Image: The Exploratorium’s Tactile Dome
Would my eighth birthday party at the Exploratorium’s venerable Tactile Dome have been better if I had known the rather hippified origin story of the exhibit? How father-of-Nick-Cage-and-bro-of-Francis-Ford-Coppola August Coppola had designed the pitch-black obstacle course to mimick traveling through the womb? Would I have stopped swearing so excitedly, in that way little kids do, and would I have escaped that terrifying reprimand by the voice-of-God PA system they have installed in the course if I’d have a moment to reflect, as Professor Coppola did, on how our overly-visual society is neglecting touch, leaving us isolated and alone even as we’re able to “connect” with more and more people through technology?
Mostly likely not, given the fact that the same disembodied voice came on to tell me not to swear (albeit jokingly) 20 years after that birthday party. The jocular shaming (I had told them about my childhood experience before taking my turn in the dark) took place during AHDM4U’s sneak peek of the Tactile Dome part deaux, which opened to the public yesterday at the museum’s new Embarcadero location.
You have to go. Bay Area babes will be relieved to know that not much has changed with the new Dome — the bean pit, the slides are all still intact. The one change that was made was to expand certain tight passageways that staff had, after years of rescuing the stressed and hyperventilating, identified as “freak out points”.
First-timers, get stoned and read this: Almost completely devoid of light, the maze is designed to make you focus on your sense of touch (a sibling experience, I reflected, of the auditory-focused Audium across town). There are furry knobs I dubbed “wall kitties”, jangling metal danglies, a softly lit red “VIP room”. The Dome is still available for party rentals. I think I know what I’m doing for my birthday this year. (Caitlin)
TACTILE DOME AT THE EXPLORATORIUM // $15 PLUS MUSEUM ADMISSION // MORE
CHECK OUT OUR HALLOWEEN PARTY GUIDE FOR SPOOK TIMES — HERE’S OUR OTHER PICKS FOR THE WEEKEND
OSCAR KEY SUNG Maybe you caught us rhapsodizing over this Australian singer in this month’s music video roundup — but he’s in town for real this weekend, opening for future soul quartet Hiatus Kaiyote at the Independent. Breathe deep for a futuristic R&B moment in the middle of this insane Halloween season.
FRIDAY // 9PM // $20 // THE INDEPENDENT // MORE
ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, Can y’all believe Kelly’s never seen a live production of the Rocky Horror show? Well thank Gaia the cult classic cabaret show is coming to the Boxcar Theatre. Start practicing your “Time Warp” dance moves, and don’t hesitate to dress as your favorite character.
THROUGH DECEMBER 21 // $30-$50 // 8:00PM // BOXCAR THEATRE // MORE
ALL SOUL’S NIGHT OF WESTERN ADDITION ACTIVISM Never forget that dedicated people can change the face of the city — like when community members in Western Addition shut down plans to a highway right through their homes. Celebrate history tonight, with a march starting at the country’s oldest African American owned bookstore Marcus Books. You’ll end up at a community garden for soul food, a costume party, and music with your neighbors.
SATURDAY // 6-10PM // FREE // NEW LIBERATION COMMUNITY GARDEN // MORE
DIA DE LOS MUERTOS PROCESSION Protest the bro-ificiation of this Mexican holiday and the Mission’s battles with eviction and displacement tonight with the latest in a series of community marches down 24th Street — which have become important reminders that not everyone in the neighborhood takes a double decker bus with wi-fi to work every day.
SATURDAY // 6:30PM // FREE // STARTS ON 24TH STREET BETWEEN HARRISON AND YORK // MORE
PROJECT NUNWAY V: DISSIDENT FUTURES The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are a drag charity and activist organization that serves up hella amazing bearded nun looks. Tonight, they’ll strut the YBCA’s runway in original couture designed by several Bay Area designers. This fashion show will also feature performances by funk band Planet Booty, DJ SpacEKrafT and SF’s favorite — and only — RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Honey Mahogany.
SATURDAY // $15-100 // 7PM-9PM // YBCA // MORE
SWAGGER LIKE US SEASON FINALE Kelly’s monthly hip-hop party at El Rio is about to go into hibernation, but obvs not without saying goodbye. Dj Jenna Riot and Jaqi Sparro join the crew to make y’all drip sweat. And Juba Kalamka formerly of Deep Dickcollective will be blessing the stage with his lyrical mastery. This is history y’all.
SUNDAY // $8, $5 BEFORE 4PM // 3PM-8PM // EL RIO // MORE
CLUB LYFE LAUNCHING PARTY With the closing of mainstay weekly house clubs Honey Sound System and Vienetta Discoteque, it was starting to feel like the music had stopped in San Francisco. But DJ Robert Jeffery (formerly of Vienetta Discotheque) wasn’t going to let this city get too well-rested. This Sunday you’re about to get your life at his new weekly. Jeffery’s starting with a bang this week with guest DJ Robin Simmons (check out his exclusive mixtape for AHDM4U here) and Carlos Souffront.
SUNDAY // 9PM-2AM // $5 // UNDERGROUND SF // MORE