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Love through the ages

Wednesday, Oct 26 2005
SAT 10/29

Lots of people know about Finocchio's, the "gender illusionist" cabaret that in the 1940s and '50s sat where Enrico's is now (it was often mobbed during Fleet Week, apparently). But I was in another North Beach bar not too long ago, and if I'm remembering correctly, the owner offhandedly mentioned that the place had been a lesbian bar in the 1930s. If you believe what you see on TV, you might infer that lesbians didn't even exist until 1967, so it was thrilling to contemplate.

The Great Homo History Hunt points teams of scavengers toward all sorts of similar info-nuggets -- and you don't have to sit around in bars waiting for them. The game, which is organized by the GLBT Historical Society, leads participants to an important site -- say, Good Vibrations on Valencia Street. Once there, sleuths find the answer to a question -- perhaps, "How many kinds of vibrators are for sale here?" OK, so that's not historical, exactly. It's not even homo. But by the end of the day, the society's Web site says, if you've been paying attention you'll have "an instant Ph.D. in Queer Studies." Maybe you'll even find that 1930s lesbian bar. The hunt is on at 11 a.m. at Civic Center Plaza, Polk & McAllister, S.F. Participation is $20; call 777-5455 or visit
-- Hiya Swanhuyser

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SAT 10/29

Last week I trailed a very small bicyclist as she bounced across Market Street on an ancient three-speed, smoking a cigarette and holding her lane, rightfully, as the mass of traffic honked in support. Today, similar bursts of appreciation should echo through South of Market, as this year's Veloswap and Sports Expo picked a location much more bike-friendly than 2004's run at the Cow Palace. Riders of every stripe pour into this event, billed as the world's largest cycling show and featuring a freakish array of parts for swap or sale, from the latest NASA-born titanium marvel to a simple seat for the old cruiser. The expo starts at 9 a.m. at the San Francisco Concourse Exhibition Center, 635 Eighth St. (at Brannan), S.F. Admission is $8; visit
-- Michael Leaverton


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