28-Feb-2017 (Tue)
Wherein we got a very nice profile in The Bold Italic!

I love this article. It's a great snapshot of the club and some of the many people who make it what it is, and why we're still doing this!


Stefanie Doucette: Is San Francisco Losing Its DNA?

What hits you first is the wall of color  --  flamingo pink, neon green and electric blue. When your eyes adjust, you can see the solid black poster frames, corralling decades of concert memorabilia packed tightly together like the people on the dance floor in the next room over. There's no hierarchy to the posters  --  Prince is up there, but so are ones for The Coup, Imperative Reaction, Go Betty Go and The Dollyrots. Obscure artists get equal real estate on the wall. This wall is a shrine to the 32-year history of DNA Lounge, an institution among San Francisco clubs. [...]

With seven bars and a labyrinth-like layout of performance space, there's room for everyone here. Ariel, the floor manager, describes the cultural diversity among her hardworking staff  --  queer, straight, black and white, ranging from Mohawked punk-rock kids to super-fashionista girls. Formerly a graphic designer and an avid patron of DNA Lounge's "Death Guild", Ariel eventually made the switch from regular to employee. "They say if you come here often enough, eventually you'll be offered a job," said an anonymous patron who chimed in during our conversation. It's an environment where it's easy to get to know each other, where the regulars are family.

I felt I'd achieved a level of acceptance on par with the regulars last Tuesday at their Valentine's Day "Cyberdelia" event: a Hackers screening and '90s dance party complete with a skate ramp. A girl in a yellow fishnet shirt came up to me while dancing and asked, "Can I join you? You girls are dancing hard. I came here with boys, and all they want to do is talk about tech."

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2 Responses:

  1. Aynonymous says:

    What a beautiful article. I wish many more people would write about their experiences of finding joy as a part of the DNA community. I would also really love it if there was a dedicated page on the DNA website that regularly chronicles similar sentiments from customers or staff that normally do not have their voices showcased.

    Maybe a weekly, or monthly profile of someone's reasons for affinity with DNA and a bit about their story of finding and adoring DNA?

    Also, a good idea would be to branch out from the gated community of Facebook for volunteer headquarters, and allow people to meet-up online to commit to DNA volunteer work, on the DNA site itself.

    In my opinion, many people who would most fervently dedicate their time to helping DNA, might also, possibly be the same types to boycott FB?

    Or, if not boycott, then just not be that enthused about revolving their lives around it. More than that though, a page that celebrates the volunteers, and gives them the spotlight occasionally, could, if not incentivize volunteering, would, highlight how valued they are in the DNA food-chain :)

    I know, for myself, I'd enjoy the opportunity to catch up on all the 'DNA heros' (or whatever you want to call the volunteers) at the same time as catching up on webcasts, reviewing the DNA calendar and owner blog.

    As well as getting effectively/efficiently tempted to give the most I can to a place I love, in a streamlined way, on the DNA site itself.

  2. jwz says:

    I also would love to see more profiles like that, but it is a lot of work, so the first step would be for someone who is a good writer to decide that they want to spend a lot of their time working on that project... We would welcome them with open arms, obviously, but it's difficult and time consuming and not the sort of thing just anybody can do.

    I definitely feel like we aren't making very effective use of our Street Team group. Our "fix-it day" went really well, but the group hasn't really fostered much chit chat, and it has been rare for our staff to actually ask for help there. I suspect much of the time, folks feel like asking for volunteers and wrangling them might be more work than just doing it themselves? Or maybe it just doesn't occur to them. I dunno. Anyway, I'm not convinced that it being on Facebook is the problem. I am no fan of Facebook, but it is the 800 pound gorilla.