In the Tenderloin, the exotic wild west hood of San Francisco, the night is blacker than Nob Hill, Telegraph Hill or anywhere else in The City. Located here are excellent entertainment venues like Exit Theatre, The Warfield, 50 Mason Social Club [nightly live music and variety shows], Aunt Charlies [a Friday night drag show of mostly middle-age men performers in stiletto high-heels and mini-skirts and giant stuffed bosoms lip-synching hot R&B tunes and shaking their thang is an awesome experience], Farmer Brown Soul Food [the chicken, collard greens and cornbread are good] and new arrival Mikkellars with an extensive beer selection. The line to get inside Mikkellar's on most nights drapes down Mason Street and around Eddy Street past two popular Indian/Pakistani restaurants.
The 21Club is one of the city's most colorful dive bars on Taylor at Turk. Some nights live music beckons you through its doors and into its packed shoebox space. Here you'll find serious drinking locals along with curious tourists and an old jukebox with 1970s R&B jams.
The other night at 21Club when the moon was full and the night was balmy a blues man sang and played an electric guitar in a corner in front of a small aisle to the john. The music and his voice were so good I thought I had been transported to New Orleans' Bourbon Street. Everyone was happy, excited, and we forgot about the danger that lurked just around the corner with huddles of black and white people, the homeless, drug dealers, wacky transgenders and prostitutes . What have I learned. Just to say hello to one of them, he (or whatever he or she is) will smile back and thank you for the acknowledgment. Of course, there comes part two, so prepared to give up the jingling loose change in your pocket: "Hey, brother, can you spare some change? A dollar, two dollars. Anything will help, black man."