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Beach Blanket Babylon: Outdoor parties flourish as the weather grows warmer.

Fun in the Sun

By dmarie

Pleasant springtime greetings, San Francisco! Our metropolis is flowering along with the season. The ruling artistic endeavors of the SF underground are making waves and testing frequencies like no other city in the world. We are earning respect worldwide as a cutting-edge collective. Back here on the streets we are gearing up for the warm months ahead. Without really realizing it, we are making history with our intense commitment to our goals.

Oh yes, it's time for the colorful outdoor parties we have grown to love and support. Keep your ear to the ground and your eye on the street for fliers. The Vertigo crew throws slamming beach parties: the quality production work and true family- style vibe are incredible. They leave the beach cleaner than they found it, and the sunset marks the end of each amazing day. Speaking of sunsets, the Pacific Sunset parties are rolling. Changing locations and even hosting boat parties, this crew has a solid following and respect across the board from the San Francisco masses. Bulletproof throws frequent boat parties. They are always sold out, and they offer up a mix of the best local talent. A true sign of the season, these events are going strong and will roll straight through until winter.

The rise in temperature aligns with the ascent of people on the streets. Locals and visitors are out in full force, and because of it we all need to be on our toes. The buddy system is becoming common among club-goers. Such caring may not be much talked about, but it is obvious people are watching out for each other. Posse up when going to sketchy neighborhoods or clubs, be aware of your surroundings at all times and keep an eye out for your brothers and sisters.

Awareness and consciousness are timely issues. They should be on all of our minds. Take this to heart. No matter who or where you are, please do not leave your drinks unattended. These days it's not even safe to take a sip of someone else's drink. Did you know that an alarmingly high number of people have been slipped GHB? Ingesting this odor-free, colorless liquid results in serious illness and death. This problem mostly plagues women. Get involved! If you see someone who looks out of it, check with them and make sure they're OK. Spread the good word in honor of Skylar Ringland, a shining star of our underground family who lost her life recently due to her involuntary ingestion of GHB.

Hey, this may sound trite, but have you stopped along your way to smell the flowers? This urban box we inhabit can sometimes shadow this city's historic beauty. Remember how lucky we are to live in a place where we are free to look, think and thrive as we please. As a microcosm we feed ourselves, and with the number of high-caliber artists who call the Left Coast home, we are fed a constant flow of futurism. Soak it up and enjoy.

Did you know there are more than 75 record labels in the Bay Area? The original beats coming out of this town are incredible. The skill levels of the local producers are rising at an astonishing rate. SF-originated hip-hop, house, jungle, drum 'n' bass, experimental, punk, ambient and trance tracks are being played globally and selling huge in the Pacific Rim, Europe and the Middle East. There's no slowing these cats down, and we are lucky to have our local DJs testing their new tunes on our dance floors.

Thankfully, events are becoming more interactive. People are mixing art and media into the ambiance of their parties. Performance art, electronically manipulated visuals, urban artwork, slide, photo and fashion shows, MCs and lyricists, film screenings and more fill the gaps where candles and incense used to rule.

San Francisco is a playground for people of all tastes. Whatever your flava, SF can deliver the goods. Make the best of this historically acclaimed city. Dig into the technology, take a bite of the streets, taste the sweetness and keep on participating.

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From the May 10, 1999 issue of the Metropolitan.

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