Getting Weird w/ Locals: My First Week Living in San Francisco


Only a week into living in San Francisco and I’ve already had a huge bite of what the city has to offer for someone as musically inclined as myself. The city has its history for attracting artist across all spectrum’s of music, from festivals to big-ticket concerts. Aware of this reputation, I arrived in the city with an open mind, anxious ears and eager feet ready to experience it all.


Nothing could have prepared me for my first taste of San Francisco culture and party scene. I’ve seen some great parties, incredible shows, and witnessed so much in between, but walking up to the How Weird Street Faire was like nothing I had ever seen before. Tipped by a local about a block party happening right in the heart of the city, what I walked up to was an all out music festival boasting 10 stages pumping the best dance music to crowds well in the tens of thousands raging in the streets.


The name said it all when it came to the dress, vendors, and stage decor across the faire, but here Weird is normal, creativity is embraced and all is accepted. I was simply speechless walking through the crowds coming across stage after stage, bass rattling the windows while high rises lined the streets. This was a truly incredible experience on my first day in the city.

Come the end of a long first week of working and adjusting to the city, Friday night came and I was more than ready to hear some good music. I got a tip from a local I had met at the street faire and headed down to Monarch, a 2 level  space with an elegant cocktail lounge on the first level and small intimate club on the bottom.


I could hear the tech & deep house beats coming from the bottom level, so I immediately paid the cover to get in and went downstairs. The setup was very unique, dark but subtle lighting set the mood just right for the intimate setting of the room. No lifted DJ booth, or over-the-top LED screen setups, just lights and music. The vibe was just right and the special guest German DJ Ian Pooley was just getting warmed up when I arrived.


The Silence in Metropolis  party went well past the 2 a.m cutoff time with local San Francisco DJ’s also taking to the booth throughout the night. What makes a good show for me when I see a  DJ outside of a festival or big club environment, is being schooled musically, not knowing a single track played the entire night. This was surely the case for me this night, and I enjoyed every moment of it.


As I meet more locals, discover new places, and find my way around San Francisco, my perspective continues to grow on this great city. I look forward to what’s to come.

About the Author

Justen Barber, Houston, TX native. Studies Mass Communication and Spanish at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX. Living in Puerto Rico as a kid solidified Spanish as a part of his life. Former Marketing/PR intern for Pacha NYC. Advent Festival goer. San Francisco resident. Music. Travel. Fuego.

–Connect: Twitter/Linkedin

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