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My City: Historic boats, buildings, cable cars and eateries

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Faves and raves by David Perry

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AGE: 48
YEARS IN THE CITY: 23
NEIGHBORHOOD: Castro/Twin Peaks
OCCUPATION: Communications strategist; CEO of David Perry & Associates; host of Ten Percent, the new LGBT TV show on Comcast Cable station 104. His Web site is www.davidperry.com.
SELF-DESCRIPTION: Communications consultant and writer who loves to travel; worked my way around the world onboard the Crystal Symphony in 1998-1999 and now lecture aboard ship whenever I can; 52 countries visited and counting.

 

FAVORITE PLACE TO WALK AROUND
City Hall
WHERE:
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place (Polk Street, between Grove and McAllister streets)
WHAT: One of the great public buildings in the world
INFO: (415) 701-2311 or www.sfgov.org/site/cityhall

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I’m a history nut, so I love walking into and through City Hall. It’s truly one of the great public buildings in the world. Plus, since I do a lot of business with “the City Family,” I can usually poke my head in someone’s office and say hello.

 

FAVORITE PLACE TO HEAR LIVE MUSIC
Bay Area Cabaret
WHERE:
450 Powell St., between Post and Sutter streets
WHAT: World-class cabaret, a hidden gem on Union Square
INFO: www.bayareacabaret.org

Marilyn Levinson has an extraordinary talent for bringing world-class cabaret artists to San Francisco and presenting them in elegant settings. This season, all of the performances are in the Empire Room at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, a hidden gem on Union Square. It’s just about the best open secret in The City’s musical purse.

 

FAVORITE PLACE TO GO TO THEATER
Boxcar Theatre
WHERE:
505 Natoma St., between Sixth and Russ streets
WHAT: Edgy, original and of the moment
INFO: (415) 431-8828 or www.boxcartheatre.org

This is what live theater is supposed to be: challenging. [Editor’s note: Boxcar is a 49-seat theater.]

FAVORITE RESTAURANT
Tangerine
WHERE:
3499 16th St., at Sanchez Street
WHAT: Chef Sean’s “Drunken Duck” is a revelation
INFO: (415) 626-1700 or www.tangerinesf.com

They host quarterly “Sangria on Sundays” parties for my husband, Alfredo, and me. During the late ‘70s, this spot was a favorite gathering spot for Harvey Milk and his friends so I always feel like I’m on “sacred ground” when I eat there.

FAVORITE CAFÉ
Café Flore
WHERE:
2298 Market St., between 16th and Noe streets
WHAT: A truly unique place
INFO: (415) 621-8579 or www.cafeflore.com

It’s the only place in San Francisco that is “the same but better” since I first came here in 1986. It’s a truly unique place: not gay, not straight, just Café Flore. You can be comfortable there in business drag or true drag and no one will bat a lash. Reading the New York Times on Sunday there is a perfect moment.  

FAVORITE PLACE TO TAKE TOURISTS:
Hyde Street Pier
WHERE:
At the foot of Hyde Street on Jefferson Street at Fisherman’s Wharf
WHAT: See or go aboard historic ships
INFO: www.usspotomac.org or www.ssjeremiahobrien.org

You can see or go aboard historic ships such as the Jeremiah O’Brien or FDR’s Presidential Yacht, Potomac.

 

FAVORITE PLACE TO HOST A SPECIAL EVENT
The Wax Museum
WHERE:
145 Jefferson St., Suite 500, between Mason and Taylor streets
WHAT: INFO: (415) 202-0400 or www.waxmuseum.com

It’s hard to not have a fun party when surrounded by presidents, sports legends, movie stars and two Michael Jacksons. Every Halloween, Rodney Fong, the museum’s owner, hosts a costume party to benefit a local charity, and the location makes everyone work doubly hard to impress. When you’ve got a life-sized replica of Queen Elizabeth standing next to you, you’d better be minding your tiara.

FAVORITE WAY TO TRAVEL TO WORK
F-Line Historic Trolley Cars
WHERE:
Inbound toward Fisherman’s Wharf; outbound toward the Castro
WHAT: It’s a little bit of history on the rails.
INFO: www.sfmuni.com/F or www.streetcar.org

When Dianne Feinstein was mayor and the iconic cable cars were getting repaired, she thought, “We need something else for the tourists to do.” Now, the F Line has become its own tourist attraction and has done something that no amount of legislation could do: build connections between the LGBT-centric Castro and mainstream tourist-centric Pier 39. It’s a little bit of history on the rails.

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