You could find no better brand rep than Swagger Cosmetics‘ Blake Karamazov. The tiny club kid (who came to us a few years ago fresh from the female drag-friendly land of Seattle) rarely leaves the house without her face immaculately, fantastically done — think ruby red 4mm glitter lips, sherbet orange eyebrows, or an exaggerated, smoky cat eye. The woman lives for everyday drag queen. But as a vegan, Karamazov bridled at many heavily pigmented makeup lines. Lucky us, because the Sanrio-obsessed entrepreneur started designing her own one-woman line of glitters, lipsticks, eye shadows — and most recently, fake eyelashes — manufactured 100 percent sans animal cruelty. Having recently made up one of her genderbending idols James St. James, there’s no question this babe’s got swag. Check her wares online, and don’t miss her wildly popular, glam-inspiring Instagram game.

Best of the Bay 2013: BEST BE-SPOKED FASHION


We’re constantly on the hunt for the perfect outfit that will make it through our daily transition from work serf to night owl. Reversible scarves, tear-away skirts, all black outfits — those work OK. But what about then shoes? What pair of hoofers can glide us from the workbound bike lane to the underground dance floor? Welp, a local company has the solution to our woes: DZR Shoes, an SF-based (though they manufacture overseas) outfit that creates sneakers that can clip to all manners of pedal types, but look fly as all getout. Whether you go for high or low top, fully vegan design or whole grain leather, knee-high lace-up or slip-in, chances are you can find the kicks to complete your Lycra-free lane look in style. Our current favorite? The sleek, all-black Minna, designed by artist-DJ Jeremiah Bal.

Best of the Bay 2013: BEST WORLD SOUND BITES


Watch live flamenco and Arabian fusion music while you dance with a side of papas bravas and plantains. Take in the All-Star Latin Band on weekly Cuban and world music nights while munching Andean fresh corn tamales and yuca frita with cashew cream. Yes, North Beach’s intimate cultural center and restaurant Peña Pachamama (“on a little side street in San Francisco’s old Latin Quarter somewhere between Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, and endless Italian late-night cafes”) offers up such startlingly refreshing culinary-auditory pairings, nearly every night of the week. The friendly South American restaurant and performance venue offers an exceptional range of cultural treats for your tummy and mind, and begs this simple question: why is it so damn hard to find vegan, gluten free, and/or deliciously organic cuisine at other music venues in veg-friendly San Francisco? No matter — Peña Pachamama has already delivered the goods, and they are spicy.

1630 Powell, SF. (415) 646-0018,



It is with good reason that Hella Vegan Eats’ doughnut burger was the runaway star of the San Francisco Street Food Festival this year. No false modesty here: the Bay Guardian had already been praising that sticky delicious beet burger for months, even giving it top billing in our “Vegan Junk Food” feature. But no matter who broke the story; the real scoop here is that special dish, lovingly crafted by couple-founders Tiffany and Sylvee Esquivel, and showing up regularly at places like Dear Mom, Timeless Coffee in Oakland, and Dolores Park through La Cocina. Dig its moist-yet-crunchy patty fashioned from freekah (an ancient cereal) and beets and plopped between two (vegan) sugar donuts, piled high with pickled veggies, and laced with a tangy secret sauce. So wrong that it’s right.



Ramen is a staple of many an SF diet — especially in the chilly summer months laced with our trademark fog. But the dish almost always includes meat, or at the very least those so-called vegetarian noodles and veggies are floating in warm fish broth. It can seem particularly rude to dissect each element of the noodle bowl at a traditional spot, causing headaches for servers and hungry vegans alike. Enter Ken Ken Ramen, a popular Mission brick-and-mortar location that started as a pop-up. It proudly serves both the traditional stuff, unique nightly specials, and the noodle bowl of vegan dreams. No guessing, it’s labeled clearly on the menu: “Miso Vegan Ramen.” Ah, such a relief filling your belly with warm, tender noodles. And that sizzling bowl includes vegan broth, vegan noodles, and “veggies galore.” Vegans rejoice!

3378 18th St., SF. (415) 967-2636,

Best of the Bay 2013: BEST BORSCHT IN BERNAL


Even if you don’t much care for piroshkis (although if that’s the case, we feel only sorrow in our hearts for you), the borscht will keep you coming back to Anda Piroshki. Tucked away in the local mini-mall of the Marketplace on Cortland, the counter’s proprietor Anna Tvelova keeps things simple by offering only a handful of menu options. The signature Anda Piroshki borscht is one of the tastiest we’ve ever encountered — no mushy puree, this savory-sweet beet soup is a chunky, earthy stew of slow-cooked veggies and copious dill simmered in a broth and sold in six-dollar pints so flavorful it’s hard to believe that they’re vegan. But they are.

The Marketplace, 331 Cortland, SF. (415) 821-9905,

Best of the Bay 2013 Editors Picks: Shopping




Editors picks are chosen by Guardian editors for special recognition for brightening the Bay Area experience.


Get that paper, paper, paper — printed. Holed up in a cozy garage with a cute dog and a hunky Vandercock proof press (a rare specimen last produced in the 1960s), the letterpress-loving ladies of Western Editions create and design paper goods for all occasions and situations, from badass business cards with handmade charm to colorful and direct wedding invites that may just get your flaky San Franciscan friends to actually attend the soirée. “Letterpress is magic,” is the motto of Western Addition residents Taylor Reid and Erin Fong, two friends turned business partners who are down to customize and open to suggestions, meaning you can make all the cute shit your ambitious heart desires, or purchase some one else’s great idea from their online store. Oh, hey, and they offer supercool DIY workshops, too — just in time for the holidays.

555 Rose, SF.


We’re constantly on the hunt for the perfect outfit that will make it through our daily transition from work serf to night owl. Reversible scarves, tear-away skirts, all black outfits — those work OK. But what about then shoes? What pair of hoofers can glide us from the workbound bike lane to the underground dance floor? Welp, a local company has the solution to our woes: DZR Shoes, an SF-based (though they manufacture overseas) outfit that creates sneakers that can clip to all manners of pedal types, but look fly as all getout. Whether you go for high or low top, fully vegan design or whole grain leather, knee-high lace-up or slip-in, chances are you can find the kicks to complete your Lycra-free lane look in style. Our current favorite? The sleek, all-black Minna, designed by artist-DJ Jeremiah Bal.



Her eyes scanning the abandoned lots and hillsides of the Stinson area and East Bay, Louesa Roebuck of Louesa Roebuck Flora isn’t afraid to snoop, sneak, or hustle in the name of foraging for flowers. Her mission: fetch that wild flora and arrange it in ways that exemplify the plant’s natural majesty. Gleaning armloads of budding branches, floppy magnolias, brilliant poppies, sweet mallow, bright berries, and sharp citrus from both public and secret locations, Louesa finds beauty in imperfection, a sublime bouquet in nature’s fantastic mistakes. She lets the blooms and leaves curl, crawl, and droop as they will, showcasing the fascinating juxtaposition between life and slow, dreamy decay. Visit her tiny Hayes Valley shop to see the day’s treasures and meet some of the gorgeous plants living right beside you.

597 Hayes, SF. (415) 686-5482,


Like a sweater for your insides, the names warm your gray matter: Broichladdich, Glayva, Mackillop’s, Benriach, Balvenie, Glenmorangie. Standing in the sweetly crammed back bottle room of downtown’s Whisky Shop can be a meditative experience for scotch lovers — the selection of malts and blends vies for the city’s best, with employees as helpful as their kilts are fetching. And should the Whisky Shop staff’s sartorial motif inspire, the front portion of the store is stocked with a rainbow of tartan, wool, and waxed fabric wardrobe. Score kilts and genuine, betasseled fur sporrans you’ll use to stash your new perfectly heart-shaped silver flask. And possibly a novelty gift or two — the Whisky Shop is also flush with crest-adorned coasters, canned haggis, and artisan lotions from the United Kingdom.

360 Sutter, SF. (415) 989-1030,



While there can be no debate that surf shops, in general, are selling a lifestyle, few are hawking a way of living as healthy as Mill Valley’s beloved Proof Lab. Need proof? The nine-year-old store (whose owners used reclaimed and reused materials wherever possible in its construction) stocks the best in sustainable men’s and women’s clothing, surfboard brands, and skateboard fixins, of course. But it also hosts a passel of community-minded offerings: sustainability workshops, toddler art classes, a native plant nursery, a biodiesel fuel station. On the lot next door you’ll find a teaching garden co-founded by Proof where one can take the occasional canning seminar, and buy fresh local produce. Plus: a new Equator coffee bar, to keep you up for those waves.

244 Shoreline Highway, Mill Valley. (415) 380-8900,



We bow down to the business acumen and sharp eye for trends possessed by Floss Gloss duo Aretha Sack and Janine Lee. These two California College of the Arts grads eschewed inward-looking artistic exploration, instead embarking on a mission to paint the world with the sizzling neons and kick-ass, vintage-inspired shades that haunt their minds eye. Their canvas? The fingernails of the Bay Area’s young, hip, and gifted. How did they take their line of animal cruelty-free nail polishes from late-night study sessions to indie and corporate retailers around the globe? (All while remaining 100 percent free of DBPs, formaldehyde, and other harmful chemicals — these colors may scream “heavy metal,” but contain none.) Let us count the ways: perfect nacho cheese orange and bikini coral lacquers; irresistibly chic tones like Party Bruise, Dimepiece, Black Holy, Faded, Pony, and Blood, Suede, and Tears; endless pop-up nail salons, hard work … and the knowledge that you can do anything when you’ve got a perfect 10 to point the way.



It is a satisfying, luxurious — if fundamental — satisfaction, settling in to make dinner with a hiss-sharp passel of well-honed knives. Fans of cutting-edge pleasures will want to slip into Nob Hill’s Town Cutler, a well-hewn, immaculately organized shop of blades both wildly fabulous (a $1,050 Wilburn Forge Japanese chef knife, its silver nickel sharp marbled and lovely) and craftily utilitarian (a $100 handleless Takeda Kogotana meant for woodworking). Owner Galen Garretson will sell you these, sharpen the utensils you already own, teach you to work your own knives in a sharpening tutorial or informative class, and even help you get a handle on blunter culinary objects — the back of Town Cutlery is an elegantly hung array of those most-unsharp kitchen friends: spoons.

1005 Bush, SF. (415) 359-1519,



These are the facts: Reading is cool, books are rad, free books are even radder, and the best combo of all of these is the Bay Area Free Book Exchange. At any given moment, the space — run cooperatively by a cadre of indie booksellers and printed-page junkies — houses some 10,000 books, all free for the taking. (“It’s like an ever-changing treasure hunt among thousands of books,” its website declares, and we have to agree.) Since opening in May 2009, the Exchange has given away over 350,000 books during its weekend hours, with an ultimate goal of handing out a million, and beyond! Since it survives on donations, consider adding your own previously-read tomes to the stacks proudly bearing this stamp: “Not for Resale, This is a Free Book.”

10520 San Pablo, El Cerrito. (510) 705-1200,



A compellingly curated combination of artwork by some of San Francisco’s eye-catching countercultural artists — with noteworthy post-industrial tinge courtesy of the Burning Man diaspora — and intriguing flea market finds by diligent shoppers with an eye for the urban aesthetic, Carousel Consignment SF is an oasis of great pre-found finds. This welcoming and decidedly funky Mission whirl, set in motion by co-owners Kelley Wehman and Illy McMahan (who bonded over their passion for all things circus and vintage), can turn a quick fly-by into an afternoon-long exploration. Furniture, toys, lighting, textiles … Its quirky assemblage of wares preserves its surroundings’ penchant for the wacky and weird.

2391 Mission, SF. (415) 821-9848,



You know how it goes: surfing the www.aves of one’s sleek laptop, a stray image distracts. Suddenly, you’re no longer typing that return email — your mind has fixed on a different kind of click entirely. For you, sweets, SoMa brand Crave‘s line of tech-happy sex toys. Designed and produced by Ti Chang and Michael Topolovac, and assembled in the land of SF startup, each of the company’s gorgeous, whisper-quiet specimens have all the design and functionality of your favorite Apple toy. Our favorite is the Duet, a vibe with a double-pronged, silicone clitoral approach available in gold plating and with the option of eight or 16 GB of data storage thanks to a USB charging battery. That’s right: there is a USB port up in this vibrator. Adventurous souls can wear their pleasure out in public: Crave’s “Droplet” lariat necklace doubles as discreet nipple vibrators.


To some, a house full of Alex Pardee visual art would reap naught but disturbed sleep and missed meals. A living dream catcher made of exposed sinew and dripping eyeballs dangling from tendons, ready to snatch a soul; a roaring “Sharkasus” with razor teeth, four legs, and wings; an endless parade of your favorite horror icons rendered somehow even more terrifying by his spindly, precise strokes. But given the fact there are now two Bay Area shops stocked primarily with his prints, originals, and tees — in addition to the unnerving yet painterly work of other artists like Dave Correia — plenty of us are digging it. While shopping for the creep-craver in your life, you’ll do no better than the Oakland or Lower Haight location of Zero Friends, which has become a ground zero of sorts for the street art marketing scene.

419 Haight, SF. (415) 418-9912; 489A 25th St., Oakl. (510) 735-9405 (open first Fridays of the month or by appointment only);



Should you need a custom cabinet, a staircase rehab, perhaps a new cupola on your clock tower, you can turn to Clipper Construction’s Mathieu Palmer. But 501 Waller, the storefront Palmer owned and used as storage space — as he told local blog Haighteration — wasn’t the best use of a neighborhood-facing corner shop. Enter Palmer’s friend Dan Daniel, who created Clipper Repair from this clutter, a friendly place for fixing up, designing, or refurbishing anything you could imagine: lamps, cabinets, antique furniture, electrical things. The interior is a gorgeously organized wonderland of screws, nails, tools, gears, and random curiosities. And then! Garret Peters turned Clipper’s back storage room into a bike shop called Wiggle Bikes, conveniently located off the Wiggle, our crosstown thoroughfare for the two-wheeled. Could there be a more useful stop-off for lovers of sustainable transportation and reuse than the Clipper Repair-Wiggle Bikes complex?

501 Waller, SF. (415) 621-4733,



You could find no better brand rep than Swagger Cosmetics‘ Blake Karamazov. The tiny club kid (who came to us a few years ago fresh from the female drag-friendly land of Seattle) rarely leaves the house without her face immaculately, fantastically done — think ruby red 4mm glitter lips, sherbet orange eyebrows, or an exaggerated, smoky cat eye. The woman lives for everyday drag queen. But as a vegan, Karamazov bridled at many heavily pigmented makeup lines. Lucky us, because the Sanrio-obsessed entrepreneur started designing her own one-woman line of glitters, lipsticks, eye shadows — and most recently, fake eyelashes — manufactured 100 percent sans animal cruelty. Having recently made up one of her genderbending idols James St. James, there’s no question this babe’s got swag. Check her wares online, and don’t miss her wildly popular, glam inspiring Instagram game.


You don’t care if they work from home or not — the neighbors are taking too much pleasure from your lax approach to towels on the post-shower strut from the bathroom, and you sense an overeager, extra pair of peepers when you and your sweet are snuggled up watching Jessica Lange chew the scenery on American Horror Story: Coven. Thank goodness for Christine and Jeff Vidall, whose Art Shade Shop has been keeping neighborly boundaries firm in a densely-packed city since 1934. Wood slats, pleated blinds, sunbrellas, fabric coverings — this Castro couple has it all, perfect for the moment you need more privacy than those gorgeous bay windows will afford on their own. The basement shop (nook, really) also offers bead and reel clutch mechanisms, bottom-up lock pulleys, and Hauser roller shades. If you don’t know what any of that is, they’ll gladly install it all for you anyway.

698 14th St., SF. (415) 431-5074,



And then there are times when you just need a retreat from harsh illumination. Perhaps the fluorescent bars at the office seared your retinas too deeply today, or maybe you wish to give your date a softly lit, haloed-in-shadow version of ever-romantical you. These are the moments in which you’ll be grateful for Lamp Shades SF and its colorfully appointed showroom, ready to shield you from the ever-burning light. A leopard topper for that candlestick fixture? Modern puce shades for the chandelier in the foyer? A pair of matching onyx horse head bedside numbers? You will find them all here. Bring the base or bulb for which you need a topper, ring the doorbell to be allowed entrance, and let the decidedly unshady staff help you select the level of lighting best suited for your look.

199 Potrero, SF. (415) 431-6720



If you’re looking for a vintage instrument with a personal touch, Panhandle Guitar hits all the right chords. Rock fiends will swoon for the intimate, nicely overstuffed shop’s collection of prime and shiny vintage guitars, basses, amps, and effects. Panhandle buys old instruments too — on consignment, or trade-in — and offers on-site repairs. Owner Robert Williams is known for his encyclopedic knowledge, and there’s a laid-back and welcoming vibe we dig, charmed by store windows cluttered with neon signs and a child mannequin in an oversized Panhandle Guitar T-shirt. Guitar Center this is not; the stated store hours seem more like vague suggestions of when it might be open, and Mondays are simply listed as “some times” open with a smiley face. This kind of store is sadly uncommon these days — a unique, owner-run vendor of rare instrumental goods, tuned into the needs of fellow artists.

1221 Fell, SF. (415) 552-1302,



When Cable Car Clothiers — venerable haberdasher to dashing gents since 1946 — announced it was vacating its Sansome and Bush location in 2012, our hearts sank. Was this incredible emporium of all things Mad Men-Rat Pack-Nautical Chic-Dressy Preppy about to vanish, like so many other San Francisco institutions? Where, oh where, would we get our crushable Trilby fedoras, handsomely polka-dotted navy blue ascots, and elaborate cherry-handled horsehair brush sets? Never fear: the relocation a few blocks away signaled a snazzy revamp. Jonathan Levin, grandson of original Clothier Charles Pivnick, had returned to the family business, determined to pump some classy 21st Century zazz into the joint. The large, handsome new showroom retains all the charm of the former space — but decks it out in voluminous racks and shelves of exquisite menswear treasures. Another reason to spend your entire afternoon here: the in-store barbershop with master barber Nicky and associates providing hot lather and straight razor shaves, hot toweling, scissor hair cuts, and more. You want full-service swank? This is the place, my man.

110 Sutter, SF. (415) 397-4740,


Wiggle your bike down to this sweet little corner shop near Duboce Park for lessons in fine and lovely things. Aline’s Closet is the three-year-old queendom of a one Aline Dazogbo, a seamstress whose French-inflected takes on dresses, skirts, and blouses may just lead you to the customized wardrobe item of your dream. Dazogbo designs and creates nearly everything in the shop: yoga pants, handbags, column skirt-tube top combos, and more. Though many items are ready-to-wear, a rack along one wall of the sunny store showcases the garments she can tailor-make just for you: a lace-paneled velvet slip, a clingy, cap-sleeved onesie. Should her sweet, sassy patterns stray even one iota from your fantasy outfit, don’t fret: Dazogbo loves to help customers concoct one-of-a-kind wearables based out of nothing more than their own visions.

101 Pierce, SF. (415) 312-3468,



Powerful chrome and polished enamel parts, operated by hand, executing a series of swift cuts and swooping motions. Classic design masterfully crafted, all building to — gasp! — the perfect slice of salami. Welcome to the world of Emilio Mitidieri, the man who brings the Bay Area’s venerable Emiliomiti “culinary toys” to life. Though his company is playfully named, Mitidieri’s creations mean business — wood fire and gas brick ovens that yield perfectly cooked pizza pies, pasta machines that extrude dreamy strands of fettuccini, and specimens like the Slicer Mito 300, an elegantly crafted meat slicer that mimics the classic designs of the deli of yesteryear. Mitidieri has been supplying restaurants and dedicated chefs with the tools needed for success for decades now, so chances are you’ve already sampled some of his playful perfection topped with marinara or nestled in a hoagie roll.



Bolivian-born David Forte’s SoMa workshop has one mission: to light up your life, and colorfully at that. Opened in 1971, Forte’s San Francisco Stained Glass Works is the place to go for those who would have blooming lilies twinkling above a front door, or an Art Deco Emerald City to enliven the upper strata of one’s workspace. The shop turns out devotional works for pane-minded churches and synagogues and extravagantly lovely flatware sets. Others flock to learn the craft themselves. A course on glass fusing and a stained glass 101 are both offered by Forte’s staff, not to mention monthly space rentals for artists in need of a communal glass grinder, firing kiln, and place to indulge a penchant for transcendent translucents.

1246 Howard, SF. (415) 626-3592,



Local artist Amos Goldbaum hand-draws and hand-prints some of the most recognizable, SF-centric t-shirts (and hoodies, tanks, and baby onesies) available on the streets — literally, on the streets, since he also hand-sells his wares from wire racks on Valencia, near the Ferry Building, at street fairs like the recent Castro Street Fair, and other open-air spots. Goldbaum’s complete repertoire goes far beyond the familiar tourist-friendly landscapes he’s known for: his web portfolio is packed with psychological, fantastical illustrated scenes you’d spot immediately in a gallery — but probably never witness out a Muni window. When it comes to uniquely Bay gifts, though, you won’t want to miss his quirky, amazingly detailed and vibrant line-drawing takes on local landmarks like Dolores Park, with old-school playground intact, and Bernal Hill — or his illo of the old-timey Sutro Baths, complete with Cliff House aflame in the background.



Inside the massive American Steel building, a relic of Oakland’s industrial past repurposed and managed mostly for the Burning Man art world, there’s a beautifully intricate two-story Western saloon made from recycled materials, originally built as the Dustfish Bordello for Black Rock City in 2009. In the intervening years, the structure has matured into what is now known as American Steel’s Oaktown Hall, an art gallery and event space that became a hub this year for a variety of ventures within what its organizers call the salvage and reuse arts. Skate ramps! Haitian art tours! Crazy, old-timey auctions! The hall is a gathering place and focal point for those who would find creative reuses for so-called junk, and build relationships among West Oakland’s diverse communities.

1960 Mandela Parkway, Oakl. (415) 794-1827,



It has been remarked that West Portal is quite the happy village in the middle of this teeming city. We concur. Tucked into the side of a hill topped by a Twin Peak, slung happily along a leafy central promenade, the neighborhood is not the worst model for Main Street, USA. Tip and Top Vacuum & Shoe Service, particularly seen in this light, is an all-American gem. Bring in your dirt sucker for a fix-me-up and the capable staff will get it back to dirt bunny-busting in two shakes of a dusty rug. And like any good member of a small community, Tip and Top is a multitasker, as evident from the boots in the window. The shop also repairs shoes, and will even custom-cobble you a boot or slipper. To recap: Tip and Top fixes vacuums and shoes, it’s cute as a button, and you kind of need to check it out.

173 W Portal, SF. (415) 664-9320



All over the news last year: Medical marijuana dispensaries in San Francisco and other cities were being shut down by a spasm of overzealous and anachronistic enforcement by the federal government (see “Why?” 8/14/12). But a wave of young clubs were undaunted by the headlines. Indeed, many went through the entirely navigable local approval process for cannabis clubs and threw open their doors, come what may from Kamala Harris, Eric Holder, and the rest of the “drug warriors.” Among the best of the bunch? Bloom Room, an elegant establishment just a stone’s throw from hoity-toity Mint Plaza and the Chronicle Building in the heart of downtown. “Where medicine blooms wellness follows” is its somewhat logically fuzzy yet totally cromulent motto. Bloom Rooms got great weed — strains like Grape Romulan (I), Girl Scout Cookies, Chem Dawg, Pink Lemonade, and a special Bloom Blend — at decent prices, weighed out by super-nice and knowledgeable employees, in a classy, exposed brick interior. Here’s hoping Bloom’s given enough room to put down some roots.

471 Jessie, SF. (415) 543-7666,



“I’ve had it with these cheap sons of bitches who claim they love poetry but never buy a book,” SF literary legend Kenneth Rexroth once supposedly said. Many share his sentiment when it comes to music — especially as our city rapidly empties itself of neighborhood record stores (and book stores, too, for that matter). Rexroth himself used to live above Jack’s Record Cellar, one of our longest-operating vinyl concerns — since 1951! — and also one of the most poetic spots in the city. Packed with the rarest of 33s, 45s, and, miraculously, stacks of so-desirable-we-can’t-stand-it 78s, Jack’s has all the jazz you want — plus soul, opera, country, doo-wop, standards, and classic pop. Memorabilia papers the walls, and piles of records spill out onto the aisles. Like many spots in the area, it’s more of a relaxed hangout than a capitalist venture. Conversation is prized over cash receipts. Open hours are spare and unpredictable. Saturday afternoons are a good bet, proprietor Wade Wright might be there to let you in. Unlike Rexroth, he values the love over the sale.

254 Scott, (415) 431-3047



After a 25-year stint on 16th Street in the now-teeming Valencia Corridor, and years of rumors of impending closure, a steep rent increase nearly caused literary, cultural, and artistic hub Adobe Books to shut its doors for good. But supporters launched a fundraising campaign using crowd-funding platform Indiegogo and succeeded in raising $60,000, enough to secure a new home on 24th Street — which, along with the re-situated Modern Times Bookstore, has become somewhat of a haven for gentrification-fleeing libraries. “Adobe has been such an important part of our lives as artists, writers, book lovers, and Mission dwellers,” the bookstore and gallery’s boosters wrote, in what turned out to be a wildly successful pitch. “We couldn’t see the Mission without it.”

3130 24th St, SF. (415) 864-3936,


Best of the Bay 2013 Readers Poll: Food and Drink



Food and Drink




560 Divisadero, SF




The Embarcadero

Pier 5, SF




8 6th St, SF




800 N Point, SF




1525 Pine, SF




2534 Mission, SF











1 Ferry Bldg, SF




Multiple locations




Multiple locations




2288 Mission; 3211 Mission St; 1003 Market St, SF




Multiple locations




Multiple locations




576 Haight, SF




3369 Mission, SF




430 Geary, SF




Multiple locations




655 Divisadero, SF




652 Polk, SF




640 Sacramento, SF




Multiple locations




Multiple locations




546 Valencia, SF





2234 Mission, SF




Multiple locations




Fort Mason, Bldg A, SF




580 Geary, SF




28 6th St, SF




198 Guerrero, SF




Multiple locations




Multiple locations







800 N Point St, SF







3049 20th St, SF




270 7th St, SF




Multiple locations




101 6th St, SF




3152 Mission, SF




3158 Mission, SF




495 Geary Street, SF




500 Divisadero, SF




2247 Market, SF




2239 Polk, SF




1111 White Lane, St. Helena


53 Bluxome St, SF




1551 Dolores, SF




1705 Mariposa, SF




547 Haight, SF




3010 20th St, SF




199 Valencia St, SF




375 11th St, SF




4218 Mission St, SF




Multiple locations




235 Cortland, SF




1 Ferry Bldg, SF




455 Market St, SF


On the Cheap: September 25 – October 2, 2013


On the Cheap listings are compiled by Guardian staff. Submit items for the listings at For further information on how to submit items for the listings, see Selector.


Marsh Berkeley Happy Hour Marsh Berkeley Cabaret, 2120 Allston, Berk; 7-9pm (bar opens at 6pm), free. Also Thu-Fri. Ongoing. Enjoy drink specials and free musical performances at this ongoing happy hour. Tonight, check out the versatile Randy Craig with guests; Thu, it’s a rotating lineup of jazz musicians; Fri, it’s blues with Wayne Harris and friends.


David Cross, Bob Odenkirk, Brian Posehn Book Passage, 1 Ferry Bldg, SF; 1pm, free. The comedy actors (Cross is now best-known for Arrested Development, Odenkirk for Breaking Bad) present their new book, Hollywood Said No!: Orphaned Film Scripts, Bastard Scenes, and Abandoned Darlings from the Creators of Mr. Show.

“Remediation Strategies for Urban Soils” Ecology Center, 2530 San Pablo, Berk; 7-9pm, free. Soil expert Steve Calanog of the EPA discusses contamination issues that affect urban gardeners.

“Shipwreck: Competitive Erotic Fanfiction (Catcher in the Rye edition) Booksmith, 1644 Haight, SF; 7pm, $10 (includes drinks). “Six great writers destroy one book and one great character at a time” — so Holden Caulfield is in for a night of insane adventures, no doubt.


Annie Barrows BookShop West Portal, 80 West Portal, SF; (415) 564-8080. 11am, free. Calling all young readers: the children’s book author reads from Ivy + Bean Take the Case.

Beth Dean Cartoon Art Museum, 655 Mission, SF; 2-4pm, free. The Cartoon Art Museum’s artist-in-residence — also the owner of Black Forest, a publishing house and oddities shop — shares her cool, clever, sometimes-creepy works.

World Veg Festival San Francisco County Fair Bldg, Lincoln at Ninth Ave, SF; 10am-6pm, $10 (free for students, seniors, kids under 12, and anyone who shows up before 10:30am). Through Sun/29. The San Francisco Vegetarian Society hosts its 14th annual festival, with authors, community activists, cooking demos, vegan-friendly exhibitors, tips on urban gardening, and more.


“Beat Swap Meet” La Peña Cultural Center and the Starry Plough, 3101-05 Shattuck, Berk; Noon-6pm, $5 with a canned good. Record collectors and dealers from all over California showcase crates of vinyl, with DJs spinning rare cuts while you shop and swap.

“Fall Free for All” UC Berkeley campus, Berk; 11am-6pm, free. A full day of free performances, including the New Century Chamber Orchestra, Marcus Shelby Quintet, ODC/Dance, San Francisco Opera Adler Fellows, Theatre of Yugen, La Tania Ballet Flamenco, special performances aimed at kids (puppets! Instrument petting zoo!) and more.

Folsom Street Fair Folsom between Seventh and 12th Sts, SF; 11am-6:30pm, free (suggested donation $7-10). The 30th annual incarnation of the popular leather-and-fetish fair promises to be the biggest yet, with an extra half-hour of fair time to boot.

Nuala Ni Conchuir United Irish Cultural Center, 2700 45th Ave, SF; 5pm, $5. The Irish author reads from her fourth short story collection, Mother America.

Sunday Streets in the Excelsior Seneca from San Jose to Mission, and Mission from Seneca to Teresa/Avalon, SF; 11am-4pm, free. The popular, rotating, pedestrian-and-bike-friendly neighborhood party touches down in the Excelsior.


Anthony Marra, Karen Tei Yamashita, and Zachary Mason Booksmith, 1644 Haight, SF; 7:30pm, free. Three contributors read from the myth-retelling story collection xo Orpheus: Fifty New Myths.


“Arch Lecture Series: Kengo Kuma” Wheeler Hall, UC Berkeley, Berk; 6:30pm, free. The noted Japanese architect speaks about his work.

Linda Spalding Booksmith, 1644 Haight, SF; 7:30pm, free. The award-winning Canadian author reads from The Purchase, about a Quaker family in 1798 Virginia. *


Alerts: September 25 – October 2, 2013



Radical archiving and cataloging as social history 518 Valencia, SF. The Shaping San Francisco public talks series continues with a discussion defining a “radical archive,” exploring the role that nontraditional archives play in the interpretation and preservation of peoples’ history, the role of ordinary people in the preservation of these archives and more. Joining the discussion will be Lincoln Cushing of Docs Populi, as well as Claude Marks and Nathaniel Moore, both of the Freedom Archives.


Solar Energy Panel Discussion David Brower Center, 2150 Allston, Berk. 6-9pm, free. Andreas Karelas, the Executive Director of Revolv, and Jackson Koeppel of Soulardarity will lead a panel discussion on the use of solar energy and how it works. They will also attempt to clear up a few common misconceptions about solar power. Doors open at 5:30pm. Those who can’t attend can tune in on Ustream.




Press up! El Rio, 3158 Mission, SF. 6pm, donations $25 and up. An independent press is crucial. Join Tim Redmond, former editor-publisher of the Bay Guardian, as he launches the nonprofit San Francisco Progressive Media Center, dedicated to publishing a new online news source and keeping local journalism alive and independent of corporate, non-local interests. Co-hosts include Tom Ammiano, David Campos, Alicia Garza, Giuliana Milanese and Gabriel Haaland.

Syria: Secrets and lies Unitarian Universalist Center, 1187 Franklin, SF. 7-9pm, free. Dr. Steven Zunes, a professor of politics and international studies at the University of San Francisco and Middle Eastern studies program chair, will examine whether the US is about to go to war again on unverifiable or perhaps false pretexts; why the Administration is so committed to this conflict, and how can we understand the actual facts behind the recently documented atrocities in Syria. Sponsored by the Progressive Democrats of American and Unitarian Universalists for Peace, SF.


SATURDAY 28 14th Annual World Veg Festival San Francisco County Fair Building, Lincoln & Ninth, Golden Gate Park, SF. 10am-6:30pm, $10 suggested donation. This festival will feature cooking demonstrations, speakers and live entertainment, including an eco-fashion show. Visitors will have the opportunity to sample and purchase vegetarian cuisine. The event is presented by the SF Vegetarian Society and sponsored by Varnashram, In Defense of Animals and Friends of Animals. An organic vegan dinner will be available each night for $26; sign up online.

SATURDAY 29 Grito De Lares Celebration Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, 2868 Mission, SF. 4:30-7 p.m., free. Celebrate Grito De Lares, a holiday commemorating the birth of Puerto Rico as a nation, at the MCCLA on Sunday. 145 years ago this past Sept. 23, Puerto Rican revolutionaries entered the town of Lares to proclaim the birth of the Puerto Rican nation. At the bilingual event there will be a commemoration of the revolution, a discussion panel and a poetry reading in addition to Puerto Rican food and music.

Can’t-miss treats at the upcoming SF Street Food Fest


The smells of deliciousness were overwhelming. Where do we start?!

As Sam Love and I wandered around the La Cocina media preview for August 17’s San Francisco Street Food Festival, everywhere we looked there were delightful taste treats, colorful, fresh and also deep fried. I’ll take four of each, thank you.

We made the rounds, chatting with fantastic chefs who are living their dreams, whipping up flavors from around the world. We tried everything and, while we enjoyed it all, becoming clean plate champions many times over, there were three highlights that made our short list. If you don’t have the stomach to make it to all the vendors at the Street Food Festival, we’d recommend trying these first:

Chiefo’s Kitchen
Chiefo served plantain and chocolate bread pudding that was soft and heavenly, but also punched back with a sinful slap of rum. Chiefo’s Kitchen West African flavors are not to miss. Check her out at the Night Market!

Azalina’s Malaysian
I live for Azalina’s smile. She could hand me a slice of cold leftover pizza, and with that smile, it would taste like the most exquisite dish. The fact is, Azalina cooks with tremendous love and care, and eating her food is therapy for the soul. She is an amazing chef, from a long family line of street vendors from Penang, and her food explodes with the island’s spices, but also takes advantage of our freshest local California produce. She prepared sweet potato dumplings, decorated with colorful fruit and veggie bonnets. So yum!

Hella Vegan Eats
Two words: doughnut burger. Wait — it’s not what you’re thinking! It’s a doughnut sandwich stuffed with a beet and kamut patty, topped with kale, pickled red onions and dill weed, and squirted with secret sauce. It’s pretty much the cutest thing ever, perfectly balancing the most unhealthy and healthy food items in a few giant bites, and worth unhinging your jaw for. Vegan can definitely be bad-ass.

Photos by Bowerbird Photography

Rise and snack


TOFU AND WHISKEY Listening to infectious Terry Malts track “I Do” on a blissed-out drive across the bridge to Oakland last weekend, I was struck by how the song has grown so ingrained in my psyche.

With its driving hook and repetitive “I do/I do/I do/oh-oh” chorus about young punks in love, it’s like an underground college radio hit earworm, or the song you methodically skip to with a carful of friends on a sweaty sojourn to the beach, triumphantly pushing play on the old tape deck. It has that timeless, enduring quality. It feels like its always been in my collection.

And yet, the upbeat punk song is less than two years old, created by the San Francisco trio for its debut 2012 LP Killing Time (Slumberland). It’s got this nostalgic pull inherent in the band, and might be the best example of such among its back catalog. Returning to Killing Time left me wondering what was next for the group. Lo and behold, Terry Malts just announced the sophomore follow-up: Nobody Realizes This Is Nowhere, which will be released Sept. 10 also via Slumberland Records. The announcement came with a first single, driving, noisier, “I Was Not There.” Sensing a theme here?

Terry Malts were featured in my inaugural “On the Rise” cover story, in 2012 (it’s now a yearly tradition in the first couple months of the year), and it made me wonder how the others were doing.

As luck would have it, there was also news last week that chilly synch duo Silver Swans (Jonathan Waters and Ann Yu) returned with new track “Sea of Love,” off upcoming album Touch.

Likely the group I’ve most followed since the story, rockers Dirty Ghosts have grown tighter and louder in the past year or so, and have played both the Treasure Island Music Festival and a raucous, shred-worthy Noise Pop slot opening for the Thermals.

And then there’s multi-instrumentalist Jhameel, who has since moved to LA, but has kept up with a steady stream of beat-friendly R&B and pop releases, music vids, and drunk YouTube clips for fans, most recently collaborating with Giraffage and DWNTWN on the track “Move Me,” which showed up on the Kitsuné America 2 compilation.



For those who’ve yet to experience “symphonic ambisonic soundscapes” deep down in the coral reefs: Soundwave SonicLAB, MEDIATE, and the Bold Italic present this sound-heavy Cal Academy Nightlife event with electronic composer-musician Christopher Willits (owner of experimental label on the soundscapes, and local garage pop act the Mantles playing live among the fishies. And for the more scientific angle, there’ll be a talk by oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence (best title ever) Dr. Sylvia A. Earle.

Thu/18, 6-10pm, $12. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, SF.


Vintage children’s tales always seem to take on a slightly creepy quality, and the same can be said for experimental folk songstress, Miwa Gemini. The Brooklyn singer-songwriter makes moody narrative lullabies that sound like campfire tales, told in a crisp singsongy voice over pah-pum drums and guitar lines that bend from Western twang to plucky surf. With Zoe Muth, Margaret Glasby.

Thu/18, 9pm, $10. Amnesia, 853 Valencia, SF.


That blissful drive last weekend? It was the route to Burger Boogaloo, the punk rock summer camp in Oakland’s Mosswood Park. Put together by Burger Records and Total Trash Booking, the fest boasted noisy punks, retro-inspired doo-wop groups, and sloppy surf-rock bands mostly from the Bay Area, LA, and Portland, Ore.,plus Jonathan Richman. There was great warm weather, a fenced off beer plot, vintage clothes and records for sale, and the sugary vegan donut burger made by Hella Vegan Eats.

Mean Greens


THE BLOB Good green goddess, we’re only midway through the season but your Blob is getting asparagused out! This year, that delectable spring stalk seems especially abundant on menus about the Bay, from the warming canh cua mang tay (crab and asparagus soup) at PPQ Dungeness Island ( in the Outer Richmond to the verdant asparagus ice cream served at a Blob friend’s garden party. Along the way: zingy asparagus lemon pizzetta with prosciutto at Per Diem ( in the FiDi, using Zuckerman Farm in Stockton’s trademark purple variety, and the snap of a Shattuck tempura roll with battered yam at Mission vegan Japanese go-to Cha-Ya (762 Valencia, SF).

The following treats are deliberately void of nubby spears — you can asparaguess why. Yet they’re pretty veg-tacular all the same.



As the Blob was rolling through the diner-riffic wonderland that is West Portal — seriously, the bottomless coffee per square footage of this neighborhood is out of countrol — she remembered a sustainable, construct-your-own salad green spot had sprung up among the laden hash brown platters: Market and Rye. (There’s also one on Potrero Hill.) With choices like strawberries, flax seeds, crispy onions, and, yes, roasted asparagus, it was a lunch lock. It was also lunch rush, and the supercute staff seemed a might stretched to put together everyone’s picky orders, so the Blob chose a signature Wolfgang salad ($10.50) instead. It’s a twist on your old school Asian chicken salad, loaded with roasted chicken, red cabbage, carrots,

toasted sesame seeds, mandarin oranges, crunchy Asian trail mix, and hot mustard soy vinaigrette.

The dressing was just a might too creamy-thick for the Blob’s taste. But if there’s one thing

she loves, it’s a twisted Asian chicken salad. So she sat right down at the rustic space’s communal table with her Mason jar of strawberry water — and Wolfganged that ish right down. You can also order yummy premade salads like spring pea with lemon dressing or broccolini Waldorf by the scoop, like ice cream, which is neat.

68 West Portal and 300 De Haro,



The Orbit Room is such a special splice of atmospheric Europe cafe into artisanal SF cocktailia that the Blob hates to risk ruining it by overpromotion. Its spring drink menu is stunning ($10 each — add egg white for two more dollars, cluck cluck). The Blob stopped in with tasty amiga the Tablehopper (, who recounted her scandalous Coachella exploits while enthusing over a Koriander — practically a salad in a glass, with leafy cilantro, tequila, ginger syrup, lime, and celery bitters. A Spring Shrub shapes a traditional American shrub (a colonial-era cocktail using sweetened vinegar syrup) with strawberry balsamic and black peppercorn base, vodka, lemon, a splash of rosé, and mint seltzer.

But the delicious Hayes Valley Farm coated the Blob’s gullet. It’s a classic bee’s knees cocktail, popular during Prohibition, with honey from the farm down the street, gin, lemon, celery juice, and rose water — all romantically garnished with dried rose petals. Sweet, but also bittersweet: sweet because the Hayes Valley farm honey came back after a massive bee die-off in 2010, bitter(ish) because the farm itself will be demolished next month for pricey condos. (The stalwart farmers claim to be OK with this, appreciating the brief time they had.) In 50 years, will people believe there was once a thriving farm there, not in 1813 but in 2013?

1900 Market, SF.



If you’re going to name something “the feast of all feasts” and price it at $30 per person, you know the Blob’s gonna check it out — even if it’s at a mall (in this case under the dome, thus “cupola,” at the Westfield Center). And yes, even though it does that awful phony four percent HealthySF surcharge thing, which the Blob didn’t know until she got the bill. Up to that point, she would have recommended it profligately.

Strap yourself in for eight or so random courses from handsome Lark Creek offshoot Cupola’s impressive Italian menu, decided by the kitchen. (A complementary “Festa Di Bacchus” wine journey can be had for $17.) As in: two-plus hours of well-portioned food — no flighty tasting menu flim-flam here, these are actual dishes. As in: the Blob and her companion Pinky received two whole Neapolitan pizzas (margherita and spice sopressata), a gloriously delicate handkerchief pasta with simple red sauce, a butter lettuce and gorgonzola salad, another salad of chopped veggies and wine-marinated croutons, an al dente squash and (sorry) asparagus dish, and frothy strawberry tiramisu. The highlight? A somehow feather-light artichoke lasagna — they do pasta soft here — accompanied by an arugula-cashew salad. Finally, the Blob was stuffed!

Westfield Center, 845 Market Street, fourth floor,


On the Cheap listings


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LGBT Career Fair SF LGBT Center, 1800 Market, SF. Noon, free. RSVP online. Head over to the LGBT Center today to check out some leading Bay Area employers dedicated to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The fair provides the LGBT community and allied job seekers the opportunity to network and discover new careers.


Green fashion show and discussion SkunkFunk, 1475 Waight, SF 7-9pm, free. Check out a fashion show with a focus on sustainable, eco-friendly clothing. After you’re wooed by all the green style Oceana Lott, a human resource manager, magazine editor, and teacher will speak about how to create a lifestyle that is both fulfilling and economically minded.

The Bone Room Presents The Bone Room, 1573 Solano, SF. 7pm, free. Head to the Bone Room this evening to uncover the mysteries behind the human nose. Neuroscientist Leslie Vosshall will give an in-depth presentation on the biology and possibility of genetic basis for the human sense of smell.

“How to Move a Mountain” Southern Exposure, 3030 20th St., SF. 7-9pm, free. At this eclectic three-pack of presentations on the power of collaborations you’ll be able to learn about the sexual life of slime mold, robots that can improvise music, and how to draw collectively.


Body image workshop AHP Services Center, 1930 Market, SF. 6:30-9:30pm, free. Call (415) 476-6448 x1 to register. Join tonight’s discussion about the way gay and bisexual men see their bodies. The evening will cover ways to improve body image and how it can affect your relationships and sex life.

Natural Poetry Month book party Pegasus Downtown, 2349 Shattuck, Berk. 7pm, free. Celebrate National Poetry Month with Omnidawn Publishing. Writers George Albon, Norma Cole, Alice Jones, and more will give brief readings from their own Omnidawn books. Hors d’oeuvres, desserts, wine, and fizzy water will be provided to sip and snack on.


Public Square: Future soul edition YBCA Forum and Galleries, 701 Mission, SF. 11am-1am. Check website for specific event prices. Join the YBCA for a full day of classes, performances, and exhibits. Some events on the schedule include the 50 Cent Tabernacle, which — for a mere 50 cents — will give you access to up to six of the offered dance and movement classes. Hang out at an event put on by art group Field of Inquiry afterward, which answers the question “What will soul look like in the year 2038?” The group will respond with performances, food, design, murals, and technology. Check the site for a full schedule of events for the day.

Same-Sex Ballroom Competition Just Dance Ballroom, 2500 Embarcadero, Oakl. 10am-11pm, $15 for daytime events only, $25 for evening events only, $35 for entire day. Now in its 11th year, the annual and longest running same-sex dance competition will include international Latin, American smooth, and American rhythm divisions. New to the competition this year are tango and country western dances. The day includes dance lessons for beginners, A-level finals, performances by top rated couples in the evening, and an open social dance for all.

9th Annual Golden Gate Sacred Harp Singing Potrero Hill Neighborhood House, 953 De Haro, SF. 9am-3:30pm, free. Experience the raw power and moving poetry of the sacred harp in an authentic singing ritual — a centuries-old tradition of singing early American hymns in shape note style. A dinner will be held at noon on the grounds, so bring a dish to share.


People’s Park Anniversary People’s Park, 2556 Haste, Berk. Noon-6pm, free. The politically driven, community-run park is celebrating its 44th anniversary today. The day will consist of live performances by The Fvah Squad Band, Junior Toots, and more. There will be tables for community organizations, workshops, free vegan meals from Food not Bombs, and a drum circle.

Pinhole Photograph Day RayKo, 428 Third St., SF. Noon-5pm, free. In honor of worldwide Pinhole Photography Day, RayKo is hosting a special exhibition of this throwback, analogue art. Pinhole artist Jo Babcok will be exhibiting his images and cameras made from everything from a suitcase to coffee pots to a bowling ball case. Babcock will also be teaching pinhole amateurs how to make their own camera from supplies provided by RayKo. Check the website to enroll in this quick-and-easy seminar.

How Weird Street Faire Howard and New Montgomery, SF. Noon-8pm, $10 donation requested. The 14th annual street faire is back with the theme “Weirdi Gras.” The fair will include marching bands, parades, art, performances, 10 stages of world-class electronic music, and vendors from around the world. Expect to see costumes, and dancing reminiscent of New Orlean’s Mardi Gras style. Even more exciting, five New Orleans marching bands will roam the fair grounds this year, in accordance with the theme.

Festival of Mandolins Croatian American Cultural Center, 60 Onondage, SF. 11am-5pm, $10 advance, $15 door, children free. The 13th annual San Francisco Festival of the Mandolins will include five diverse performances ranging from bluegrass to classical. Before the show mandolin workshops will be held. Ethnic Bulgarian food will also be available.


Selector: April 17-23, 2013



Night Beats

Seattle’s Night Beats has all of the fixings of a good psych-garage act; the lo-fi recordings, the raspy vocals with punctuated yelps, and the noisily manipulated guitar. But the band, which takes its name from Sam Cooke’s best record, has a direct link to the more soulful breeds of music the title suggests, such as R&B. “Dial 666” is simple, 12-bar blues, “High Noon Blues” borrows sentiment and structure from that genre, and “Puppet on a String” seems to call for some old-fashioned dance moves. With the combination of vigorous rock and sensuous roll, Night Beats’ show at Brick and Mortar promises to be satisfying. (Laura Kerry)

With Cool Ghouls, Primitive Hearts, Big Drag

9pm, $10

Brick and Mortar Music Hall

1710 Mission, SF

(415) 800-8782


Bad Religion

Mixing aggressive guitar riffs with politically-savvy lyrics and harmony-laden vocals — which the band refers to as “oozin’ aahs” in its liner notes — Southern California’s Bad Religion has been going strong for more than three decades. It just released latest album, True North on founding member Brett Gurewitz’ iconic independent label Epitaph Records last January. And the punk rock stalwarts continue to be driven by singer-author-professor Greg Graffin’s powerful songwriting, which touches on everything from global politics and religion to more personal experiences and emotions that just about anyone can relate to and share in a sense of powerful catharsis. (Sean McCourt)

With the Bronx, Polar Bear Club

8pm, $27.50–$30

Regency Ballroom

1300 Van Ness, SF


The 2 Bears

I don’t need caffeine. My computer just starts playing “Work” by the 2 Bears at 7am, complete with rising organ, a pulsing groove, and motivational chorus: “We’ve got to work harder, for the future, my love we got to work.” It might not even be the best song on Be Strong from the 2 Bears (Hot Chips’s Joe Goddard and the Raf Daddy), as it faces stiff competition from hilarious, cuddly club anthem “Bear Hug” and the uplifting, romantic space dub on “Church.” But, it does the job of getting me moving, and by the time the disco queen vocals kick in I’m likely showered and downstairs having breakfast. (Ryan Prendiville)

With Sleazemore, Richie Panic (Lights Down Low)

10pm, $15 presale

1015 Folsom, SF


“Touching Art: Tribute to Judith Scott”

Skin, the largest organ, keeps our insides safe from the perils of the outside, but it is also the membrane through which we experience the world. In its tribute to Judith Scott, swissnex will explore this, looking at touch’s role in the creation of art. Scott, who could neither speak nor hear and therefore relied heavily on her sense of touch, made beautiful cocoon structures at Oakland’s Creative Growth Art Center for 20 years. Swissnex, in conjunction with Switzerland’s L’Art Brut, will screen a film about the artist, showcase some of her work, and host a talk by Dr. Sandra Weiss on the connection between touch and emotion. The night promises be a touching intersection of art and science. (Kerry)

6pm, $10


730 Montgomery, SF

(415) 912-5901


An evening with Manlio Argueta

While a hard punishment, exile can also be the place where great works of art are born. “I left with a closed fist and came back with an open hand,” said Rafael Alberti returning to Spain after 38 years of exile. Ostracized in Mexico, Pablo Neruda finished one of his masterpieces Canto General. Exiled in Costa Rica, acclaimed Salvadorean poet Manlio Argueta wrote his most celebrated novel, One Day of Life (Vintage Book, 1983). In line with his mentor, poet Roque Dalton, Argueta vividly writes about the 12-year civil war through a peasant family’s eyes. The book, available in 15 languages, was named one of the best 10 novels in Spanish of the 20th century by NY’s Modern Library. (Fernando Andres Torres)

7pm $10


2969 Mission, SF

(415) 902-4754


“We Are Winning, Don’t Forget: Short works by Jean-Gabriel Périot”

Jean-Gabriel Périot developed a painstaking approach to making films. By carefully stitching together archival images, both still and moving, he creates political narratives that are poignant despite (or because of) their brevity. As a part of a US tour that begins at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the filmmaker comes to the Bay with nine short films, with subjects ranging from Hiroshima to “politics and tomatoes.” The evening at Artist’s Television Access presents a great opportunity to see these stunning films and the man behind the camera. (Kerry)

8pm, $10

Artist’s Television Access

992 Valenica, SF

(415) 824-3890


Sheetal Ghandi: Bahu Beti Biwis

Deconstructing cultural artifacts is just about today’s lingua franca. Sometimes you might wish that artists left well enough alone. Yet, at its best it shows creative minds at work that are willing to take the risks inherent in changing lenses. Sheetal Ghandi is one of them. Even though her performance practices are already exceptionally broad —Kathak, modern and West African dance, plus Broadway as well as Cirque du Soleil — she took a lot of imaginative leaps for her solo show Bahu Beti Biwis (Daughter-in-law, daughter, wife), a series of both humorous and poignant portraits of women and the roles traditionally assigned to them. It’s a piece that has been described as empathizing with “Indian women across time and space.” (Rita Felciano)

Fri/19-Sat/20, 8pm; Sun/21, 7pm, $20–$25

ODC Theater

3153 17th St., SF

(415) 863-9834


Mishap Psychic Fair

Nothing will make sense on 420 anyway (unless you snagged tickets for Snoop Lion at the Fillmore, in which case: jealous), so you may as well go to the goofiest damn event you can find. Surely the Mishap Psychic Fair is in the running for the honorific — the (is it?) satirical set-up will feature tongue-in-cheek booths where you can align your crystals via rock opera, attune to your inner “sexy anger,” and temper it all with cocktails if you’re not too bleary-eyed from the traditional mode of celebration on this international holiday. Buy tix to the fair in advance and you’ll snag a complimentary photo of your aura, a so-called magic elixir, or henna tattoo. Heal thyself, hippie. (Caitlin Donohue)

Sat/20, 8pm, $10

Geoffrey’s Inner Circle

410 14th St., Oakl.


The Last Unicorn screening and birthday celebration

And now for something completely magical: Peter S. Beagle, author of beloved 1968 fantasy novel The Last Unicorn (among dozens of other works), turns 74 today, and he’ll journey from his home in Oakland for a pair of birthday- and unicorn-themed San Francisco events. (Hooves up if you ever had a unicorn-themed birthday party! I know I did … maybe more than once.) First is a screening of the 1982 animated film adapted from the book, with voices by Mia Farrow, Jeff Bridges, and Alan Arkin; Beagle will be on hand to answer questions and sign books. Diehards can continue the festivities at the Cartoon Art Museum, which hosts a reading and further signings by the author, plus an auction of some mighty nifty original artwork to benefit the museum and Beagle’s imminent multi-city tour. Costumes are encouraged, obvi. (Cheryl Eddy)

Screening, noon-3pm, $8.50

Castro Theatre

429 Castro, SF

VIP reception, 6-8pm, $25

Cartoon Art Museum

655 Mission, SF


“Bill Frisell presents Hunter S. Thompson’s The Kentucky Derby

Jazz guitarist Bill Frisell has tackled many an avant-garde project in his 40-plus year career, and his latest foray beckons fans of music, stage, and literature. Bringing life to Hunter S. Thompson’s memorable “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved” this weekend, Frisell will be joined by narrator Tim Robbins in a multimedia production featuring set design by the iconic writer’s longtime collaborator Ralph Steadman. Considered the first of Thompson’s pieces to truly reflect his “Gonzo” style of journalism, the story and production will no doubt envelop audience members in an aural and visual way never before experienced. Buy the ticket, take the ride. (McCourt)

Sat/20, 7:30pm; Sun/21, 4 and 7:30pm, $35–$80

SF Jazz Center

201 Franklin, SF


Maria Minerva

Minerva was the Roman goddess of wisdom. That’s what I’ve found out on Wikipedia. What I’ve found out about Estonian lo-fi electronic chanteuse Maria Minerva is that she’s an art school graduate/critic/glossolalia expert/comedy student. But, all I really know is that her Bless EP on 100% Silk is excellent. “Soulsearchin’,” focuses on the anxiety of options, built around George Carlin’s “Modern Man,” but it’s the laid-back guitar, slightly off-kilter percussion, and circling vocals on “Symbol of My Pleasure” that stay with me. (Prendiville)

With Butterclock (live), Marco De La Vega, and more

9pm, $10 presale

Public Works

161 Erie, SF

(415) 932-0955


Oakland Veg Week

Perhaps you are deluged by the information regarding sustainable eating available today. This is completely understandable — at times, we feel as though we will surely perish under the mountainous weight of fair trade quinoa foisted upon us by Bay Area foodie culture. Luckily, Oakland Veg Week is going on, with its host of events meant to dispel myths about what to eat. Go on a farm field trip, take vegan cheese-making classes (both April 27), attend a talk by Paul Shapiro of the Humane Society on why eating animals is bad for the earth (April 25), snack your way through a delicious grand finale at the Lake Merritt Sailboat House (April 28), or check out the host of other, veg-friendly events this week. (Donohue)

Through April 28

Various Oakland locations

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CAREERS AND ED: Learn to eat


CAREERS AND ED Don’t tell me you’ve been eating your whole life and you don’t need any lessons on food. Hardy har har, how’s your waist line? Energy level? Food budget? You can always learn more about how to make your diet healthier, cheaper, and above all, more sustainable. The Bay Area has to be one of the best places in the world to learn about how to eat well, and the institutions that put on each of these course offerings are phenomenal places to start dabbling in the area. No more plastic-wrapped sandwiches, ill-informed beer purchases, or factory farm chicken for you, boo boo.


No excuses: you can garden in San Francisco year-round, and that doesn’t matter anyway because we’re in the rosy pink of spring, when even your uncle up in Minneapolis is turning his thoughts to sprouts and soil. Garden for the Environment has a host of classes dedicated to greening that fat lil’ digit of yours, but today’s offering is particularly salient for snackers. Organic gardening instructor Carey Craddock will take charge among the rows today, teaching you what plants are perfect for April, and how to get your space ready to raise edible flora.

April 13, 10am-2pm, $25. Garden for the Environment, Lawton and Seventh Ave., SF.


At the end of the day in this urban chickenry class, you’ll have not only witnessed but aided in the construction of a “Garden Ark” portable chicken coop. Carpenter Joan Weir has designed this one-off course to be of maximum service to the community — you’ll learn coop-building skills, and Rosa Parks Elementary School will score a brand-new home for its feathered flock.

April 14, 10am-5pm, $50. Rosa Parks Elementary School, 920 Allston, Berk.


The talk is actually part of Oakland Veg Week (April 22-28), which includes tons of free veg and vegan cooking classes, lectures on sustainable eating, a screening of the plant-based diet booster Forks Over Knives (April 25), bus trip to a Grass Valley animal sanctuary (April 27), and grand finale buffet at the Lake Merritt Sailboat House (April 28). But start here, with Colleen “The Compassionate Cook” Patrick-Goudreau’s presentation that addresses all the excuses that fly about for not going veg. No time to be meat-free? Not enough protein in greens? She’ll set you straight.

April 23, 6:30pm, free. Oakland Library, Temescal branch, 5205 Telegraph, Oakl.


Brew and bottle two batches of your very own suds in this three-class seminar, billed as the most comprehensive homebrew 101 in town that doesn’t require any investment in equipment, for all you newbies to the brew scene. Mission Gastroclub ( founder Eric Denman is the instructor, which means you can expect delicious bites at each session, happily crucial in your quest to understand the flavors of your beer.

April 23, 30, and May 14, 7-9pm, $160. 18 Reasons, 1874 18th St., SF.


Huzzah for the California Homemade Food Act! Recently signed into law, it allows small producers to make low-risk foods like candy, empanadas, baked goods, and dried teas in their home, without renting a spendy commercial kitchen space. If the news has you itching to start a homemade chocolate stand, stop off at ForageSF’s class first. It’s a primer on the law’s ins and outs, perfect for those looking to join the ranks of Forage’s lauded Underground Market artisans. Bring a plate to share with 20 people and get a discount on your tuition.

April 27, $30 if you bring a dish to share, $50 without. SomArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan, SF.

Hot sexy events: Nerd boobs, Bill Gates’ condom quest, and the Sheagle = landed


Hey, dudes who don’t like condoms, has Bill Gates got your back or what? During the same month that the Pope Emeritus reincarnates as a wall of condoms, the tech bajillionaire has donated the change he found in his couch ($100,000) to the Global Health research foundation Bill and wife Melinda founded through their foundation to developing a rubber that feels better on penises.

Yes, we know, yet more money that focuses on male reproductive health. But for those who regularly find themselves in contact with penis-bearers, the promise of never hearing another “but I can’t feeeel it with the condom on,” will be a definite boon to that largest of sexual organs: our brain, which non-scientifically speaking, shrivels up and dies a little from so much whining in bed. (Also, penis bearers? Golf claps for science, but in the meantime you might benefit from not jerking it so damn hard. Try a Fleshlight.)

Chat about the politics of sex research, or forget about politics altogether, at this week’s sexy events:


A night presented by the female-identified kinksters of San Francisco, but open to attendees in the newly (more or less) re-opened space of this beloved leather bar. The monthly party will benefit a different female-identified organization — this month it’s the SF girls of Leather, who rad work you can read about in this Guardian cover story on their cute kink from a few years ago. 

Wed/27, 8pm-2am, free. Eagle, 298 12th St., SF.

“Bling My Vibe” awards ceremony 

When Good Vibrations contacted me about crafting an project from a vibrator for their March art contest I said: sure. And though every time I’ve been back to see it proudly installed in the Polk Street store’s gallery/education space there’s been a class going on, I have nothing but the utmost faith that the room full of Conehead vibes, vibrators fashioned into magical steeds, and Ninja Turtles vibes (HuffPo has a nice slideshow if you’re curious) is an uplifting experience. Today, the top crafters take home gift certificates so that they can continue to make sweet projects with Good Vibes gear.

Fri/29, 6-8pm, free. Good Vibrations, 1620 Polk, SF.

Nerd Nite at the Lusty Lady

SF’s only co-op strip club welcomes sci-fi freaks tonight. Lusty dancer Pandora wrote us in an email that the Lusty theme nights are all about costumes: “Well, as much as you can costume and still be naked, which as it turns out is quite a bit. 😉 Sometimes music or activities like naked Twister, naked light saber battle. naked karaoke. Pretty much anything fun, and put naked in front of it.” Check out this video for more on why the peep shows and VIP booths here rock:

Fri/29, 8am-3pm. The Lusty Lady, 1033 Kearny, SF.

Spring Breakers 

“Why you acting ‘spicious?” The ATL twins, James Franco Gucci Mane, Vanessa Hudgens, blatant perversion of typical crime movie gender roles — Harmony Korine’s latest cult classic is the sexiest film of 2013 and you should see it before you get secondhand sick of the catchphrases. Which reminds me, “spring break 4eva.”

Various Bay Area theaters

Goodbye Gauley Mountain screening and dinner

Feminist porn pioneer Annie Sprinkle and partner Beth Stephens premiere the couple’s documentary on their ecosexual relationship with the Appalachian mountains and the crusade to stop destructive mining practices. Come early for the pre-screening vegan Appalachian dinner.

Trailer Goodbye Gauley Mtn: An Ecosexual Love Story from Elizabeth Stephens on Vimeo.

Sat/30, dinner 6:30pm, screening 7pm, $10-100. Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission, SF.

Hospitable pectorals


SEX The clan I had assembled that day in my living room had little idea what was in store for them.

“So they’re strippers?” one of my friends hoped, fingering their tumbler of champagne.

“Not strippers, they’re sexy butlers. Same tipping rules,” I said. “They’ll serve drinks and do icebreakers.” “Oh.”

The parties in our living room are rarely in need of icebreakers, but the offer from the Bare Bachelors ( to do a test run at a hastily-organized cocktail hour in honor of my roommate’s birthday — for journalism, mind you — was not one, I felt, a thinking person would pass up.


“I was looking for this kind of business and it didn’t exist in San Francisco.” I’ve installed Bare Bachelors founder Maureen Downey at my kitchen table so we can talk as two of her “actors, models, bartenders, or whatever,” attired in jockey briefs, aprons, and bow ties prepare Cazadores-and-grapefruit-sodas for the suddenly-awkward guests in the living room.

Downey, who tells me her previous career was in medical device clinical research, envisioned a party service less “dated” than strippers, but still sexy. It’s a combination that makes sense for the straight 30-something lady clientele Bare Bachelors has been attracting, mainly through word of mouth, since 2010. Downey’s Bachelors are self-aware, scantily clad caterers. She hopes to expand the clientele base.

For individuals well used to groin-thrusting go-go’s under strobe lights — or Dolores Park on a sunny day, as one of my guests pointed out — the Bare Bachelors’ impressive pectorals will not have quite the same novelty. But they charmed the goddamn pants off of the birthday boy, were handsome, and managed to get surprisingly candid during the game of Never Have I Ever they happily catalyzed.


So candid, I thought I’d open up the party to a little Q&A for my guests. Which was a mistake.

“So if someone, like, gave you a little more money will you, you know, go further?,” inquired another roommate emboldened by her tequila-and-grapefruit.

“No, absolutely not.” The Bare Bachelors tittered nervously, pecs unsure about the appropriate course of action under this kind of scrutiny.

“Do you consider yourself sex workers?,” her line of questioning pressed on, unrelenting in its desire to contextualize the Bachelors.

“No, definitely not.” The room pondered its next probe, but was unable to go further down the rabbit hole before one of my more socially-sensitive friends effectively closed interrogations.

Post-Bachelors, we reconvened for a processing session. Results were mainly favorable: “not creepy,” “tried to mesh with the group,” “the biggest problem was that there were no tits,” “visibly shy,” “pretty tasty drinks,” and perhaps most succinctly: “really sexy, and they had ass hair!”


Spring Breakers Various Bay Area theaters. ATL twins, Gucci Mane, Vanessa Hudgens, blatant perversion of typical crime movie gender roles — Harmony Korine’s latest cult classic is the sexiest film of 2013 and you should see it before you get secondhand sick of the catchphrases.

Goodbye Gauley Mountain Sat/30, dinner 6:30pm, screening 7pm, $10-100. Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission, SF. Feminist porn pioneer Annie Sprinkle and partner Beth Stephens premiere the couple’s documentary on their ecosexual relationship with the Appalachian mountains and the crusade to stop destructive mining practices. Come early for the pre-screening vegan Appalachian dinner.