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Calendar, Night&Day Sleigh Bells Sing

Sleigh Bells Sing

The days are shorter, the nights are darker, and even those of us in temperate climes feel a natural need to hunker own, share food, and sing songs to keep the gloom at bay. Western tradition sensibly provides moments of…
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Calendar, Night&Day Much Ado About the Planet

Much Ado About the Planet

Over the years Earth Day has been criticized as ferment for anti-human pessimism or, worse, an opportunity for companies to “greenwash” their brands — which is to say, pay lip service to environmental concerns while doing nothing. Such complaints whither…
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Calendar, Night&Day Slavic Soul Party

Slavic Soul Party

In remote Russian villages, seasons are marked by boisterous celebrations such as the winter Koleda and summer Kupala, where young and old join in vibrant, and decidedly ancient, expressions of hopefulness and abundance. Devoted to preserving these age-old Slavic folk…
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Calendar, Night&Day Old-World Voices

Old-World Voices

At a Kitka show, you must completely dispense with the desire for bells and whistles -- they're not necessary. The women's ensemble renders gorgeous glissando harmonies based in Eastern European traditions, but don't expect kitschy folk songs. Certainly, Kitka's full-bodied…
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Dining, Eat Steak Out

Steak Out

For the first week or so that I was in Russia, enjoying the food, some familiar (three versions of chicken Kiev; many diverse cabbage borschts; terrific blini, whether served with caviar, smoked salmon, or farmer's cheese and preserves), some not…
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Dining, Eat The House of Sour Cream

The House of Sour Cream

I was having trouble forcing myself to go see the Chagall show at SFMOMA. Except for one afternoon decades ago, I've never liked his work -- but that one afternoon was spent at a previous retrospective of his oeuvre, when…
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Dining, Eat

When in Romany

Bistro E Europe ("Eastern Europe with Roma/Gypsy flavor") is not what you'd call the most polished restaurant. I found a piece of cork in my wine, the menu read "December 2000," and the stereo -- a seemingly ancient thing --…
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Dining, Eat

Sometimes You Eat the Bear

Russian Bear Restaurant 939 Clement (at 11th Avenue). Open daily except Mondays from noon to 2 a.m. Brunch on weekends is served noon to 3 p.m. Credit cards accepted; the restaurant is wheelchair accessible. Call 752-8197. Martha and TJ ganged…
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