I was determined to escape New York for this year's Halloween festivities and was thus overjoyed when I was invited out west to DJ Halloween Friday at Comeback in Seattle and Halloween Saturday at a lavish downtown San Francisco party hosted by Ms. Juanita More.
Ah lovely Seattle. I really intended to stay a week this time as my DJ visit last year was waaaaay too short but in the end, I only had two days to enjoy the mountains, lakes and grunge iconography.
As you'll see in these photos, I cannot get enough of the vintage neon signage that remains intact throughout the west.
My Seattle host Richie and his husband Charles a ginormous eggplant parmesan for my arrival and then Rich was like, let's have a side of pasta too. Needless to say, I didn't go out that night as I had to be rolled into the guest bedroom and tucked in after we watched the Project Runway finale. (Viktor was robbed! But what was up with his weird Paula Abdul 1990 sheer collection?)
Richie's pussy peeking into the kitchen.
I got to lunch with Colby B. Erickatoure and Marcus, Comeback promoter and owner of Pony, where we stopped off to admire the Halloween decorations and perennial nudity decorating the walls.
Comeback, a Seattle monthly, was poppin' before, during and after my set, at which point Erickatoure took the stage for one of her flawless performances. Then she got in the mic and served up some classic New York MCing. Videos available upon request.
CINNABON HALLOWEEN REALNESS!
Who doesn't want to date a Franzia box??
Remember when Sean Spalding moved to Seattle? Well he's loving it and partying harder than ever (if that's possible in Seattle) and even hosted a preparty before my DJ gig where I got to meet the local gays and witness Sean's transformation into a maharajah.
Typical backstage antics after Comeback.
This is the only photo in this set that I didn't take myself (thanks Shanon!) but shows more typical backstage carrying on courtesy of a rambunctious Ericka and a passed-out Shanon.
Really yummy farewell Seattle meal with Richie, who took me to a Southern cookin' place where I saw more black people at once than I've ever seen in Seattle ever. Can't wait to go back.
Seattle airport - your artwork hasn't gone unnoticed.
And off to San Francisco we go Saturday afternoon...
...just in time for my Saturday night gig for Juanita More, which was called a Red Carpet Runway Massacre and featured a huge outdoor runway show halfway through the night. Behold Roberto (left) as Zorro and Brian and his man as, ummmm, Quentin Tarantino characters?
Walter really owned it when I asked him what his costume was and he responded, "Slutty Eddie Munster."
Zorro and yours truly, dressed as Muammar Gadaffi. The only thing that would have made the costume better, as Brian pointed out, would have been a big button of Condoleezza Rice.
SF personal training hunk known as Ryan, dressed as a personal training hunk wearing a Halloween costume.
Of the 600something people that attended Juanita's party, Patrick was the ONLY one who came without a costume. We loaned him the inflatable tire that Juanita chose not to wear with her Grand Prix pit stop costume but that didn't last too long.
What you don't get from this photo is that Shanon is actually 5'5", making his Napoleon costume the most amazing outfit of the evening. Actually, there were LOTS more outfits to photograph but I had to DJ for a few hours and then visit Nita and Colby who were DJing across town and then pass out.
Welcome to San Francisco! Apparently October is Indian Summer month in SF so we threw on shorts and a tank top as a snowstorm pummeled New York and headed to Dolores Park.
Behold the sights of Dolores Park. Pretty much drooled for four hours watching this one.
Preggers Ms. Pac Man.
Big dawgs, SF.
We checked out the early evening Mattachine Party, which was also visiting from New York and happening at el Rio and really really fun. So fun that I barely took any photos and stayed till it shut down at 9pm.
I also had a weekly workout pass to Gold's Gym in Soma and Castro, neither of which offer you gym towels for working out or showering. The Castro one also doesn't have shower stalls. Only a big shower room for you to gawk at other men as they wash off the jizz that might be on them from the adjacent (and legendary) steam room.
JUANITA'S NEW PUPPY!
Juanita invited a few of us over for the most delicious homemade tamales on earth on the actually night of Halloween (yes, Halloween lasted four days this year. I was pretty much a real-life zombie at this point), where Roberto recycled his perennial "cowboy costume" and we caught up with Mr. David (left) and others.
My bike ride through Golden Gate park.
Oh how I love San Francisco.
I actually biked all the way out to the ocean, where there was this huge surf competition happening on November 1st. Yes people, the weather was THAT MAJOR. Then I tried to bike up to the Presidio which is on a huge hill and pretty much died and had to retire to Chow for a meal.
The Wednesday after Halloween, when I DJed my favorite San Francisco party, Booty Call on the Day of the Dead, which is celebrated by Mexicans and drag queens alike in SF, as you can see here by Ms. Candy Girl.
Me and Mother Juanita, the most kind and generous hostess you could ask for. Love you Juanita! More to-go tamales for the plane ride home next time. Please and thank you.
Thursday brought us to the timeless disco happening that is Tubesteak Connection at Aunt Charly's, hosted and DJed by my gem of a friend known as Bus Station John, who was actually spinning with CDs (!) that night.
On Friday, my last night in San Francisco, I returned to DJ the reigning drag night at the Stud called Some Thing. This is the hostess, Viv, introducing the ladies that comprised of their "country and western" night. Needless to say, I knew none of the songs sang...
...but as my friend Armando pointed out, that wig is MAJOR.
Glamamore is ALWAYS major...
...and Stanley actually sang live (sorry Stanley! I can't remember your drag name) and sounded really really good. Is there anything creative that Stanley can't do?
Miss Rahni pretty much stole the show and had the crowd hooting and hollering with her impressive dance moves...
...and Tina even did a guest spot, which was off the charts much like Tina herself. Tina actually lives in New York City and has an album and works at Hard Rock Times Square and is my new hero and so we're gonna get her to come perform at Good Times at Eastern Bloc (Wednesdays!) real real soon.
THE GLAMOR OF GLAMAMORE.
Oh, and the crowd was real fun and wild too. Mike got shirtless and a bit belligerent and shut down the bar with me after my late night disco dance set. I love you San Francisco!
Saturday morning, Roberto and I flew up to Portland for my college friend Jasmine's wedding. He also twisted my arm into sipping a little sauce in the early afternoon.
The bride and groom! One of the highlights of the wedding was when I accidentally motorboated the bride immediately after her first dance while everyone was watching. Don't ask. But we all had a good laugh about it for the four hours after that.
The lobby of Portland's Ace Hotel, where we resided for our four days in town. The Ace completely lived up to its obnoxious hipster reputation but I wasn't mad at it. Just the front desk people who copped an attitude from time to time.
Our room at the Ace, complete with graffiti, record player and a bed on the floor.
Our (completely uphill) bike trip up to the Washington Park rose garden.
We missed the open hours at the Japanese Garden but pretended that a nearby spot would be perfect for gay cruising, hence Roberto's "cruising pose."
More neon signage, this time for the most important tourist destination in all of Portland: VOODOO DONUTS.
This is a spinning carousel inside Voodoo Donuts displaying all the donuts available for purchase. I was contemplating the maple donut with bacon but opted for the chocolate glazed donut with oreos and peanut butter sauce, which I believe you can see on the back right.
Later that night, we ventured to Silverado, Portland's full-frontal gay male strip club, followed by C.C. Slaughter's, Aalto's and finally...THE ALIBI.
The Alibi is...(wait for it)...a pristine Tiki themed bar and restaurant from yesteryear that has karaoke till late at night! GAGGGGGGG! I sang Joy Division and Lil Kim and it was may-jorrrrrr.
BLACKLIGHT TIKI REALNESS.
Oh, and afterwards, Roberto and my bestest Filipino Jewish lezzie friend Cheryl (who was randomly in town for the night) ate MORE Voodoo Donuts.
Introducing Hattie Harley Hamilton Dennis, my friends' four day old baby that was super cute and is coming out to Silverado with us next time we're in town.
Portland is pretty much food cart central. We even overheard this one lady say "Portland is all about beer, strippers and food carts." And to us, that was so so true. It's also the EXACT same thing as Brooklyn but with more neon. And strippers.
Another breakfast at Kenny and Zukes.
I don't know if Portland has all that many tourist attractions beyond the bars and strip clubs but I made it a point to get a photo in front of the feminist book store, made famous in the TV show Portlandia.
Parting views of Mt. Hood. Or is it Mt. St. Helens. Or is it Mt. Rainier. They all kind of look the same. But they're all kind of wonderful. As was Grunner (a yummy restaurant Rich King made me go to) and Mattachine Portland, which was apparently on the same west coast tour as me.
And finally I flew back home to New York City. Thanks Seattle, San Fran and Portland. Hope to see you and entertain for you all again soon. xo, Sparber