Faves and raves by Paul E. Pratt
YEARS IN THE CITY: 11
OCCUPATION: Entertainer and celebrity journalist (his Twitter handle is “TheGlamazonPDM”)
SELF-DESCRIPTION: Outgoing, single gay man who lives with his adorable dog in a less-than-trendy neighborhood of San Francisco
WHERE: 3600 16th St., between Market and Noe streets
WHAT: Monday night “Brain Farts Trivia”
INFO: (415) 431-0306 or www.lookoutsf.com
Monday nights aren’t a common night to hit a club, but “Brain Farts Trivia” is a great low-key and extremely lively way to kick off your week or unwind after a weekend, depending on your point of view. Topics range from current events to pop culture, and the crowd is a combination of first-timers and regulars who really get into the competition.
WHERE: 4122 18th St., between Castro and Collingwood streets
WHAT: See exhibits by some of The City’s up-and-coming gay artists
INFO: (415) 581-1600 or www.magnetsf.org
While it’s not technically a gallery — it’s actually a community center and STD clinic — Magnet consistently has exhibits by some of San Francisco’s up-and-coming gay artists in a wide variety of media. On Thursdays, they also offer a free 15-minute chair massage. It’s the only place I know to check out fun art by locals, use a computer for free, get tested and have someone massage away the week’s stress all in one stop.
FAVORITE PLACE TO SEE A FILM
WHERE: 2534 Mission St., between 21st and 22nd streets
WHAT: Watch old films projected onto a three-story brick wall outside
INFO: (415) 648-7600 or www.foreigncinema.com
I instantly fell in love with [its] beautiful atmosphere, delicious cuisine and watching amazing old films projected onto a three-story brick wall.
FAVORITE PLACE TO PERFORM
Divas Nightclub and Bar
WHERE: 1081 Post St., between Polk and Larkin streets
WHAT: California’s only bar catering to the transgender community
INFO: (415) 474-3482 or www.divassf.com
Divas attracts an interesting mix of ladies, lady-boys, chasers, drag fans and the curious. For performers, the audience always tips generously. I particularly enjoy the Tuesday talent contest hosted by Landa Lakes, which sees everything from drag performers to stand-up comedians.
FAVORITE PLACE TO PEOPLE-WATCH
WHERE: 501 Twin Peaks Blvd.
WHAT: Spectacular views
One of my favorite places to watch the world in general is the observation area atop Twin Peaks, with its spectacular views of downtown, cars, buses and especially people who look like ants below. It really helps me relax and unwind, and it puts life into perspective.
FAVORITE PLACE TO BUY PET SUPPLIES
Jeffrey’s Natural Pet Foods
WHERE: 3809 18th St., between Church and Sanchez streets
WHAT: An incredible selection of healthy, natural alternatives for your pooch
INFO: (415) 864-1414 or www.jeffreysnaturalpetfood.com
My Jack Russell, Jordan, has terrible skin issues, which require a very strict diet. Jeffrey’s offers an incredible selection of healthy, natural alternatives, which he loves and I know are good for my little baby. It’s not the cheapest place in town, but you definitely get your money’s worth.
FAVORITE PLACE TO VOLUNTEER
Castro Country Club
WHERE: 4058 18th St., between Castro and Hartford streets
WHAT: Drug- and alcohol-free social space in the Castro with countless 12-step meetings
INFO: (415) 552-6102 or www.castrocountryclub.org
As a member of the recovery community, I enjoy giving back to organizations that helped me kick my daily drug and alcohol habit six years ago. For nearly 30 years, the Country Club has been a resource for those struggling with addiction, and its staff of volunteers makes sure it stays open to help those in need.
FAVORITE PLACE TO WORK OUT
WHERE: 2301 Market St., near 16th and Noe streets
WHAT: Excellent machines, friendly staff
INFO: (415) 626-4488
Gold’s Gym in the Castro offers a full range of great fitness classes, state-of-the-art workout machines and a genuinely friendly staff. Combined with all the hot guys working up a sweat there day and night, it’s almost enough to get me off the couch — almost.
FAVORITE PLACE TO TAKE A DOG WALK
The Castro district
WHERE: Market Street, between Noe and Castro streets
WHAT: An afternoon dog walk through the Castro is one surefire way to meet men
That neighborhood is full of handsome dog owners — those who like dogs and guys who act like dogs — so at least once a week I take my Jack Russell out in hopes that when we come home, we’ll have his next dad’s phone number in hand.