Old Yelp reviews: the jaded ex-raver edition

I used to write a lot of Yelp reviews, nearly 10 years ago. Some of them are funny. Most of them make me cringe. I was either too cool, or tried too hard, or suffered from cut-and-paste copy writing syndrome.

Here are a few. They are also quite telling — each one a tiny bit of memoir.

1337 Mission St, San Francisco

Free photobooth. Crowded Dirty Bird parties on Friday nights. It’s easy to get loaded here.

Dirty Bird Party in the Park
25th and Fulton, San Francisco

Dirty tech house beats, interesting trips to the port-a-potty, liquor brown bagging, watching little dogs and their gay owners frolic on the lawn, dancing, dancing, dancing.

Oh, and dancing.

Been doing this shit for years and years and years. Never too old for it.

60 6th Street, San Francisco

I used to crawl through and under the bar, amid mouse traps, and try to steal drinks. The bartender would shoo me away, but didn’t really care. Once, I drank too much PBR — that pisslike substance I never drink — and almost threw up in front of Afrika Bambaataa during his set (my friend Todd had to swing me over his shoulder after I got sick in the smoking area outside, shove me into a cab, and take me home).

Sometimes, on random nights that I end up there, the basement is ghetto-tech or booty central. I like it when it’s not. One night, my friend Krista and I were there and listened to and danced to breakbeat sets for hours.

Hanging outside on the curb is always a part of my night. Sixth and Mission was once my weekly stomping ground, with (the old) Pow, Anu, and Arrow on the same block. Seedy, yes, but the area reminds me of a certain time in my life when bums, crackheads, and party kids mixed in a concentrated space. It’s quite contrived now, I feel, but the occasional visit is still enjoyable.

Pacificsound Sunset Parties
July 30, 2008

I suppose if I were 5 years younger, my rating would be five stars. But I don’t make the trek to Sunset anymore, even if it’s in GGP or on a boat in the Bay. I have countless memories from Sunset parties, particularly at Stafford Lake. Of course, I don’t remember most of them.

At a certain point in my past, several years ago, a Sunset party on a warm Sunday afternoon was akin to a jaded ex-raver’s Garden of Eden: fake fairies, scenesters-turned-club kids, club kids-turned-scenesters, e-tards-turned-cokeheads, cute boys in caps who could dance, and everyone in between. I don’t know where exactly I fit into the hierarchy and equation, but all I know is that I once fit perfectly.

Now, not so much. Perhaps I’m tired of it all, perhaps I’ve been over house for a long time, perhaps I’m uninterested because I no longer dabble in the goods, or perhaps I don’t recognize any faces among the crowd — whatever it is, a perfect vibe at a Sunset gathering is no longer attainable, at least for me, and is now a clouded memory.

Published by Cheri Lucas Rowlands

I am an editor at Longreads. For over a decade, I've worked on curation, editing, and storytelling projects across Automattic, including WordPress.com.

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