Anytime we get a little skeeved out by all of the fancy lofts and upscale eateries that are sprouting downtown, we're happy about the existence of the lovingly rough-around-the-edges space The Firehouse and its monthly Firestage extravaganza.
Downtown denizen Ernesto Moncada curates the alchemy of interesting oddness, and then shuffles his collected acts on stage as the debauchery-loving host Ernasty. Just about everything makes an appearance each month, ranging from burlesque and furious noise jams to bawdy poetry and offbeat comedy. More of a big-top ringleader than even-keeled moderator, Moncada's sin-tinged enthusiasm has even inspired impromptu onstage nudity. Plus, the packed crowds each month stand as a testament to the artistry of spectacle that the Firestage hosts so well, making them much deserving of its New Times award in 2009 for Best Place to Be Seen on Third Friday.