-Kara Williams, journalist, Feb 2002

I've done my fair share of clubbing in the United States - mostly on the coasts, both East and West. And I have to say that anyone who describes their clubbing experiences in the US, would be describing their local scene more than a 'US Club Scene'. We have our generic 'super clubs' in every city, but I've come to find that the scene varies from state to state and region to region. My favorite place for 'clubbing' and the place that I call home
is San Francisco.

I grew up on the East Coast and was introduced to the NYC club scene when I was 17. I started going to New York clubs, like Limelight, Tunnel, Roxy when they were all about the remixed sounds of Junior Vasquez and the more hard-core stylings of Keoki and Frankie Bones. It was a blast- dancing on a floor with hundreds of others, the club being packed with thousands on a good night- then I moved to San Francisco.

At first, I just didn't get it. A club with only 800 to 1000 people? And those were the 'big' clubs. House music? Where was the action? But then as time went on- first I became a house-head, and started loving the local sound, then I grew to really love the unique community-vibe of the San Francisco club scene. When a club is 800 maximum capacity, in a city 7 by 7 miles wide, it's only a matter of time before you get to know everyone.

Here clubbing is more of a lifestyle than a hobby or recreational activity. Which isn't surprising in a city where it seems like 3 out of every 5 people you meet is a DJ and at least one of the other two is a producer. There is a good party every night of the week, smaller ones on the weekdays and bigger on the weekends. There's never a night with nothing to do. I've heard Lee Coombs for $3 on a Wednesday night on a dancefloor with only 200 people!

Instructions for clubbing in SF: When you walk into a club, plan on spending the first half-hour re-aquaintin' yourself with all of your old cronies, new cronies and any other tantalizing wish-that-was-my-crony who might be alive enough to move through your field of vision. Ok, that most likely includes every living thing within a 3 block radius, but what they hey, you’re there to have fun; introductions, hugs and handshakes. Then, boom, boom, boom, boom as you are spinning your social web or just indulging in some distilled courage, the music starts to pervade your body, its growing bigger, stronger, more alluring until finally the groove grabs you by the shoelaces and says, DANCE FLOOR………..NOW!!!!. If fatigue grabs you or the vibe takes temporary leave of your spirit, you can revisit the evenings social empire, continue to expand it, re-affirm old foundations or just sit back, admire your work with a tall one in one hand and a cigarette in the other….right up to the inevitable point where the DJ throws down something else that gets you thumpin.’ (Rinse, and repeat as necessary!) By the time you leave- you've met half of the party-people in the city!

So, although I still love to go to other cities in the world to check out their scene and dance it up in a proper super-club, when it comes to my favorite clubbing spot- 'there's no place like home'!


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