Bastille Day and Burlesque


Here’s another thing about San Francisco: It’s always amused me that every holiday big or small becomes another reason to dress up, drink and most likely hook up with greater abandon: Cinco de Mayo, St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day, anti-Valentine’s Day—there are always a zillion excuses around here to don a wig and fishnets.

Personally, Halloween lost its magic when I turned 12. Then I moved to San Francisco and was surprised (and slightly annoyed at first) to find it was a bigger deal than ever before.

I was more than over the dressing up thing, yet Halloween super stores popped up on every corner, and my friends started planning their outfits by the 4th of July. “Perhaps I’ll be a sexy Uncle Sam this year,” they’d suggest.

So it didn’t surprise me that last Saturday’s Bastille Day rallied many troops to start drinking at 11 a.m. (not me—for the record, I was getting my cleavage checked out by a homeless man—see my “Ups and Downs of Cleavage” entry).

I did go out eventually and headed to Harlot for 7x7's Bastille Day Fete Saturday night.

The place was already filling up by 8 p.m., and by midnight it was packed, sweaty and going off. That’s what popped into my head while I was there: “This is kind of going off,” which is a phrase I’ve never used before, but seemed to fit the moment to a tee.

One highlight was definitely the burlesque performances. People stopped their own dancing to watch the show booked by the sexy Irina Lazar of Harlot. Performers included The Flying Fox, The Nekyia and Mariel a la Mode.

photography by Jeremy Paz

As I watched, I considered how this burlesque trend related to the pole-dancing craze. Many equate the two as the same kind of thing, but burlesque is more about what you don’t see than what you do. It’s incredibly sexy and sultry to watch the dancer tease and play with an arbitrary mix of singing, dancing and her own style of stripping.

I’m not saying you need to choose. By all means, keep the stripper pole, but for some added fun, consider mixing it up once in awhile. Plus the burlesque thing is more PC for couples. If you hate when your partner comes home with eau de stripper all over him (or her), you may want to try a burlesque show—titillating fun for the whole family!

Check out exclusive video from the party:

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