Arcs de Triumph
"I'm addicted to it," says a platinum blonde perched on a stool at a Fillmore Street bar. "I either sneak off during the day when I don't have any appointments or swing by after work." Her habit? A $25 biweekly eyebrow tint and wax at BeneFit's backroom brow bar (2117 Fillmore Street; 415-567-0242). The makeup boutique sees 250 people a day -- most of them walk-ins -- and five women sit in the room at one time. The cattle-call atmosphere is alleviated by the pampering: After the waxing wizards have whisked away every stray hair, a makeup artist conceals reddened skin free of charge. Eliza Petrescu, watch your back: BeneFit is opening in New York in 2001.
So You Wanna Look Like a D.J.?
With every person who owns a turntable in S.F. fancying himself a D.J., stores are stocking up on clothes and accessories so the poseurs can at least look the part. True (1415 Haight Street; 415-626-2882), owned by Willie Brown's son Michael, and Red Five (1472 Haight Street; 415-552-6494), which opened last month, are leading the headphone herd. Red Five owner Erik Ross sells streetwear labels like Generic Costume and Sarcastic; True carries urban faves Triple Five Soul and Alpha Numeric. If the clothes don't put you in the mood to wax rhapsodic, perhaps the $500 plastic turntable in Red Five's window will.
Bravely combatting a collective clothing consciousness that's more Slacker than Sex and the City, the style elite has set its sights on San Francisco, going so far as to introduce items that can't be had in New York City. Marc Jacobs's store opens August 4 at 125 Maiden Lane (415-362-6500), complementing the new Louis Vuitton store (233 Geary Street; no phone yet), which also stocks his designs. Opening next door to L.V. is Salvatore Ferragamo (233 Geary Street; 415-391-9595), promising cashmere and suede wraps in summer to accommodate chilly Bay Area weather. Prada has established a temporary women's-store beachhead (140 Geary Street; 415-391-8844) until a permanent shop opens in 2001. And once all the Silicon Valley cats and Napa nabobs are properly outfitted, Club Monaco, which opens in late October (340 Post Street; no phone yet), will go after their living rooms with its Caban home collection -- which Manhattanites can get only if they trek out to Manhasset.
Restaurants in San Francisco's Mission District are best known for serving Tecate and tacos, but at Foreign Cinema (2534 Mission Street; 415-648-7600) and Blowfish Sushi (2170 Bryant Street; 415-285-3848), movies are the plats du jour. Films like Run Lola Run and Guantanamera are projected onto an adjacent building at Foreign Cinema (pictured), where speakers sit on each table but American accents are still the loudest in the house. At Blowfish, techno tunes obscure the sounds of Japanimation flicks like Perfect Blue and Plastic Little, but the sake-sipping crowd doesn't seem to notice. In this George Lucas town, it seems, movies are just one of a restaurant's special effects.