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Broken Circles reading and benefit Sacred Grounds Coffee House, 2095 Hayes, SF. www.joangelfand.com. 7:30 p.m., free. On the eve of the largest feast of the year, it may be prudent to remember that not everyone can celebrate Thanksgiving over heaping piles of food. Inspiring sister readings around the country, Broken Circles: A Gathering of Poems for Hunger has compiled the work of numerous poets writing on the ever-pressing subject of hunger. Canned food and monetary donations assist the San Francisco Food Bank.
Thanksgiving Dinner Café Gratitude, 2400 Harrison, SF; 1730 Shattuck, Berk.; 2200 Fourth St., San Rafael. www.cafegratitude.com. Noon – 3 p.m., free. Meaty drumsticks may not be for everyone, but decadent mid-afternoon feasts sure are. Café Gratitude serves a free vegan version of the traditional smorgasbord, offering a butternut squash tamale, pecan and persimmon salad, cranberry salsa, and chocolate macaroons. Volunteers are needed to help officiate, see website to sign up.
Parade of Lights and Winter Wonderland 4th and A St., San Rafael. 12 – 8 p.m.. Also Sat/26, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., free. If it’s possible to one-up any of the admittedly great holiday fairs from the past few months, San Rafael’s winter-themed version does it this year with forty tons of snow dumped onto a downtown street for kids’ sledding. Got a little cousin you’ve been meaning to spend QT with? Ask Jimmy’s mom for a playdate with the little man.
Ways and Means Committee concert Yoshi’s, 1330 Fillmore, SF. 6 – 9 p.m., free. Yoshi’s tried-and-true sushi and jazz combo comes to the everyperson with a new (free) series spotlighting local musicians. This week: the six-member Ways and Means Committee.
Christmas in San Francisco Crystal Fair Building A, Fort Mason Center, 99 Marina, SF. www.crystalfair.com. Also Sun/27. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., $6. Whether you’re here because of an off-kilter aura, bad back, or for want of a nice necklace, thousands of gleaming rocks await at Fort Mason.
Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studio Various locations, Berk. www.berkeleyartisans.com. Also Sun/27 and December weekends. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., free. Hadley Williams, who creates exquisite pieces from (among other things) pasta and masking tape, and Lewis Suzuki, a 91-year-old landscape painter, are among the Berkeley artists opening their studios on weekends for the next month.
Golden Gate Park Cyclocross Metson Lake, Middle Drive West, Golden Gate Park, SF. www.bayareacx.com.11 a.m. – 3 p.m., free. After years of slight tweaking, the course for today’s race is projected to provide serious challenges to even the most quadricep-blessed of riders. Running behind Metson Lake and through the trees of Golden Gate Park, the Cyclocross is open to last-minute entries as well as those ready to stand for hours watching the athletically gifted.
A Night with Peter Stamm, Chronicle Books, 680 2nd St., SF. www.catranslation.org. 6:00 p.m., free. Swiss author Peter Stamm must pen good drinking prose: a discussion of his well-received novels comes accompanied by an open bar funded by the Swiss Consulate.
The Problem of the Color(blind) discussion University Press Books, 2430 Bancroft, Berk. www.universitypressbooks.com. 5:30 – 7:00 p.m., free. Brandi Catanese teaches in the theater and African American studies departments at Cal. The two disciplines inform her latest book on race neutrality within American popular culture. In it, she covers topics ranging from Ice Cube’s family movie star status to playwright August Wilson.
“History of Noe Valley” talk St. Philip’s Catholic Church, 725 Diamond, SF. www.friendsofnoevalley.com. 7:30 – 9 p.m., $5. Bill Yenne has illustrated for Rolling Stone. He’s written six books on the subject of beer. He’s authored works on Sitting Bull and Alexander the Great. He’s also an expert on a subject closer to home: Noe Valley, where he’s lived for thirty-seven years.
Journalism, Academia and Censorship talk Koret Auditorium, Main Library, 100 Larkin, SF. www.sfpl.org. 6 p.m., free. David Barsamian, founder of Alternative Radio and repeated interviewer of Noam Chomsky talks censorship. It’s a subject he knows well: Barsamian was deported on account of his opinions from India this past September.