The Barracks at Folsom St. The club closed down in , and was being redeveloped into a hotel in until somebody lit a match and the whole thing went up in flames. The Barracks fire started around 2 a. The flames quickly spread through the warehouses and flats that crowded Hallam Street and Brush Place, a pair of dead-end alleyways that fed into Folsom. Jonathan Gilcrest, a motel clerk saw the burgeoning blaze while he was walking down Folsom.
The event started in and is California 's third-largest single-day, outdoor spectator event  and the world's largest leather event and showcase for BDSM products and culture. Although sadomasochism has been practiced for many centuries , the modern gay leather scene in the United States developed beginning in when thousands of gay servicemen were given blue discharges from service after World War II and came to the major port cities of the United States to live in gay ghettos. In , the Marlon Brando film The Wild One appeared, and some butch gays began to imitate Brando by wearing black leather jackets, a black leather cap, black leather boots and jeans and, if they could afford it, by also riding motorcycles. Navy infantry looking for same-sex sexual encounters.
Every year in San Francisco there's a free outdoor "fetish" event called the Folsom Street Fair at which hundreds of thousands of mostly gay men stroll around the city streets in leather or rubber fetish outfits. This year, a major controversy surrounding the fair was ignited by its official poster , which was a parody of the Da Vinci's The Last Supper featuring sex toys and fetish gear, instead of the standard biblical scene. Christian groups and some conservatives found the poster offensive.
All rights reserved. No part may be reprinted without the permission of the authors. San Francisco has always also been a tourist destination, and while its more famous neighborhoods have attracted the guided bus tours and casual strollers, SOMA has in many respects remained all along the quintessentially San Francisco neighborhood, the area that was filled with the people who were the heart of the city but who lay curiously out of sight and out of mind. The ones who never made it into the official travel books. South of Market was the humming hub of this commerce, where cargo was shipped in from destinations all over the globe and then shipped out by rail and truck and sea; where, since the Spanish-American war, working immigrant Filipino men and later their families inhabited the small side streets and alleyways between the light-industry shops and warehouses that spread out in a huge area with blocks twice the area of those just North of Market; where block after block of single-room-only residential hotels housed the army of longshoremen and merchant marine workers who provided the grit and muscle that turned San Francisco for decades into the major port on the West Coast; where these same workers, under the leadership of Harry Bridges, unleashed the single largest labor resistance action in the U.