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Showing posts from August, 2011

Cafe du Nord and The Fabulous Juan

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Everything must end. Meanwhile, we must amuse ourselves. —Voltaire During the late 1990s I went to Cafe du Nord almost every Sunday night to swing dance. The Cafe operates in the basement of San Francisco's Swedish American Hall on Market Street, near Castro. It was a comfortable scene for an aging guy like me, because the music and fashion were "retro." I already looked "retro" every day, so I didn't need to do anything different to fit in. I discovered the place on a date with a young communist girl. She spent most of the evening dancing with her girlfriends, and I never asked her out again, but I liked the environment and returned by myself. At 8PM we had a dance lesson in East Coast Swing, which goes with the Big Band Sound of the 1930s and 40s. At nine there was usually a live music act. Lee PressOn and the Nails were perennial favorites. Dancing presented a unique opportunity for me to touch women I didn't know, without getting arrested. I