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    Donna’s Chronicles, “Those much talked about warm days of September…”

    By Donna Sachet–

    Those much talked about warm days of September, our traditional San Francisco summertime, have certainly arrived! So, while some may find reasons to complain, why not take advantage of these rare warm nights to explore the many new outdoor dining opportunities? The Castro neighborhood is bustling with parklets of all descriptions, offering some semblance of social activity within safe guidelines. Let’s face it, evenings in San Francisco that are pleasant enough to dine outdoors are few and far between, so grab them while you can. Granted, the list of rules and regulations often dwarf the menu, but such are the times in which we find ourselves.

    We recently found ourselves at a posh waterfront restaurant with an out of town friend. Everyone wore masks until seated, tables were sufficiently distanced, and we prepared for a delicious meal. Please note: this pandemic should not be used as the excuse for every reduction in customer service! Can’t a waiter make menu suggestions? Can’t they ask about drinking water preferences?  Can’t they check on the guests at their tables regularly? Amid the many challenges of continuing fine dining, let’s not sacrifice the most basic niceties. By the time our main courses had arrived, the cold wind had become so intolerable that the merlot was unnecessarily chilled, the tablecloth and other items had to be anchored down, and we found ourselves huddling for warmth.  Finally, and only after requesting, we were relocated to a table closer to the inside with a portable heater to have our dessert.  Come on, San Francisco, we can do better.

    In addition to dining al fresco, we are seeing a modest return of drag and other performances in the safer setting of outdoors. 18th Street, between Castro and Hartford, is becoming a hub of activity in front of Midnight Sun and Poesia restaurant across the street, where Cockatielia runs her popular mask shop. We were recently able to grab a bite to eat, a drink to sip, and a drag show to enjoy. On the other end of 18th Street, we have Harvey’s and The Edge luring their loyal clientele to curbside tables for food and drinks. And in front of The Cove and 440 Castro, newly completed construction offers comfortable seating, and last Sunday, a drag show in the window of Knobs retail store. Kudos to performers Alexis Miranda, Olivia Hart, Vannessa Bousay, and so many brave drag queens who ignore the discomfort of face masks on top of make-up, high heels on pavement, and minimal sound systems to keep drag shows alive!

    Another establishment that is pivoting during this health crisis is Oasis, where weekend nights find Darcy Drollinger hosting drag extravaganzas on the street and up on their outdoor roof. Given the choice between packing up our drag or finding new ways to express it, some persistent performers refuse to give up! In addition to several online options, we are beginning to see the re-emergence of live in-person shows once again, albeit in a totally new format.

    Last Friday’s online viewing of Mark Paladini’s Who Murdered Donna Sachet… Again? was a rousing success. For those unaware, Mark has an extensive theatre background and wrote and produced an original play way back in 1999 called Who Murdered Donna Sachet? Cast with community members and designed as a fundraiser for Positive Resource Center, its success led to the 2002 production of Who Murdered Donna Sachet… Again? When Mark discovered that footage from that second production existed, he converted it to a more modern format and presented it last Friday for a group viewing that drew nearly 100 viewers and $500 for his chosen beneficiary, The Trevor Project. The film was preceded by brief interviews with cast members Scott Brogan, Snatch, and Dan & Darryl Alexander. The hilarious cast also included Alexis Miranda, Tiger Lily, Bob Brunson, Cher a Little, Robert Davolt, Adam Reeves, Mama Sandy Reinhart, Briggs Hawley, and Lenny Broberg. We won’t reveal the ending for fear of spoiling future viewers’ experience, but suffice it to say, laughter abounded. We described this film as a historic and hysterical document, since the reception afterwards included footage of key individuals from our community who have since died, including Alan Selby, Suzie Wong, and Fernando Robles. Many commented afterwards that the experience reminded them of the importance of friendships, the power of unity, and the fun of innovative creations. Thank you, Mark, and all who participated.

    Please use the calendar herein to guide you to enjoyable online events around the corner. Horizons Foundation is embellishing the typical virtual gala by adding a resource on their website that includes a music track, specialty cocktail menus, and backgrounds for your virtual photos, all designed to enhance your gala experience. As with most events of this kind, contributions of any kind are welcomed.

    EQCA’s virtual gala is combining the resources of Sacramento, San Diego, Palm Springs, Los Angeles, and San Francisco to make this event truly memorable. That means more diverse awards, more celebrity guests, and more excitement all around.  Make a contribution and join their annual gala.

    Donna Sachet is a celebrated performer, fundraiser, activist, and philanthropist who has dedicated over two decades to the LGBTQ Community in San Francisco. Contact her at empsachet@gmail.com


    Calendar a/la Sachet

    Saturday, September 12
    Horizons Foundation 40th Anniversary Virtual Gala
    6 pm
    Matching grant from James Hormel & Michael Nguyen
    Contributions encouraged
    6 pm
    www.horizonsfoundation.org

    Sunday, September 13
    EQCA Virtual Gala
    6 pm
    Equality Trailblazer Award – Pete & Chasten Buttigieg
    Equality Visibility Award – Disclosure, Netflix Original Documentary
    Vanguard Leadership Award – Fiona Ma & Evan Low
    $100 & up
    www.eqca.org

    Tuesday, September 15
    Queer Nightlife Talks: What Makes a Party Inclusive?
    7 pm–9 pm
    Hosted by Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund
    Facilitated by Beatrice Thomas & Angel Garfold
    https://www.facebook.com/events/627159697943157

    Published on September 10, 2020