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Best of the Bay 2013: New Subspecies

From gaybros to apocalyptic exercisers, the best new subspecies of San Franciscans.

The Gaybro (1 of 5)

The Faux-Eliminator (2 of 5)

MC Wealthy Whitey (3 of 5)

Quarterly Idolizer (4 of 5)

Apocalyptic Exerciser (5 of 5)

This year, Bay Area folks with peculiar affinities have cropped up like never before. Here's our guide to the new local subspecies you're likely to encounter (that is, if you don't belong to one of these groups yourself).

The Gaybro: They’re here, they’re queer, they’re losing sleep over the Giants pitching staff. The newest gay archetype is the gay-bro—a masculine man who likes beer, hot wings, fantasy football, and other men. You might ask: Come on, another LGBTIQ subculture? Or: Does this have something to do with jocks like Jason Collins and Robbie Rogers coming out? Or: Does this mean that bromance was really gay all along? Draw your own conclusions at Castro haunts like Mix’s Sunday beer bust or S.F. Eagle’s cigar night, or investigate the phenomenon at the most brotastic of them all: Hi Tops, a new sports bar with gaybro flourishes like real lockers, vintage wrestling videos, and the sporty motto “Cold pitchers, hot catchers.” --Caleb Pershan

Faux Eliminators: You might feel like intimidatingly die-hard health-conscious eaters testifying about their lack of bloat are everywhere, but there are an awful lot of cheaters among them: the “vegetarian” who caves for abalone when beguiled by, say, the tasting menu at Benu; the “gluten-intolerant” who sneaks bread pudding at Tartine; the paleo dieter snacking on pop-chips (hey, cavemen loved them!); the chicken-dabbling “pescatarian”; and the “juicer” who ends the day with a Kara’s cupcake. Preach away, but we’re on to you. --Carolyn Alburger

Quarterly Idolizer: The quarterly-journal obsessive doesn’t entertain: He art-directs. You’ll know him (or her) by the coffee table fan of $20 magazines—Kinfolk, Cereal, Gather, Smith Journal—presenting a golden-hour ideal of food, friends, and home. Fervid collectors of these photo-driven quarterlies strive to replicate the pages’ Walden-filtered aesthetic in their own lives. They are champions of the tastefully mismatched table setting, the field-foraged Mason jar bouquet, the single- origin brew sipped from a handmade ceramic mug, the self-realized bookshelf, and the potluck picnic arranged on a Pendleton blanket. They are wearers of wispy top-buns and cable-knit caps, of Japanese selvedge chambray, Japanese shibori-dyed scarves, and Japanese socks. That sustainably harvested live- edge cutting board is a canvas. Your Fourth of July barbecue is a set. And that Alameda-scavenged windowsill vignette? Quarterly-worthy. --Lauren Murrow

MC Wealthy Whitey: Blame it on Macklemore if you must, but white boys are again under the illusion that they can rap. Naturally, the Bay Area is breeding its own, very particular archetype: upper-middle-class Jewish rhyme masters with a penchant for spitting off serious first-world problems. There’s poetry slam veteran George Watsky (that’s his name because “there’s already a reggae artist named Elephant Man”), originally from the Inner Richmond, whose hits include “Kill a Hipster.” And then there’s Lil Dicky, a lanky, scruffy rapper living in Lower Pac Heights, who blew up overnight with his single “Ex-Boyfriend,” in which he obsesses about the hotness (and penis size) of his girl’s ex. Of course, the new rapping kvetchers tackle their issues with immeasurable humility, making them kind of endearing until they overdo it on the phallic references. --Annie Tittiger

Apocalyptic Exercisers: Next time you see a boot camp platoon doing pull-ups on a tree in Bernal Heights or bear-crawling across the Marina Green, they might not be buffing up for next year’s Mr. Marina competition—instead, they could be preparing for the end of the world. A new and growing group of exercisers, spiritual heirs of Lost, Survivor, and Man vs. Wild, endures ridiculously difficult workout routines for that “just in case” moment—just in case the big quake happens and they need to tear down a cypress tree to build a raft and flee the city; or just in case their flight to Vegas crashes in Death Valley and they have to survive on their own for months on end. They may look ridiculous doing frog jumps up Telegraph Hill in neon spandex, but one day, they might have the last laugh. --Jenna Scatena

 

Read more Best of the Bay
Best of the Bay 2013: Bayview Fix-ups
Best of the Bay 2013: Brunch Without Borders
Best of the Bay 2013: Game-Changer Bars
Best of the Bay 2013: New Subspecies
Best of the Bay 2013: Upgraded Napa Agenda
Best of the Bay 2013: Culture
Best of the Bay 2013: Food
Best of the Bay 2013: Recreation 
Best of the Bay 2013: Socializing
Best of the Bay 2013: Style
 

Originally published in the July issue of San Francisco

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