It’s hard out there for a … punk?

In a way we were just a tad disappointed upon arriving at college to find that the stereotype of Berkeley as a breeding ground for wild and wonderful eye candy was just that – a stereotype. In today’s seas of earnestly-inspired (but decidedly inoffensive) combat boots around campus, it’s next to impossible to spot a pair of New Rocks in Berkeley. How things have changed since 2004…

UC Berkeley Gets A - Er, Makeover

UC Berkeley style gets a - er, makeover. (Click to expand!)

In fact, when we were in grade school, Hot Topic was actually cool.

No, really.

It once was a place where your cool, mohawked older siblings went to buy Manic Panic and bondage corsets, an ominous beacon in the mall of an explored mystery and delinquency that your mother forbid you to enter. And remember when Hot Topic used to sport walls of band tees from artists like Megadeth and AFI, and when the only likenesses of artists like Justin Bieber to be found were vicious parodies?

Yeah, that was almost 10 years ago. Now it’s the place to go if you’re looking for an Edward Cullen poster.

So while popular chains like Urban Outfitters have hopped on the alternative train to popularize trends like upended crosses and combat-inspired boots, it seems that for now, the days of ’00-decade counterculture and fashion have faded. Well, almost – we still catch a few of you with an Evanescence concert tee at the bottom of a dresser, or sneaking Depeche Mode into your iTunes collection now and again. And while many of us color-lovers still dress in the same old blue jeans every day, we have to admit, many of us secretly miss you…

But of course, anyone who endorses “the lifestyle” in its philosophy knows that giving a flip about what the world thinks isn’t really on the table for consideration in the first place … and it is almost Halloween, after all. So, to the few studded and spiked ladies and gents on campus — and even you “goth-curious” and “punk lite” types — we present to you some Bay Area fun to get your inner goth on!

Death Guild - While you won’t get kicked out for not following the dress code at this nightclub (black, and lots of it), it sure is a

Death Guild, a popular S.F. nightclub

Death Guild, a popular S.F. nightclub

lot of fun to throw on the fishnets for this place. Death Guild is run every Monday night from 9:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. at the popular DNA Lounge in the Mission, and is a great way to burn off steam to a mix of industrial, swirly and techno. And if you’re not into dancing, the people-watching opportunities alone are spectacular! And don’t be thrown off by the scary name – our Old Navy-loyal friends always say they have a great time at DG.

DNA Lounge is located at 375 11th Street in San Francisco, Cal.

18+ with ID; 21+ to drink

Dark Entry - A clothing and novelty store you’ve probably passed a thousand times but were afraid to go in. Dark Entry is an out-of-the-way shop right next to the popular Buffalo Exchange on Telegraph, offering punk and goth garb – boots, knives, lighters, jewelry, adult novelties, clubwear and the like. It’s super cluttered inside, but if you can stand to sift through the insane amount of inventory you’re sure to find something interesting here.

Dark Entry is located at 2589 Telegraph Ave in Berkeley, Cal.

The Bone Room - Bio students, here’s one for you, too. The Bone Room, located in North Berkeley, is a fantastic gallery and store full of animal bones, beetles and insects, skeletons, fossils, and more. They also offer DIY supplies, field guides, and even jewelry (made from things like iridescent beetle wings, of all things). While not necessarily “goth-themed,” anyone interested in death and anatomy should be sure to check this one out.

The Bone Room is located at 1573 Solano Ave in Berkeley, Cal.

Dark Carnival - For fans of darker literature, the Dark Carnival Bookstore (and no, not the Bradbury novel) has a collection of science fiction, fantasy, mystery and horror books for sale, as well as “a knowledgeable staff and plenty of random plastic stuff to round out your bookstore experience.”

Dark Carnival is located right next to sister store Escapist Comics, at 3090 Claremont Ave in Berkeley, CA.

… And there you have it – good Halloween fun for regular Berkeley folks and year-round fun for the more unusual crowd!

R.S.

Image source: zernistor under Creative Commons.



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