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Michael Hearst Booksmith, 1644 Haight, SF; www.booksmith.com. 7:30pm, free. The musician and author presents “Unusual Creatures,” describes as a “nerdy, family-friendly sort of Ted talk” about some of the planet’s most bizarre animals.
Andrea Carla Michaels and Bernadette Luckett Book Passage, One Ferry Building, SF; www.bookpassage.com. 6pm, free. The contributors read from a new anthology of women comedy writers, No Kidding: Women Writers on Bypassing Parenthood.
Asian Art Museum $5 admission Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin, SF; www.asianart.org. 5-9pm, $5. The Asian Art Museum stays open late every Thursday, and visitors who arrive after 5pm pay just $5 (regular adult admission is $12). Current exhibits include “In the Moment: Japanese Art from the Larry Ellison Collection.”
“Downtown Berkeley MusicFest” Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza, Berk; www.downtownberkeleymusicfest.org. 5-7pm, free. The sixth annual fest kicks off with concerts by Andre Thierry and Zydeco Magic, and Talk of da Town.
Larry O. Dean and Hugh Behm-Steinberg Moe’s Books, 2476 Telegraph, Berk; www.moesbooks.com. 7:30pm, free. The Chicago-based Dean and the Berkeley-based Behm-Steinberg read from their latest poetry collections.
“Downtown Berkeley MusicFest” Berkeley Public Library, 2090 Kittredge, Berk; www.downtownberkeleymusicfest.org. 12:15-1pm, free. The sixth annual fest continues with the Steve Gannon Blues Band.
“Oakland Art Murmur: First Friday Gallery Walk” Art project spaces in Jack London, Downtown, and Uptown, Oakl; www.oaklandartmurmur.org. 6-9pm, free. Check the website for an open studios map to the galleries and other art venues staying open late for this monthly event.
Bay Area Peace Lantern Ceremony North end of Aquatic Park (near Interstate 80 and the west end of Addison), Berk; progressiveportal.org/lanterns. 6:30pm, free. Commemorate the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the floating of peace lanterns on the park’s lagoon. Arrive at 6:30 to construct lanterns; at 7pm, there will be musical and cultural performances, messages from the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and a report from a bombing survivor. Lanterns launch at 8pm.
Fruit Pie Contest Omnivore Books on Food, 3885a Cesar Chavez, SF; www.omnivorebooks.com. 3-4pm, free for entrants ($5 if you’re tasting only). The food-focused bookstore hosts the ultimate pie-making smack down (cobblers, crisps, tarts, crumbles, and buckle-type desserts also allowed). Show up a little before 3pm with your creation cut into as many pieces as you can — because the more people who taste it, the better chance you have of winning. Top vote-getter splits the door money with the shop and gets bragging rights ’till next time. (Non-bakers need pay only $5 to taste all the goodies.)
Vintage Paper Fair Golden Gate Park, Hall of Flowers (County Fair Bldg), Ninth Ave at Lincoln, SF; www.vintagepaperfair.com. 10am-6pm, free. (Also Sun/4, 11am-5pm, free). Antique paper fans, look no further for a vast selection of “postcards, trade cards, stereoviews, photography, labels, brochures” and more to add to your collection. Appraisals are also offered free of charge.
“Beat Generation Instawalk” Meet at Jack Kerouac Alley (near Broadway and Grant), SF; www.thecjm.org. 1-4:30pm, free. In conjunction with its exhibit “Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg,” the Contemporary Jewish Museum hosts an Instagram-based scavenger hunt through North Beach that ends at the museum — where participants can win Beat-themed prizes and get free museum admission by showing their Instagram photos.
Alexander Maksik Booksmith, 1644 Haight, SF; www.booksmith.com. 7:30pm, free. Litquake co-sponsors this reading by the author of A Marker to Measure Drift.
S.G. Browne Booksmith, 1644 Haight, SF; www.booksmith.com. 7:30pm, free. The author reads from Big Egos, a satirical look at identity in the not-too-distant future.
“Neither Friar Nor Conquistador” Emerald Tablet, 80 Fresno, SF; www.emtab.org. 7-9pm, free. An evening dedicated to the history of Monterey’s Spanish immigrant community, featuring a screening of labor activist Michael Muñoz’s short film The Spanish Pruners Strike 1932, as well as a reading from his biography, Change From Within. *