La Cage à Fremont


For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people." While philosophizing on feminine beauty, Audrey Hepburn somehow overlooked the rigorous procedures of transforming the so-called "unfairer sex" into the budding blossom he/she may secretly be. Thanks to Jo-An Torres, owner of I Love It, a cross-dressing haven and information center in Fremont, the more appropriate advice might be: "Shave closely with a cream or gel and be sure to use a beard cover foundation if you have a visible beard." The art of feminine beauty, while certainly not exclusive to women, can be a complicated and occasionally dangerous endeavor -- truer still if you were left out of early girly training and find yourself stranded somewhere in midlife struggling with pantyhose that hang in the crotch, mascara that clumps, or an extra-binding bra -- ouch! Don't you worry your pretty little heads about it, girls -- help is on the way. I Love It not only serves as a refuge for those who bend rules and genders, but is also a great place to work out wardrobe kinks, in its 5,000-square-foot clothing and costume boutique, with items ranging from vintage '20s garments to modern gowns. It's everything a gal could possibly want, including makeovers and wig touchups to get you ready for that big photo shoot.

Perhaps you've inhabited a clandestine world for years, filled with petticoats and press-on nails, and all you need is a little push and a friendly face to make it real. The I Love It Clothing and Cross Dress Social Event, every Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m., is the place to drop those confining khakis and slip into something a bit more comfortable while mingling, snacking, and experiencing your inner Mary or Rhoda. Audrey says: "For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone." At this place, you surely never will. You'll have to call Jo-An at 510-656-4738, however, for the exact address. Or check out $10 if you bring a snack to share, or $15 without.-- Justine Nicole


You Are Here

Try to Fold It The Bay Area artists in the city|SPACE group gathered to "explore the built environment" through design, visual art, film, and research. Their latest project, Urban Legends: The City in Maps, not only investigates cities but delves into what they call "the threshold between people and place" -- maps of every conceivable type and use. The group sent out a call for original submissions; more than sixty artists responded from as far away as Berlin and Tokyo, 21 of whose pieces were chosen for the show that opens Friday at Oaklandish Gallery. There's also a reception with live music from 7 p.m. until late, and a panel discussion to follow on August 12. Oaklandish, arguably the "deepest" art space in Oaktown's burgeoning gallery scene, is at 411 2nd St., near Jack London Square. or -- Kelly Vance


Rock and Coasters

Damn. PGA sure is hip today. Lest you think we're unduly impressed by Tiger's snagging that nanny, we're talking about Paramount's Great America, which not only boasts the new, retroactively cool Crocodile Dundee's Boomerang Bay water park, but is actually a slamming spot to catch live music tonight. A cadre of hip Chicano and Mexican party rockers play the Santa Clara park's Redwood Amphitheater, starting at 8 p.m. -- sprawling, Angeleno livewires Ozomatli , hip-hop duo Plastilina Mosh (also from Los Angeles), and Mexican dance-rock quintet, Kinky . Tickets: $18.50-$43.50 from Park admission is free after 5 p.m., $10 before 5 with concert ticket. --Stefanie Kalem


What a Crockett

Founded in 1867 as a company town for C&H Sugar, quirky, quaint Crockett is home to plenty of artists, including sculptors, photographers, musicians, and, one would think, painters in the Norman Rockwell style, considering the old-time, small-town feel of the place. See for yourself at the Crockett Art & Wine Festival , which will celebrate its seventh year this weekend when a broad swath of artisans show what they're made of, on the street (Loring Avenue, to be precise) and in their studios. Expect food, wine, and live music, too, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Info: -- Stefanie Kalem


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