Friday, March 19, 2010

St. Patrick’s Day on Castro Street: A Wild Night for the Big Green Holiday

Sarah Al-Kassab, unidentified guest, DJ Joan Crawford Texas, and Alex Hannun at Café Flore

One of San Francisco’s premiere party areas, the Castro, did not disappoint on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.

The neighborhood’s last blue collar bar, The Mix, was even more packed than usual, and an ocean of green beer was consumed. Men and women in green T-shirts and hats were crushed up against each other, and they celebrated in grand style.

Bruce Beaudette and friend at Café Flore

Café Flore served multiple shepherd’s pies, green mojitos, and quarts of green beer with a smile. Shimmering green absinthe was poured with a sugar cube.

Absinthe is linked with the infamous pairing of famed French poets Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine. Rimbaud was 17 and Verlaine was 28 when he introduced the boy to absinthe and sodomy. Their relationship was realistically displayed in the 1995 film “Total Eclipse” with Leonardo DiCaprio as Rimbaud and David Thewlis as Verlaine. Reportedly DiCaprio’s mother placed a protective pillow over his butt before Thewlis engaged in an infamous sodomy scene after multiple glasses of absinthe were drunk. DiCaprio was 21 at the time, but he did seem to have a fully involved stage mother. Gay audiences have embraced the film and it is especially popular with queer college youth, who drink absinthe during screenings.

Carl With Records at Magnet's Smack Dab

Larry-Bob Roberts and Kirk Read hosted another Smack Dab open mic show at Magnet on the big green holiday, and a literary crowd converged on the Castro’s cultural and medical center. Featured performer Carl With Records showed up to sing wearing a Baby Jane Hudson wig and makeup, a green spangled gown, and a hat with frog dolls wrestling each other on it. Guests were divided on his singing, some calling it caterwauling and others said it was sophisticated, expressive karaoke.

The Q Bar placed green lighting throughout the bar and in its doomed smoking lounge, so that all of their imbibers had a St. Patrick’s Day glow, and green drinks were popular.

Steve Adams, the president of the Merchants of Upper Market/Castro (MUMC) was checking out the festivities with congressional aide Miguel Bustos and the Castro’s ubiquitous three naked guys added green hats and beads to their usual flip-flops and cock ring attire.

It was a wild celebration but not out of control, as seen in some neighborhoods. No one tried to turn over a bus and there were no mass street fights, so the Castro St. Patrick’s Day is a moderate traditional party for locals and tourists.

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