A perfect Sunday: brunch, the New York Times crossword puzzle, and a uniform of flannel pj's and slippers.

For lesbians in Portland, though, the Lord's play day just got a whole lot sexier. And it's all because of Tart.

Even though it sounds a lot like a baking class at this town's one and only lesbo hotspot, the Egyptian Room, in fact this monthly dance party is about as different from that eastside dive as one could get. You won't find a karaoke machine. Or a pool table. Hell, they don't even have video poker. So what's a girl to do?

Plenty. Tart is a femme cocktail hour held on a normally slow club night at Southeast Portland's sleekest nightclub. (Holocene. Of course.)

It's billed as a "swank soiree where the girls play."

It's not surprising that Tart's first couple of incarnations have been chock-full of ladies. No--the real shocker is the time these women come out to play. Lesbians, it seems, are the new early-birders: Tart starts reeling the gals in as early as four in the afternoon!

On a recent visit, this space packed in a huge crowd by six o'clock. And by the look of their shoes, all types of dykes are attracted to Tart: Women in heels, women in combat boots, and women in men's shoes mingled in the club's foyer and two dancing areas. Older women ogled the younger ones on the dance floor; younger ones chatted up the older ones in the smoking room.

As for the ones clad all in leathers? They pretty much kept to themselves.

Aside from a few drag kings and a couple of fag stags (and the Night Avenger's curious boyfriend), men were noticeably absent. Maybe they were off at their own tea parties. Whatever. Who needs the fellas, anyway, when you've got a warehouse full of women?

Now that's what I call an (early) girl's night out.

Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., 239-7639. 4-9 pm second Sunday of every month. $5. 21+.