How I See San Francisco: VivvyAnne ForeverMORE!
VivvyAnne ForeverMORE! is a self-described tornado in a dress. She is worker and owner at The Stud, the first worker-owned cooperative queer bar and venue in the country. Whether she's mixing drinks or hosting performances, VivvyAnne is always in the middle of a good time. We asked her what she thinks every visitor to San Francisco should do during their stay. Buckle up, because her itinerary for you is not like any other!
What does a typical day in San Francisco look like for you?
My days are nights. As a bar owner and drag queen, I rise at noon and head to my fave local third wave coffee shop, Pentacle at Sixth and Jesse streets. If it’s super nice, I’ll plan some errands that take me zig-zagging across the city on my bike. Then, I either pick out the best tip-making bartender outfit (think approachable and suggestive) or spend two to three hours getting into drag: shaving, painting my face, packing my bag, gluing on nails. At the club, I’ll wrangle queens, hang out backstage sharing stories, then do my best to get an audience to laugh and shout.
What should every visitor to San Francisco do at least once?
See a drag show. Seriously. Drag has taken the world by storm! You can’t swing a ratty wig without hitting a queen. The last census estimate has us at 10 drag queens per square foot!
Drag is a traditional queer art form, and it’s meant to be seen up close and in person. San Francisco has a really long history of weird drag, strange drag, political drag, and irreverent drag. If you never been to a drag show before, come to mine! Fridays at The Stud at 7 p.m. Some basic suggestions for best etiquette: cheer and scream (when appropriate), tip performers (everyone loves money), and don’t touch a performers hair/body/face/stuff/dress/shoes/whatever without asking first.
Which neighborhood, other than your own, do you like to explore?
All of them. Seriously. San Francisco is small enough that you can explore all of them.
I recommend a fave urban hike of mine. Start at the de Young and walk through Haight-Ashbury into the Castro, then east to Dolores Park for a rest before diving into the Mission, then up into SoMa. If walking isn’t your thing, there are buses that connect most of the neighborhoods and other services that can get you around.
Where and what would you choose for your last meal in San Francisco?
Anything cooked by Juanita MORE! Juanita is not just an amazing drag queen, activist, and philanthropist; she is also a phenomenal chef. She spreads love through her food and it shows. She did a limited run restaurant and always has something in the works. If she’s cooking when you are in town, get a table!
Which restaurant is still on your list to dine at in San Francisco?
Zuni. It’s classic. It’s delicious. It’s fine. Not “fine” as in "medium" or “okay,” but "fine" as in "fine wine," "fine dining," or “Damn, you are fine!”
Where do you like to view sunrise and sunset?
I feel like the only queen in San Francisco when I’m riding my bike east on Folsom St. in summer after a long shift at the bar. The sun is peeking up from the bay and the tall buildings, doing its final leg of its American tour.
At Black Sands Beach in Marin, when I sink my bare feet beneath the volcanic, mineral-rich sand and watch the sun ride out over the Pacific, I can imagine what it was like back when San Francisco was just the Barbary Coast.
What’s one part of San Francisco that you wish visitors knew about?
San Francisco is on the leading edge of many fields. We have a very vibrant contemporary dance scene. There are so many companies and venues to name. CounterPulse is a wonderful dance theater and art center that started out as volunteer, community-run space and has expanded to a newly renovated building and theater with a full time staff. From the beginning, they’ve been dedicated to experimentation, presenting provocative dance by incredibly talented local choreographers and performers.