March 23 2011 02:49 PM

Enrique on the hipsterfication of one of his favorite dives

Rob Kardashian
Rob Kardashian
Photo by Enrique Limon

Excitement was high outside Stingaree last Saturday night in anticipation of an appearance by what a media invite called "reality star" Rob Kardashian.

The red carpet was rolled out, the shutterbugs were snapping and my release form to appear on television was signed and submitted.

He made his way down the press line swiftly. I patiently awaited my turn behind a male Channel 933 intern, who giddily went on and on about Kardashian's dating life and good looks. Recorder in hand, I introduced myself and before you could say "man-ass," Kardashian got whisked away in a flurry of flashes, the local PR girl mouthing, "I'm so sorry."

Welcome to my world. Well past midnight and having no Plan B, I considered checking out the catty-corner Tivoli Bar, but it appeared too cliquey. I seriously considered calling it a failed night, but my inner compass pointed me to the magical land and adult amusement park otherwise known as the Chee-Chee Club (929 Broadway).

In the nearly three years that I've written this column, I have but one regret: I shined a light on this fortress of filth, paving the way for its hipsterfication. "Welcome to the Jungle" was blaring, but, sadly, it was playing to more of a Disney's Jungle Cruise crowd than the Vietnam-jungle crews of days past.

A girl sat next to me and tried to engage in small talk. Her drink served, she expressed her frustration over "The Cheech" not accepting plastic. Yup, "The Cheech."

My night would have officially been ruined if it hadn't been for one of the remaining regulars. Elusive like a Komodo dragon and with a skin texture to match, Rob's been a faithful patron since the mid '80s.

"I don't know what happened," he said of the newly gentrified crowd. "I just woke up one day and it was like this."

Unfazed, the self-proclaimed "lounge sensation" regaled me with a mesmerizing dance performance that can best be described as a "Let's Get Physical"-induced seizure. When he stopped to catch his breath, I complimented him on his mismatched nail-polish.

"Usually, they're all painted, but the polish on some nails wears off from masturbating too much," he confessed with a wink.

Later, he told me he'd met one of his "best" lovers at the watering hole.

"Someone had just handcuffed him to the bar and we all just— well—I'm not sure what to call it since you can't rape the willing," he said.

Smiling, I realized that the old adage, "The more things change, the more they stay the same," never rang so true.

Calendar

  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • Presented by Pacific Arts Movement, the sixth annual mini film fest features 14 film programs from 10 countries that includes everything from docs to romantic tearjerkers. See website for full lineup and...
  • Debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at this new exhibition that takes a hands-on approach to the subject. Includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide...
  • The former local boy and creator of the highly influential blog, Advanced Style, will be signing and discussing his third book, Advanced Style: Older and Wiser, which features inspiring pictures and stories...
  • C.J. Chenier and Bonsoir Catin headline this annual Cajun inspired festival. Also enjoy 10,000 pounds of crawfish, dancing and cooking demonstrations. Held at Spanish Landing Park, across from the...
  • A Cinco de Mayo party featuring $2 tacos, cocktails and live music from Bostich+Fussible, Javiera Mena and Gepe
  • A spoken word showcase hosted by English instructor Karla Cordero and her City College students. There will also be a special reading from poet Mercedez Holtry, as well as an art and photography show....
  • Widely known as host of "Weekend Update" on Saturday Night Live and for his role in the Showtime dramedy Weeds, Kevin Nealon brings his unique humor back to the stand-up stage
  • New works from over a dozen UCSD undergraduate students. Participating artists include Charity Algarme, Richard Lin, Joseph Maas, Ignatius Nguyen, and more
  • This video art exhibition from UCSD MFA candidate Stefani Byrd features two installations that explore the themes of breath, mediation, and the nature of time. Takes place in the VAF Performance Space,...
See all events on Thursday, May 5