No tears shed here for the closing of harvey’s

The (originally gay) bar named “harvey’s” at the corner of 18th and Castro Streets in San Francisco abruptly closed recently. It was described in its obituary as a gay bar, but in recent times — pre-pandemic — every time I walked by there I saw mostly straight Millennial couples sitting in there. Considering their age, did they even know who Harvey Milk was, or care? Or was “harvey’s” just a name to them with no relevance? That is such ancient history at this point — from before I moved to San Francisco and I’m essentially a native now since I’ve lived in San Francisco longer than I lived anywhere else — that I don’t think Harvey Milk is relevant to many people now.

I think that Harvey’s peaked around the time that the Old City died as a result of much of the Old City being evicted and forced out because of the Real Estate Industrial Complex and their corrupt liars, along with the conservative Castro merchants and conservative Castro residents with their class warfare mindset. Most of the Old City residents (renters) moved to Oakland across the Bay. This was also around the same time that the Tech Industrial Complex took over The City and were given generous tax breaks, and the seemingly-lobotomised techies moved to San Francisco in droves, disrespecting our neighbourhoods and our cultures with their bigotry. There’s a reason some of us refer to “the techie trash.”

I remember Harvey’s when the manager put up the colour-changing light show on the awning. I thought that was an excellent idea because it drew attention to that drab corner and building. Times Square came to mind when I first saw their light show. The bar/restaurant didn’t really look like a restaurant at all. It was so dark in there. The 5-minute light show that repeated was very interesting to watch from across the street especially. You couldn’t miss it. That seemed to be the time that Harvey’s peaked. Or that era with the light show was the best time for me and my feelings about the place.

Then the manager took down the light show which I was sorry to see disappear — maybe 3-4 years later — and “remodeled” the place and from what I could tell, turned the place into a restaurant resembling a mortuary with drab colours. It looked drab grey inside. I think it’s called Millennial Minimalist or something. It’s best described as people with no taste in interior decorating and who are terrified of beautiful colours: Black, grey and white is all they know. Ugly. The colour scheme to match their clothes where it looks like they wear the same thing every day? One hopes it gets washed occasionally. Or do they have 7 or more pairs of black pants and 7 or more black shirts? And they wear all-black even during a heat wave where it’s 46 Celsius/115 degrees F. outside. I saw the conformists wearing all-black in the heat in The Castro one recent Summer. Conformity and being seen in all-black from head to toe is more important to these shallow people than their comfort. It’s still popular with the 20s and 30s age group. I see it all the time. It was nothing appealing to me although a couple of people — with no taste in interior decorating — as usual gushed over the Harvey’s remodel on one review site. I noticed that the Harvey’s staff was also wearing all-black. To conform.

Yes, so Harvey’s abandoned colour, and any lights they put up after the light show came down were boring clear/white like everybody else was using. Sheeple. Absolute conformist, yet Harvey Milk was not a conformist from what I know about him.

Harvey’s lost me when they hosted the campaign victory celebration for conservative — charading as a moderate– prude Scott Penis (also known as The Holy Trinity) because that’s how some of his disciples seemed to see him. I couldn’t stand the guy — still can’t — but The Castro had already become quite conservative by then and voted overwhelming (for two consecutive terms) for Mr City-Wide Nudity Ban and Mr Anti-Homeless Laws. He’s a piece of work.

It’s as if the bar-restaurant had lost itself. Or were falling in line with the revisionist history being told about Milk by the conservatives. I watched as some of his disciples stopped short of genuflecting to him on Castro Street when they saw him as they asked him, “How are you doing today, my boy?” My boy? At that time he was known as Wonder Boy to his conservative disciples. I think the “saviour of the world” Wonder Boy image has disappeared as of this writing, in part, because he’s not that young preppy thing he used to be that his older “daddy” disciples sexually fantasised over? That is, if they didn’t have sex with him. I think that was indeed part of his appeal. From what I know about Harvey, he would not have supported that conservative piece of work, Scott Penis. But I’ve also learned that some people (conservatives particularly) have engaged in revisionist history about who Harvey Milk was. So who was Harvey Milk? It really depends upon who you ask as to who and what he was. There doesn’t seem to be any definitive version anymore. That’s the problem with revisionist history. Some people make a person out to be whoever they want(ed) him to be.

I’ve never felt that welcomed in The Castro to begin with. It was very cliquish and snotty during the Gay Mecca decades and there were long periods where I completely avoided going there because of all the “pretty boys” — or they seemed to think they were — with their noses in the air. I didn’t feel I fit in.

In recent history, I was hated on for not wearing all-black clothing like the Castro Conformist who wear all-black or black-grey 365 days a year. I was wearing a tye-dye shirt and was trolled on the sidewalk for that. It was colourful and despite the over-saturation of rainbow flags, the message seems to be: You don’t wear colour in The Castro. It must be all-black or black and grey. One must conform and fit in. Yeah, the days of “anything goes in San Francisco” are gone. Even during the pandemic, the black cultists have been wearing all-black and black face masks. “Everything has to be black” seems to be their message. One wonders what funeral they just came from?

On another occasion, my friend and I were harassed/hated on for a political sign we were carrying as we were coming back from a rally at City Hall. We felt physically threatened on that occasion by 3 conservative gay guys who made it known to us that they disagreed with our politics and our having been to this protest. They refused to mind their own business. The conservative Castro became very anti-protest sometime after that incident. So what replaced the “activist Castro” of the past? Corporate sports teams around the time that gay marriage became legal. The bars became sports bars where guys could “watch the game” so they could emulate straight guys. So they needed gay marriage to emulate straight guys? Before this, gay guys en masse had shown little interest in sports. Why the new interest where gay guys were packing bars to watch corporate sports teams? Because there was this new thinking that the corporate sports teams had somehow turned “pro-gay” overnight. Yeah right. Nevermind the “faggot jokes” still heard on a regular basis in the locker rooms or the occasional nazi salutes from some team players. But The Castro wanted nothing having to do with politics. It was then that we knew The Castro had changed to conservative, and the City was to follow. San Francisco shifted to the right some years ago. (Related: San Francisco is far-left? No.)

When Harvey’s closed, they were going on about gay this and gay that. The truth is that today The Castro is mostly heterosexual. There’s not much “gay” remaining here although that’s the illusion that the merchants like to give to gullible tourists (with money) using the over-saturation of rainbow flags and the Alphabet Cult everywhere you look.

As I’ve written before, you can put up rainbow flags in the Marina — a traditionally hetero area — but that won’t make the Marina queer. It wasn’t that long ago that an acquaintance of mine told me as I walked by his property as he was preparing to move to San Diego, “Welcome to the heterosexual Castro.” We watched as one str8 couple after the other with baby strollers passed by us.

I’m surprised Harvey’s lasted as long as they did. I might feel as some others feel if I didn’t know the tawdry and ugly history of The Castro now which is something I didn’t know when I moved here. I had a very innocent view of The Castro when I moved here. Now, I know The Castro — its history — was nothing like I had thought it was.

The closing of Harvey’s is a sign of the times. The conservative merchants and those useless busy-body neighbourhood association trash and have been lying and calling The Castro “vibrant” for years. They can market The Castro as “vibrant, vibrant, vibrant” all they want, but I think most people see it for what is is: a dying or already dead neighbourhood. And this has all mostly been brought on by the conservative merchant trash. This is what they wanted when they sanitised The Castro to make it “family friendly” for the straights. The prude heterosexuals who moved in required the sex stores to put white stickers over all the sexually-explicit images on their video covers in their store front window. They sanitised porn for the “family-friendly” crowd. I hope they’re satisfied now. Isn’t this what they wanted when they said, “We don’t need gay meccas now. Gays can live anywhere now.” What a stupid thing to say. Realists know that is rubbish. They wanted “the gays” out even though they would not admit that. But that was the bottom line. Fact: Gay people can’t live anywhere today even in the fucking closet, depending upon how they look and act. I hope the conservative trash have what they wanted. There was also a class warfare situation going on. Some of the wealthy elitist gay couple homeowners said they preferred to live next to other wealthy heterosexual couple homeowners rather than next to poorer gay couple homeowners.

My friend and I looked at Harvey’s (the building) after it closed on the live cams. He said, “It looks just as it did when it was open. Dark. Black inside.”