San Francisco doesn’t need a reason to celebrate love, equality, diversity, and to dress up in fabulous drag on a daily basis. But if we had to pick one good reason, it’d be Pride. We’re more than proud to be a sponsor of the San Francisco Pride Festival, and to welcome the world and all of our LGBTQ friends and allies to the most colorful celebration in the universe. And, as a model #HostWithPride, who better to show us the way around Pride-filled SF than the one, the only Peaches Christ?
She’s been a fixture on the local drag scene for quite some time. She’s a filmmaker, an emcee, and well-known gal about town. Peaches knows a thing or twelve on where to eat brunch, sing along to movies, and shop for larger-than-life wigs perfect and out-there lashes perfect for show time. You know, typical San Francisco pastimes.
So if you’re looking for where to get your fill of Pride in San Francisco, follow our friend Peaches:
429 Castro Street
Peaches: “My favorite part of SF Pride is the Frameline Film Festival, the world’s oldest and largest LGBTQ film festival in the world. (I also wrote and directed this little opener for the festival.) The theatre really embodies the idea of community as watching movies in this place is not a passive experience. Audiences still hiss at villains, sing along to songs, and cheer for our heroes. Hopefully, as you enter the theatre the mighty Wurlitzer organ will be in play.
(Editor’s Note: Airbnb is excited to join in the celebration of the Frameline Film Festival as sponsors this year.)
BRENDA’S FRENCH SOUL FOOD
652 Polk Street
Peaches: I’m going to make an assumption that if you’re in town for Pride, you are either Queer yourself or at least friends with a whole bunch of us gays. This, of course, means that brunch will be an important part of your trip. My number one favorite place for a big, delicious brunch is Brenda’s Soul Food restaurant. But here’s the problem, I’m not the only one. If you want to enjoy this authentically Southern treat, I strongly suggest you go on a weekday and either hit it early in the morning or late in the morning. One benefit to the outdoor line is that the restaurant is located in the colorful Tenderloin District, so there should be something exciting going on while you wait. Order the Hangtown Fry: an omelet full of fried oysters and bacon with a side of creamy grits and a big ol’ biscuit. You won’t need to eat for a while after Brenda feeds you.
SHOPPING ON VALENCIA STREET
Peaches: One of the most rapidly evolving neighborhoods is the Mission District and its popular Valencia Street. Some queer-owned businesses that have hung in there and survived are well worth your time and money and will help you put your look together for the big weekend of parties and parades.
These include the fabulous Glama-Rama Salon and Gallery owned by Deena Davenport, an institution in the community. Get your hair or wig done and meet some of the city’s coolest hairdressers, wig stylists, and artists. Every couple months the artwork rotates, and the current installation features Mama Cass.
Also nearby is Stuff, a store featuring a giant collection of vintage modern furniture, art, and accessories and costume jewelry. It’s wonderful! And for your drag costume, makeup, lashes, and general queen consultation, be sure to visit sassy Steven LeMay’s wonderful shop Retro Fit a little farther up the street.
298 11th Street
Peaches: Oasis is the city’s newest queer cabaret and nightclub and you absolutely need to stop by and check it out. The club opened at the beginning of this year and is owned by my ghoul-friends and local luminaries Heklina and D’arcy Drollinger. Almost every night features a stage show of some sort when the venue is set up as a performance cabaret. After that, it is transformed into a nightlife venue where sexy, outrageous dance parties take place. There’s something for everyone! Pride season includes a Sex & The City drag show, as well as shows starring performers like Veronica Klaus, Lady Bunny, and Jackie Beat. Definitely try to hit “Mother” on Saturday night which is Heklina’s weekly drag show starring the city’s artistic and outrageous drag performers.
Peaches: Many visitors are able to find their way to the popular Ocean Beach by way of Golden Gate Park, but my recommendation is to get over to Baker Beach on a nice day and sit and relax and enjoy the beauty. The beach features surreal views of the ocean, bay, Marin headlands, and Golden Gate Bridge. The scene is so filmic and perfect, you almost feel like you’re sitting in a Hitchcock movie. And that’s not all there is to see because part of the beach is nude. The further down you go toward the Golden Gate Bridge, the less clothes there are. Nudity isn’t mandatory but you know the saying “When in Rome…” So, you know, you might as well get nude.
Peaches: For a completely unique, “only-in-San-Francisco” dining experience, you really should try to book a dinner or brunch at Chez Klaus. This is a private meal for up to eight guests that is prepared and served in the home of local chanteuse Veronica Klaus. I’ve had both dinner and brunch and they were WONDERFUL. Not only is the hospitality perfect, but the food is homemade, comforting and delicious. Also, if you ask very nicely, I’m guessing that Ms. Klaus will serenade you with a tune or two.
DRIPPIN’ WITH SWEAT
10 Chase Court
Peaches: OK, all this eating is going to weigh you down, but don’t worry because I’ve got an exercise suggestion for you that you’re going to love: Drippin’ With Sweat. My own personal choreographer Rory Davis and his brilliant dance partner Monica Mark have put together this completely awesome dance aerobics workout where anyone can show up, learn a routine on the spot, and join in the exercise fun. never thought I’d say it, but sometimes exercise can be fun. Of course, part of the joy of this whole thing is that it’s super queer and the music is completely fabulous.
134 9th Street
Peaches: Any drag queen coming to SF knows that a visit is not complete until they’ve stopped by the Kryolan show-room on 9th Street. Kryolan is the world leader for theatrical makeup and supplies. I buy all of my spirit gum, fake blood, and specialty makeup supplies here. They’ve got makeup so thick, you need to spackle it on. Even you bears can look beautiful with a little drag magic! Stop by and explore and pick some stuff up for Pride and Halloween and…you know, some grocery shopping. Whatever floats your glamour boat! Ask for my pal Jordan, a talented makeup artist who’s very helpful. And tell him Peaches sent ya!
And finally, two special Pride art happenings that are worth checking out include the “OUTspoken: LGBTQ Luminaries” exhibit at City Hall, as well as the “Don’t Dream It… Be It!” photo exhibition at the Harvey Milk Photo Center. You can find the OUTspoken exhibit on the Ground Floor and in the North Hall of City Hall and the “Don’t Dream It” exhibit appears at the Harvey Milk Recreation Center and all over the city.
In celebration of Pride 2015, our #HostWithPride series features stories of love, travel, and welcoming from LGBT members of our community. Airbnb is a proud sponsor of 2015 San Francisco Pride Festival. While you’re out enjoying all of the Pride festivities, be sure to look out for our Welcome Wagon wheeling through the city. For more information on what to expect and where to find us, check out Airbnb’s #HostWithPride event page.