AUTHOR: linda TITLE: Faces of SF night life DATE: 7:38:00 PM ----- BODY:
Be careful what you pretend to be,
because you are what you pretend to be.
-- Kurt Vonnegut

San Francisco night life leaves so much to discover. Beyond the normal fare of fine dining spots, movie theaters and clusters of corner bars, can be found live shows, music, dancing, and characters. Performers and posers, fashionistas and fans, house-heads and young hotties -- everyone after a good time, after the sun goes down.

At the M.A.C. Cosmetics Chinese Dress Exhibition in the grand Westfield Shopping Centre, Chinese Qi Pao tradition was modeled in a live gallery exhibition to an velvet-rope crowd, by thin Asian-mixed women dressed only in heels, headdresses and body paint detail. Beautifully featured, powerfully colored, elaborately decorated, these models were art pieces in a museum -- placed on boxes and lit by spotlight -- and cold (notice pink sweater on Juicy Couture)...

... Not unlike the infamous Fetish Ball, where scantily-clad and painted freaks bare their breasts under rubber dresses, or don piercings where no one normally would. Standing, and Modeling. Painted, patient, poised. And on show (too bad this years' is postponed)...

... The New Century Theater is more of a show, where women prance and writhe and pole up and down on a raised stage to screaming pop beats, barely amused as they swing incredibly spiky heels around your face, in a methodical strip of their barely-there clothes... to nakedly scurry around on their knees to collect the paper bills left behind as shallow compliments to their efforts...

... At the colorful Cabaret Verdalet, performers with huge feather fans and sparkly pasties to sultry show tunes. They play the keys, the mike, the pole. They synchronize carefully coordinated vaudeville routines, with an obvious joy for the discipline of practice and performance of this lost art. And they're available to admiring fans for face-time afterward, genuine and sweaty.