discouraging a 19 year old from the Fillmore from thinking of me as a romantic option. I told him it wasn't appropriate for a 33 year old woman to date a 19 year old, even if he assured me he had no problem with it.

I love youth.

And 19 is the peak age for men.

However, I require a little bit more life experience than that.


More editing for Erika.

Add that to my resume.


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