Last summer I drove through the Castro prepared to be pissed off by some old queens giving the place a bad reputation (as if it needed them). Frankly. when I actually saw the naked man standing at 18th and Castro, anger was not my response; I started laughing. It was the silliest sight, really. It was so thoroughly San Francisco and so thoroughly affected. It was like the people who put on their hippie clothes to go to the health food store. Like all things Castro, it was a sin in the real world of gay people: it was dated.
The gay community is supposed to be fashion forward and avant garde. The Castro is neither and the nudity didn't help. In fact, the entire city is in a time warp. The women look like they dress out of attics and thrift stores, and the men look like old ads for Levis, except that Levis used younger and better looking people. A growing problem in San Francisco is that with rents so high, it can neither draw youth nor keep seniors. All of the people who made San Francisco famous in our time, are either dead or living in Oregon or Arizona.
This is what happens when your group or location gets associated with a particular history and can't shake it. I have seen the same problem at universities, especially in "avant garde" art and music departments. Because of funding cuts and the general lack of mandatory retirement, the tenured professorate is quite aged right now, and the last time some of these boneheads were truly avant garde was when Yoko Ono was getting her dress cut by strangers and John Cage was hammering nails into piano strings. They were also doing a lot of acid back then (courtesy of the CIA). Now these faded has-beens are clinging to tenured university positions, and their introductory seminars about the "avant garde" are actually as retro as an aqua or "harvest" gold refrigerator.
Stumbled upon this channel surfing and have been watching it. What an amazing story. I never knew that not only were Japanese-Americans uprooted and interred, Italians were as well. But for Italians...