San Francisco: The City With A Dress Code

Hola a todos. I’ve heard some people talk about “New York Black” but I didn’t know exactly what they were talking about. Did they mean that New York City has a all-black dress code the way San Francisco does?

I’ve known for some time that we’ve had a dress code in the New Conservative San Francisco. For those who haven’t kept up, San Francisco is not the City it once was and the City that the conservatives hated on. San Francisco has shifted to the right over the past years, which should delight the conservatives. The San Francisco that we had the reputation of being over the past decades is in the distant past.

In the Old City, residents could wear what they wanted. It was encouraged. That was the days of the “live and let live” attitude. That City was known as the “alternative” and “proudly radical and proudly liberal” City and people were not shamed or meant to feel ashamed no matter what they wore.

Yeah, well that was then.

Like I said, that City is long gone having been evicted by the billionaire-millionaire-owned predatory Tech and Real Estate Industrial Complexes. The Bay Area is now called Billionaire Bay and San Francisco has been turned into a playground for the super-wealthy with the “haves” living right next to the “have nots.”

The eviction of the Old City was also helped by gay men selling their homes at outrageously greedy prices to conservative breeders (wearing black and grey clothing) who now make up the New Conservative City.

And today, it’s as if the New City wants nothing to do with the Old City of the Gay Mecca. They want the Old City erased from history. That’s the impression we get.

The New City’s dress code consists of two colours: Black and grey, preferably black. So, most people look like they’re headed to or returning from a funeral. Many people wear all-black from head to toe. When I see that I think: How unoriginal, how unimaginative, how conformist, how sheeple. Do you pretend to be a ‘progressive’ or a ‘liberal’ in your conservative-looking all-black clothing?

And if you wear something other than black and grey, be on guard and be prepared for hate to be directed at you in some form. I remember a few years ago I was wearing tie-dye in The Castro and this guy crossing the street with a disapproving look directed at me tried to shoulder me (bump into me) in a belligerent way. I could tell his behaviour was because he didn’t like that I was wearing a tie-dye shirt and not all-black or black and grey. He looked down at my shirt with a snarl when he got down at my shirt/shoulder within kissing distance.

San Francisco is also the birthplace of tie-dye clothes (back in the 1960s). If you wear tie-dye today, you’ll regret it unless it’s Corporate Pride Sunday where you can get away with it. Any other day, watch the disapproving looks and stares you’ll get, and maybe some facial expressions of violence directed at you, especially if it’s multi-colour or a bright coloured shirt.

But it seems to be getting worse in this regard. I wore a turquoise shirt to a store this week and whoa! I got this look from someone in the store as if he wanted to beat me up just because I had on this solid coloured turquoise shirt. It made me feel uncomfortable. I walked away feeling disgusted, and then a female walked in front of me wearing all-black head to toe. She was all ready for the next funeral. Completely conformist. Most everyone else in the store regardless of age had on black.

I’ve never really been conformist so I resist conformity. The New San Francisco is all about conformity, with few exceptions. For example, last Summer we had a heat wave and it was 115 degrees in The Castro. I went out just to see what people were wearing in that unbearable heat. Would they still be wearing their all-black clothing? You might think that in that heat that people would be wearing lighter colours so as not to bake in the hot sun. No. Most people — being adamant conformists — were still wearing their all-black clothing in the baking sun and they acted like they weren’t hot at all. How can someone be wearing hot all-black clothing in 115 degrees baking sun? Insanity. Being absolute conformist was more important to these people than their comfort level.

Mi amigo/My friend has had the same experiences with colour as I have. He’s frequently getting disapproving looks because he’s not in all-black or black and grey.

On the way shopping this morning, I walked out of my apartment and saw one of the local neighbours and he was wearing the same thing I’ve seen him wearing nearly every time I’ve seen him over the past years: Black pants, grey shirt. Black and grey. He’s absolute conformist. I also think he’s a closeted queer guy. I’ve tried to talk with him on a couple occasions but he has no social skills; he seems quite unfriendly so when I see him now, I essentially put on my “fuck off; I’m not making any more effort with you” facial look.

San Francisco is quite a different City today. We’ve gone from radical and alternative to absolute, lockstep conformist black and grey.

Maybe that’s why so many people look depressed in this City. I’d be depressed too if I wore a black (and grey) “uniform” 365 days of the year.

Colour brightens life. There’s colour in nature. Nature is not all black and grey. Colour lifts the spirits and that’s why I like colour. Who would have ever thought that at some point colour would be hated on by conformist humans? Even most vehicles today are black, grey and white. Drab. And because of the design of some vehicles, they look like a black or grey hearse.

And what does black stand for? Death, mourning, grieving, the loss of life, stormy clouds, and the approach of night. Mortuary black and grey.

Some conformist people in San Francisco today are taking this to the extreme by repainting their homes black and grey. Some new condo buildings are shades of only black on the outside. (They’ll love that black when it’s baking outside in a heat wave). Some of these buildings look like a mortuary on the outside especially when they use just shades of grey like a building down the street from me. It’s a 2-story, Victorian-type building (flat roof) and it does indeed now look a mortuary/funeral home because of the greys they use.

A few guys still wear vintage-looking blue jeans, but these days it looks like most guys wear only new (black) jeans, meaning wear them once and that’s it. I was telling mi amigo that I get the impression that these Millennials wear a pair of (black) jeans once and then throw them away, as if there’s this unspoken rule that “new (black) jeans are to be worn once and thrown away.” I guess some techies can afford to do that, but I certainly couldn’t nor would I want to. I’m more comfortable in older jeans like I still wear and like we wore in the Old City.

I’m starting to wear more plaid shirts with colour now. Plaid shirts — which remind me more of the 1970s — don’t seem to be hated on the way solid brighter colours are hated on in this New City. Chau.—el barrio rosa