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Hop on the St. Patty’s wagon



EVENTS Diarmuid Philpott, chairman of this year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade and president of the Irish United Societies, knows a thing or two about SF’s glorious Irish heritage, the holiday’s significant religious and cultural roots, and of course, where the party is for the upcoming week. “First of all, it’s a celebration of being Irish,” Philpott explains. “Everyone wants to be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. And they are welcome to be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!” So don that emerald green, and buckle down for a hooley of a time.



What have the Irish ever done for you? Learn about their contributions to our city at this panel discussion, featuring local paddies from the public and private sectors and moderated by Tony Bucher of the Irish Herald. The event is part of the Irish Crossroads Festival, which celebrates the intersection of roots and modernity in Irish culture today.

Thur/11, 7 p.m., free

United Irish Cultural Center

2700 45th Ave. , SF

(415) 810-3774




The largest celebration of Emerald Isle culture west of the Mississippi is taking over downtown this weekend — and you want in on the dancin’, pipin’ action. Afterward, head to the Civic Center street festival, featuring vendors, activities, a beer garden and Irish gypsy jazz group, the Doug Martin Avatar Ensemble.

Parade: Sat/13, 11:30 a.m. , free

Starts at 2nd St. and Harrison, SF

Festival: Sat/13 and Sun/14, 11 a m.-5 p.m., free

Civic Center Plaza, SF




For a family-oriented celebration, jet down to the United Irish Cultural Center, which will be co-hosting this al fresco event with Java Beach. There’ll be food, drink, games for the kids, jumpy castles — and a zoo across the street if you really want to make a wee one’s day.

Sun/14, 11 a .m.- 4 p.m., free

45th Ave. (between Sloat and Wawona), SF

(415) 661-2700




Sure, we’re a city that doesn’t lack for a superlative Irish pub in which to celebrate St. Patty’s — Durty Nelly’s, the Plough and Stars, and the Chieftain come to mind — but Harrington’s joins with neighborhood businesses for a celebration right in the FiDi of it all, closing down the block for performances by Ben Hunter and Celtic Scandal, the Kennelly Irish dancers and big, steaming plates of corn beef and cabbage.

Wed/17, 11 a m-1 a m., free

245 Front, SF

(415) 392-7595



Get a load of the reggae-laced tones of these Irish rebel rockers, who’ve got the street cred to back it up. Frontman Kevin Barry escaped from Belfast’s Long Kesh prison in the IRA’s 1983 “Great Escape.” They rock.

Wed/17, 8:30 p.m., free

Maggie McGarry’s

1353 Grant, SF

(415) 399-9020




A salute to a real hero. Father Yorke was a 19th century Irish revolutionary and labor activist. His service takes place each year here at All Saint’s — a sober end to a holiday season that can be anything but.

Sun/28, 10:30 p.m., free

All Saints’ Chapel Holy Cross Cemetery

1500 Mission, Colma


And though the Guinness be full of vitamin D and goodness, take ‘er easy — the real Irish celebrate responsibly. Berg Injury Lawyers are sponsoring the same free cab rides home on St. Patty’s that they do on New Year’s. Call Luxor Cabs at (415) 282-4141 for a lift in the city, or Veterans Cab at (415) 282-4141 for Oakland, Alameda, or Berkeley .

tlhIngan maH!


EVENT Encompassing an entire universe of exotic worlds, cutting-edge technology, and larger-than-life characters, the realm of Star Trek has inspired fans and captivated their imaginations since the first episode of the original television series was broadcast back in 1966.

Created by Gene Roddenberry, who wove many of the pressing social issues of the 1960s into the fabric of the Star Trek ethos, the franchise has continued to live on through several spin-off television series, feature films, books, video games, and more.

San Francisco — which also happens to be home to the fictional headquarters of “Starfleet Command” — will be filled with sci fi fans this weekend for an official Star Trek convention featuring luminaries from the series such as the legendary William Shatner, the newly knighted Sir Patrick Stewart, and several other notable actors.

Two fan favorites who will be in attendance on Saturday are J.G. Hertzler and Robert O’Reilly, best known in the Star Trek pantheon for their roles as the Klingons Martok and Gowron. Both will be making a rare appearance in full costume and makeup, and will be doing some light-hearted improv in character, including what they call “Kling Bling” — a bit of Klingon hip-hop.

Hertzler, who spent several years at American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco before beginning his television career, enjoys stepping back into the character, which not only allows him to entertain fans but to interject political and social commentary into the proceedings.

“The thing about being a Klingon is that it allows you to rant. It’s on the edge of acceptable human behavior, but it’s all acceptable if you’re a Klingon,” Hertzler laughs.

The fervor with which fans embrace Star Trek is admired by O’Reilly, who also notes that many Trekkers have gone on to make valuable scientific contributions to society after being inspired by the series.

“People really feel deeply about Star Trek. If you see who the fans are, they’re scientists, astronomers — they’re very bright people,” O’Reilly says. “I’ve talked to astronauts who have said, ‘I wanted to be an astronaut because I watched Star Trek and I wanted to get up there.'”

Both actors, who have also done a great deal of work on the stage during their careers, are proud and appreciative of the connections they and others in the series have made with fans over the years, which they say can transcend differences even in culture or location.

“It’s truly amazing, I correspond with fans who live everywhere,” Hertzler says. “Because of Star Trek, I have friends all over the world.”


Sat/23, 11 a.m.–9:45 p.m.;

Sun/24, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; $20–$65

Westin St. Francis

335 Powell, SF

(818) 409-0960




As the great man sings, "Do I hear 21, 21, 21? I’ll give you 21, 21, 21." It’s Fibonacci time: the Guardian Outstanding Local Discovery awards are turning 21, nine years into the 21st century. Old enough to drink and to gamble and to trick, though truth be told, the awards we call Goldies have done all three, if they wanted to, on their own terms, for some time now — they’ve grown up quick, fighting off streamlined convention every step of the way in the name of influential and imaginative art.

It’s only fitting that 2009’s Goldies feature two winners — at the very least — who aren’t averse to sporting some gold sequins on stage. Golden honey, golden Oakland: these are some of the main ingredients that have revealed themselves in an awards year that doesn’t just bend gender but rends it asunder while bringing strong expressions of the theatrical and political. This year’s winners can shred, or tear it up on stage. They can discover and reveal a place outside of society. They’ve got a tender side — and go go power.

The 2009 Goldie winners were selected by the Guardian‘s Johnny Ray Huston and Cheryl Eddy, with input from our writers and critics, including Robert Avila, Rita Felciano, and Glen Helfand, as well as members of the Bay Area arts community. Put on your soulful dress and join the awardees on Monday, Nov. 9 for a free party at 111 Minna Gallery. You’ll discover 14 reasons why it’s great to be 21.

All GOLDIES winners portraits by Saul Bromberger and Sandra Hoover Photography











































Fitting in?



FASHION Earlier this month, the white tents of New York Fashion Week went up at Bryant Park, and the tranquil and unassuming grassy lawn behind the public library was suddenly besieged by celebrities, buyers, press, and a lucky few fans with golden tickets, hungrily packing themselves in to peep the 2010 spring lines — including a handful by Bay Area designers, rare birds in the big-fashion aviary.

Seven happily frantic design students from San Francisco’s Academy of Art University had their senior thesis projects paraded alongside the collections of established designers, like Marc Jacobs and Vera Wang. For anyone hoping to make a break in the fashion industry, it was the opportunity of a lifetime.

Backstage, the designers — nearly hidden behind models waiting with hair held by clips and tissue paper, stylists kneeling on the floor to adjust hems, and makeup artists with heavy tool belts of beauty products hovering to perform last-minute touchups — speedily talked about the six or seven garments on the rolling racks along the walls whose realization had consumed the last year of their lives.

Richelle Valenzula, a Filipino who has lived in the East Bay since early adolescence, passed a hand over the silver gauze dress hanging on the rack behind him, jittery as he explained the tedious process he went through to attach intricately fitted panels of silk organza to each design. His work was worth it: on the runway, the light layers moved with a cerebral flutter, like a breeze rifling through pages of a book.

Kara Sennett showed a retro-poppy, California-dreamin’ sportswear line inspired by David Hockney’s painting Beverly Hills Housewife. Because everything was moving so fast, however, she didn’t get to see her line coming down the catwalk. "I just caught a glimpse of the very last girl from the monitor," Sennett told me. "But I’ll sacrifice to make sure everything goes out perfect." She was sacrificing for bubble-gum pink 1950s-ish bathing costumes with ivory stripes and lime vinyl cropped jackets, which created a bold, flat, in-your-face feeling.

On the other side of the classic California coin, a prominent psychedelic aesthetic shone through in the freewheeling butterfly-shaped knit dresses that Bulgarian native Marina Nikolaeva Popska whipped up. The garments look like an acid trip, and listening to Popska explain the concept behind the clothes, certainly felt like one. "It’s about humanity and nature," she enthused, as the rings on every one of her fingers shaped the air, her sandy frizz of hair creeping nearer her nose with each nod. "I have this philosophy where the human and the tree become one creature, one person, and this helps to release the soul and create a sense of light."

The antitheses of Popska’s lovechild gowns were the boyish plaid button-downs and shorts created by Brittney Major. Her Southern accent bent the ends of her words as she talked about the culture shock she experienced when she moved to SF, although the city’s attitude has since grown on her. "I love how everyone is out there at face value," Major says. As a result of her newfound California confidence, Major took daring moves with a bright, Easter-cellophane color scheme and a cheeky mix of print sizes.

Although they displayed ample verve, the students’ garments didn’t reach the meticulous construction standards of the other shows in the Bryant Park circus. Many of them felt like interesting stops along the way to developing a broader vision, which is a good place for students to be. Yet I kept thinking they would have fit in more comfortably at one of the many off-park sites in the city where fresh designers premiered their spring lines in shows that were less harsh-glare and more San Francisco vibe-y, like the vintage-inspired line that walked to an indie cover band on a Chelsea rooftop, or the party-like presentations in empty Meatpacking District warehouses.

San Francisco is just a temporary home for most of these students, many of whom are eager to move London or New York to pursue their careers. This city has become a surefire training and testing ground for the fashion-minded, exposing them to new flavors and freeing combinations. But even though this was a huge moment in the spotlight for the Academy of Art and suffused with Californian ideals, was it really a showcase of San Francisco style? A major show at Bryant Park featuring bona fide Bay Area designers might be a fashion-world revelation.

Of course, it could be that our native fashion sense, in all its subversive wiliness, may just not take well to the big catwalk. Last season’s raved-about breakout NYC show was by born-and-bred Bay label Nice Collective, showing exquisitely tailored leather waistcoats over skintight britches and heavy denim draped down the sides of worn construction-worker boots, whose open tongues flapped at the front row. The sculptural backdrop was constructed from charred wood and featured a 19th-century carriage. Nice Collective was supposed to show again this season, but — in true San Francisco fashion — the duo decided instead to focus their energies on a forthcoming "sustainable community project" here at home.

PARK(ing) Day


PREVIEW Screw the consumerism of Christmas, the war imagery of Independence Day, and the inevitable disappointment of New Year’s Eve. Our favorite holiday of the year is PARK(ing) Day, when individuals and groups around the world turn metered parking spots into the playgrounds of their dreams. Started in 2005 by the SF art and design collective Rebar, the event takes advantage of a legal loophole that allows any (legal) use of parking spots as long as the meter gets paid. (Think of it as miniature, short-term space rental.) Want kiddie pools and pink flamingos on Valencia Street? Sod and benches outside a Haight Street shop? A mobile grassy knoll taking up residence in the mayor’s parking spot? It’s all fair game. Nearly five years in, the idea has become so popular that, on certain city boulevards, a stroll on PARK(ing) Day can feel like a street festival — minus the annoying commerce (if people are playing by Rebar’s rules). One part fun, one part frivolity, and two parts commentary on the way we use urban space, this open source project makes an ordinary workday … ahem … a walk in the park.

PARK(ING) DAY Fri/18. Find information, maps, and instructions on how to construct your own park at www.parkingday.org>.

Architecture and the City


PREVIEW I don’t know whether this is awesome or boring, but one of the most perverse pleasures to be had in the Bay for the last decade has been fantasy house-hunting — dressing like you can afford more than a rent-controlled railroad flat’s closet and hitting the Sunday open-house real estate orgy circuit, mostly to decry the recent penchant for tacky recessed lighting and cheap beige granite counter-tops. The ’80s are back! If you’re a premium architecture and design junkie, though, you’ll be swooning all September — launching your intellectual and tactical fantasies into the clouds with the Architecture and the City festival, presented by AIA San Francisco. The sixth annual celebration of unique builds, the nation’s largest, not only takes you on the San Francisco Living: Home Tours drool-a-thon (Sept. 12-13) focusing on smart sustainability, but also explores a bonanza of exciting, dialogue-stimuutf8g Bay design ideas through presentations, investigations, demonstrations, and more. Prepare to push up your teeny octagon-shaped eyeglasses and scream, "Build it! Build it NOW!"

ARCHITECTURE AND THE CITY Through September 30. Check Web site for locations, times, and prices. www.aiasf.org/archandcity



PREVIEW As I write this, I’m eating one of those new giant Cheetos — you know, the latest delectable Alice Waters heart attack, sheer processed junk food Armageddon, elephantiasis of the puffed balls? Yum. My point here is that there’s no form of art that hasn’t been deeply and irrevocably touched by technology, and also that I’m a little stoned. Pitched somewhere between Maker Faire and head trip, the three-day art.tech festival at the Lab explores the intersection of artistic exploration, experimental fabrication, and digital prestidigitation and includes performance, workshops, presentations, and interactive flights of fancy. Among the highlights: a Virtual Knitting demo that entwines physical and virtual space; a "relational presentation" of Anti-Pandora, a hand-made backpack that generates usable energy from walking or running, and Seek ‘n Spell, an interactive iPhone game that’s a cross between Scrabble and a scavenger hunt. Dang, my fingers just painted my keyboard neon orange.

ART.TECH Fri/4-Sun/6, various times, $12–$20 daily, $36 for three-day pass. The Lab, 2948 16th St., 415-864-8855, www.thelab.org

Independent Erotic Film Festival


PREVIEW Good Vibrations and Vibratex co-present this year’s celebration of girls (and boys, and bois, and, well, everyone) on film, and we can’t decide what we’re more excited about — the movies themselves or the parties organized to honor them. The week kicks off Sept. 12 with a burlesque-tastic party at El Rio that includes a screening of Courtney Trouble’s Speakeasy; moves straight to Dr. Carol Queen’s peep show, naughty puppets, and vintage erotic cinema at Amnesia Sept. 13; thrusts into the next week with April Flores’ Love Toy Art Show; and slides on into Sept. 17 with a 1960s-style cocktail party-themed competition premiere hosted by Peaches Christ. And that’s just a cross-section of the sultry, sexy events the organizers have planned for the festival’s fourth year. If you can’t find something in this week of fun and film that revs your engine, you might want to get your motor checked.

INDEPENDENT EROTIC FILM FESTIVAL Sept. 12–17, 2009. Locations, times, and prices vary. www.gv-ixff.org

San Francisco Street Food Festival 2009


PREVIEW If you believe all the hype, street food is the best thing that’s happened to the Bay Area since Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse. And who’s going to dispute it? It’s hard to argue when your mouth’s full of crème brûlée, fried frog legs, bacon-wrapped hot dogs, or any of a number of cuisines acquired from non-staraunts. In celebration of this fun, funky, recession-busting trend, La Cocina, the nonprofit dedicated to helping female food-preneurs formalize and grow their busineeses, is hosting a one-day feeding frenzy. They’ll fill a full block with microentrepreneurs, informal food vendors, and renowned chefs, all peddling edibles and drinkables for $8 or less. Proceeds benefit the fabulous nonprofit’s programs, but we’re equally excited about the way it’s going to satisfy our appetite.

SAN FRANCISCO STREET FOOD FESTIVAL 2009 Sat/22, 11 a.m.–7p.m. Folsom, between 25th and 26th streets, SF. Sfstreetfoodfest.com

Bowie Ball


PREVIEW Not much can stop Swing Goth. Not the misperception that the biweekly dance class and party is strictly swing or goth (it’s all types of partner dancing, to all types of post-punk music). Not a cross-town venue change earlier this year (from Fat City to El Rio). Nothing, it seems, except a big ass flippin’ fire. In June, Swing Goth was all set to host the Bowie Ball, its biggest event yet, when an explosion in a man hole (remember that one?) shut down the Great American Music Hall. But even fire could only delay SG founder Brian Gardner for so long. Now, the Bowie Ball is back, and promising to be even better than the planned original. Five Cent Coffee (neo-skiffle junkyard blues) and Barry Syska’s Fantasy Orchestra (what would happen if Tom Waits did swing) joins DJ Skip of New Wave City, DJ MzSamantha of Clockwork, and MC Psychokitty for a celebration of Bowie’s many faces, styles, and sounds. The event will start, of course, with lessons in swing, waltz, and blues dance and culminate in a full night of cutting a rug (OK, a gorgeous hardwood floor) to everything from Joy Division to Nirvana.

BOWIE BALL Fri/14, 8 p.m. $15–$20. Great American Music Hall, 859 O’Farrell, SF. (415) 885-0750, www.swinggoth.com/bowieball09

Bootie Six-Year Anniversary Weekender


EVENT A good mashup is musical proof that sometimes the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. ("ABC"? "Paradise City"? Both good songs. "ABC City?" Even better.) And when it comes to the art of mixing parts of two or more songs to make one revelatory new one, Bootie SF’s Adrian and Mysterious D are expert mathematicians. The duo has been solving mashup equations for the masses for six years, and this weekend they’re celebrating their international success with two nights of madness. Friday’s theme is School Night, featuring classic mashups, Blow Up DJs upstairs, special performances by Renttecca and Suppositori Spelling, and plenty of naughty school-girl and -boy go-gos. Saturday’s Pirate Night features last year’s best mashups, DJs Jells Mayhem and Earworm, and performances by Anna Conda and Cookie Dough. And both nights will see A + D on the decks, mashup band Smash-Up Derby on live instruments, and gold-clad Bootie L.A. dance crew Random Acts of Irreverent Dance (R.A.I.D.) on stage. What do you get when you take SF’s favorite dance party and double it? A damn good time.

BOOTIE SIX-YEAR ANNIVERSARY WEEKENDER Fri/7–Sat/8, 9pm. $10–$15. DNA Lounge, 375 11th St., SF. www.bootiesf.com>.

SF International Poetry Festival


PREVIEW San Francisco is known internationally for many things, but top among them are parties, politics, and poetry. We’ve got plenty of events dedicated to the first two, but it’s surprising that we didn’t have a full-blown poetry festival until two years ago. Thankfully, the city, the public libraries, and the Friends of the library are back this year with four days of events dedicated to the medium that made Allen Ginsberg, Robert Duncan, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti famous — with an intention of continuing the tradition as a biennial gathering. This round features main stage readings by local heroes and international stars like Maram al-Massri, Daisy Zamora, SF Poet Laureate Diane di Prima, and Ferlinghetti himself. Other highlights include an exhibition of artwork and broadsides from participating poets, screening of a documentary about Jack Hirschman, a conversation about the art of translation, an event for youth moderated by California state Poet Laureate Carol-Muske-Dukes, workshops, parties, and a North Beach Poetry crawl that includes stopping in at Ferlinghetti’s City Lights bookstore and other famous haunts of the Beats. Best of all? Like creating poetry itself, all events are free and open to the public.

SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL POETRY FESTIVAL Thurs/23–Sun/26, Various times and locations. Free. www.sfipf.org

Partial Suspension for Complete Sadists and the Marquis Fetish Ball


PREVIEW As we working stiffs watch more and more of our peers enjoying their government-funded, sun-filled funemployment, it’s hard not to feel tied down by the weight of the work week. But remember: not all bondage is bad. Case in point: Mike West’s Partial Suspension for Complete Sadists and the Marquis Fetish Ball, both happening this week to remind us that being told what to do can be a treat. On Thursday, the Japanese rope bondage expert will host a course featuring theories on challenging ties, installation of overhead points at home or on the go, testing a suspension ring, and the advantages of partial suspension. (Couples and singles welcome, but all must participate.) Two days later, sex educator, author, and bondage model Midori will make an appearance at MarquisAmerica.com’s celebration of all things leather, latex, and laced-up. Still not convinced the leash that chains you to your job is sexy? Consider a career change and enter Marquis’ live model casting.

PARTIAL SUSPENSION FOR COMPLETE SADISTS Thurs/16, 7:30pm. $25–$30. Stormy Leather, 1158 Howard, SF. (415) 626-1672, www.stormyleather.com

MARQUIS FETISH BALL Sat/18, 9pm. $35–$65. Supperclub, 657 Harrison, SF. www.marquisamerica.com

Tiki Crawl 9


EVENT Since Victor Bergeron opened the first Trader Vic’s in Oakland in 1937, the Bay Area has had a relationship with that bastion of tropical tackiness: the tiki bar. Only the second of its kind (the first was Don the Beachcomber in Hollywood), Bergeron’s Polynesian-themed watering hole is said to be the inspiration for the odd architecture of the Stanford Terrace Inn (formerly the Tiki Inn Motel) and the birthplace of the Mai Tai (which, contrary to popular belief, is not required to be sickeningly sweet, adorned with plastic toys, or served to newly-legal drinkers in aquarium-sized bowls).

So it makes sense that the world’s biggest tiki bar crawl happens here. Starting Thursday at Trad’r Sam in San Francisco, Tiki Bar Crawl 9 wends its way through 10 bars in six cities over four days, all carefully chosen by the hosts at Tiki Central (an online forum for all things hula kitsch).

Highlights are sure to be Thursday’s kickoff in San Francisco, including a stop at the Disney-worthy Tonga Room, and Saturday’s tour of the East Bay, which concludes at the Trader Vic’s that started it all. Check the Web site for schedules, bus tickets ($35 for Friday’s South Bay tour, $40 for Saturday’s East Bay extravaganza) and rideshares, and more information about ugly mugs and thatched rooftops than you ever wanted to know.

TIKI CRAWL 9 Thurs/9–Sun/12, times and locations vary. Free admission. www.tikiroom.com/misc

July 4 Dining Deals


PREVIEW Fourth of July tends to be a casual, low-brow, pre-packaged-potato-salad-and-cheap-beer kind of holiday. But it doesn’t have to be. This year, Bay Area foodies can celebrate our country without compromising their culinary standards. CAV Wine Bar and Kitchen will host a BBQ with ribs and fixins, as well as vegetarian options. ($35/person. 1666 Market, SF. 415-437-1770, www.cavwinebar.com). That Hayes Valley beacon of class and culture, Jardiniere, will sport red, white, and blue tablecloths and family-style dining while serving haute twists on classic dishes like
pickled watermelon, Berkshire pork ribs, and lobster rolls. ($55/person. 300 Grove, SF. 415-861-5555, www.jardiniere.com). For a bit of French flair (we are a melting pot, after all), La Folie will be open for the first time this July 4 (2316 Polk, SF. 415-776-5577, www.lafolie.com). Or check out Paul K, whose Dine About Town deal has been extended through July 5, for summer classics like heirloom tomato salad, pan-seared white seabass, or flatiron steak ($34.95/person. 199 Gough, SF. 415-552-7132, www.paulkrestaurant.com).

JULY 4TH DINING DEALS. Various times and locations. Check individual

Websites for information.

Bicycle Music Festival


GATHERING Is it any surprise that the city responsible for Critical Mass would also have birthed the country’s largest 100 percent pedal-powered musical festival? We didn’t think so. Since 2007, a group of volunteers have been hosting this multi-location celebration of bikes, music, and sustainable culture — and we expect this year’s to be bigger than ever, with musical participants like Cello Joe, Manicato, Sean Hayes, and many more. The day starts early at 935 York St. for a Critical Mass-style bike parade (complete with a 2,000-watt pedal-powered PA system, of course) to Golden Gate Park’s Marx Meadow, where bands will play on the bike-powered, bike-hauled stage. Another cruise takes revelers to Dolores Park for a series of live shows starting at 3 p.m. The event officially concludes with another set of concerts — including the fantastically entertaining Tornado Rider (think cello metal) — at 8:45 p.m. But we’re pretty sure that after all the riding and playing, the city’s bike aficionados aren’t going to call it a night — so drivers, beware! And bikers, game on!

BICYCLE MUSIC FESTIVAL Sat/20, 8 a.m. Free. 935 York, SF. (415) 572-9625. bicyclemusicfestival.com