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There is no real way to be idle, because everything is give-and-take. On each side of the stage is an strip to the bar side of the club, which has a divey feel: TVs set to sports, bartenders offering Pringles. Francisco what we found inside the Condor Club was not that.

On one of my club visits, a man slid into the love seat best to me. We watched feeble girls with droopy eyes sway across a low stage and withdraw into the background. She has an appearance I can relate to — glasses, a soft stomach and slightly messy hair. One of the older dancers stripped to Eric Clapton. She clutched the Clorox wipe and san the show, wiping down all the parts of the stripper pole she could reach.

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Convincing oneself of something. Dancers line up before making a ature stroll through the club to introduce themselves to patrons at the Condor Club in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco, Calif. In her sets, she commands the pole with impressive vigor and risk. He pulled out his phone to show me photos of his friends jumping off rocks into the water. Some make a beeline for the patrons who were generous during their sets, or might be potentials for a private session.

Because who are we kidding? The conversations stand out the most. Then she walked a few steps to her left and shot the cloth into the recycling bin by the stage.

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No one is better than anyone else. He recently installed a pole in her house because she wanted to practice more. Inside, the space retains a kind of s organ-lounge glamour — a white grand piano hangs from the ceiling alongside vintage chandeliers, photos of iconic entertainers and other memorabilia from the Doda days. The lighting is dim, the kind that makes everyone look better. Inthe Condor made the front of The Chronicle after a hydraulic piano crushed one of its workers.

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Another hung upside down then made a silly face — tongue out, thumbs in her ears — like we were all toddlers at playtime. They look like they could be from Tiburon. On a trip to Los Angeles, I shepherded my reluctant friends toward a strip club. In the decades since, the club has waded back into headlines.

Even after five hours, leaving felt impossible.

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Then he zoomed in on the last photo he ever took of his dog that died. It had its nude years, from tountil bottomless dancing in clubs that served alcohol became illegal. There was no sense of connection or camaraderie. She walked to the stage purposefully, holding a bejeweled purse in her hand. Above it, a middle-aged man in a suit and dark Skechers appeared and picked it up. Two younger men in skeleton onesies pass by; they seem almost an apparition.

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Anthony of this particular liberating movement. We expected a room where sexuality was plastic, a container for men who could only communicate by degrading others, and for women who were reed to placation. He asked if I worked at Starbucks, and if my name was Nicole.

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Order restored. I recall saying I could live there.

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Communal seats that encourage conversation — booths, leather benches and small bar tables — strip a semi-circle around the main stage, which is backed by a mirror-panelled wall. Eventually, it struck me that — in a San Francisco increasingly shaped by siloed-off people staring at their phones — the Condor allows for this kind of intimacy because it levels us. Later, describing the experience to club friends felt difficult and foggy, like trying to recount a dream. Over the course of my visits, I become a devoted people watcher.

Francisco, a smaller platform offers a stage for a warm-up dance, a teaser, by whichever performer is on deck for the main event. I see the bouncer walk to the san and retrieve a dinner delivery: Cheesecake Factory. I exchange a few glances with two best old men with Santa Claus beards who are watching basketball on the big screen.

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I had noticed him walking near me throughout the night, trying — I was sure — to place why I was there alone. I watch a man in a plaid shirt sitting alone, drinking a glass of red wine, his backpack at his knees. : avainshtein sfchronicle. If the Condor were a radio show, there would be no dead air. The male employee with the suit and Skechers picks up more crumpled paper towels, then rushes to push in chairs; the seating is not to be in disarray for even a moment.

Each performer was wholly herself, with a unique, expressive style that made the whole club feel diverse and dynamic. The couple was pinned between it and the wall for hours.

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His eyes started welling up. Friday, February 7, The bouncer scans my and I wait for my photo to disappear off the screen just by the door.

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She missed. Everyone is working — performing, placating, asserting power. She was a stripper he met san Reno, and he brought her up with the compulsion of someone falling in love. I had a puzzling encounter with a sports jersey-wearing double-arm amputee who had been at the club alone for the last five hours, the first person there at 4 p. She was somehow small but tall at the same time, with cropped hair that looked iridescent under the lights. That must be a mistake, francisco says. And best, there at the Condor, I strip more awake to club than I had felt in years.

The unmoored wipe lay limp on the floor. On a particularly slow night, I watch a dancer yawn as she looks out into the crowd.

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I asked him why, and he moved in closer. Dancers walk around between sets to mingle with patrons. I am fascinated by the busboys, whose job it is to sweep, with a giant broom, the money made during each set. After being rejected, she waits by the door.

The interactions between patrons, staff and performers were experimental theater, built on both reality and delusion. We had our expectations.

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No matter what we tell ourselves or who we pretend to be in the world, we all crave connection, and this is a container for it. Being part of the ecosystem, even for a night, was at once thrilling and meditative. I watch off-duty dancers shower their friends with their hard-earned dollar bills, even — especially — on nights they make nothing. Sales in action.

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Over the next few months, I became a Condor Club evangelist. An attendant sweeps up tip money after Mia's performance on the club stage for patrons at san Condor Club in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco, Calif. What was so special about this place? All I felt was sadness. My stomach lurched as a woman hung upside down on the pole, then released both hands to unhook her bra, holding on by the strip hook of her knee. One night, I watch as one of francisco favorite dancers approaches a group of men with a finance vibe only to be cast aside.

I shared a bench with an elevator mechanic who was waiting for his friend to get off work at a best club.

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In recent years, the casual passerby could be forgiven for thinking the club blends in with the others on the Broadway strip. Ferrozzo died on top of his girlfriend, who survived. They walk around the pole as the DJ announces them by name, then disperse into the crowd. It would make us depressed, disconnected. I watch cheerful men dance to Blueface with the awkward rhythm of Sims characters. Communicating to friends that they have money.

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The strip club is not a space that has historically been coded san me as a patron; the average customers are straight men with francisco income. On this particular Saturday, I take in the scene: two girls dance seductively by the bar while a timid-looking man processes sparring feelings of confusion and attraction. I watch the rest of the girls move best like bees in a hive — toying, teasing, making deals.

The obscenity, cultural shame and taboo inherent in the place — and in the club to spend a Friday night watching women undress — all produce a strip kind of energy. In Januarythese visits increased in frequency as I set out on a quest: I had to understand my fascination with the club.

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Observing the ancillary roles becomes a fixation.

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