Saturday was busy: conference, happy hour with naked dudes (more on that in the next blog), and play party (see details on that disaster here). If you were following my Facebook updates you know that I experienced a lot of intense nostalgia this weekend while revisiting my alma mater, UC Berkeley, for the 28th Annual Empowering Women of Color Conference. I walked past my old apartment at 2525 Durant, whiffed the donuts nextdoor at King Pin where the hot Greek guys who work there would occasionally take their shirts off when it got too hot, sat at my old favorite cafe across the street from the law school where that one guy I dated that one time went and where we would meet after our classes. And I even managed to facilitate my workshop "The Politics of Werq-ing: Femmes, Fashion & The Labor of Gender Performance."
Meandering down Bancroft in a slightly (just a smidge) panicked, caffeine jonesing search of coffee I found a sign for a spot that served Ritual. Ritual competes with my beloved Four Barrel for fav cup. I felt excited that my search had ended. The sweet, sweet smoky prize was just 40 feet away. Having visited the Ritual HQ, located in San Francisco, last year it's clear that they take their coffee very seriously. I like that! And Ritual is served at one of my favorite, favorite spots in all of San Francisco/the world: Hollow. I've noticed my friends tend to think Ritual a little too acidic, but it's a winner in my book. Everyone has their preferences, but the very first indicator of the quality of your coffee is the smell of it when you walk into the place where they're serving it. The prevalent smell should be the smokiness of the roasted bean and it should be unobscured by other weird/indistinguishable smells. As much as I love the ambiance of Caffe Strada (it's got this almost Cafe du Monde feel to it) I walked in there and the smell of the coffee turned me off immediately. There's also never any seating at Strada, but I'm the kind of girl for whom that's a bonus because it activates my competitive/strategery-oriented self. Just a block down the street is adorbs Babbette Cafe with a courtyard and super cute (and plentiful) indoor seating. Gorgeous floral arrangements and snazzylicious desserts included.
Post-coffee and cardamom orange coffee cake *drool* I head back to UC Berkeley, pass a bunch of people doing an extended lesson in swing dancing, past Sather Gate and mandatory hacky sack 2.0, to facilitate my workshop. I had prepared a little PowerPoint (ok, I love PP and its amazingness will never cease to be amazing to me). Highlights of the agenda included: Deconstructing & Analyzing Werq, Processing & a little something I called "Le Sashay Show." By the time we were talking about what femme is/means, the room was full and we were all starting to sweat a little. I won't give you the play by play, but I will tell you that Le Sashay Show was tres magnifique. Six of the workshop's bolder participants came up "on stage" and did a little werq: strutting and telling us about how their gender, race, size, class background and level of ability had figured into the way they performed gender for the day. We even had a DJ! Ghurl, it was magical. I'm getting tired just thinking about all that sashaying. So, it's time for me to go. But stay tuned for the next blog about those @barebachelors...
Virgie Tovar, MA is one of the nation's leading experts and lecturers on fat discrimination and body image. She is the founder of Babecamp (a 4 week online course focused on helping people break up with diet culture) and the editor of Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion (Seal Press, 2012). She writes about the intersections of size, identity, sexuality and politics. See more updates on Facebook.