Long before there was Shaquille O'Neal, Dennis Rodman, or Kobe Bryant, a group of much funnier (and lower-paid) athletes was entertaining basketball fans without ending up in the tabloids. Since 1927, the Harlem Globetrotters have competed before more people in more locales than any team in sports history, playing in more than 20,000 games. And what's even better is that, unlike our local teams, they always win. Now Bay Area fans can enjoy the hoop hijinks when the most recognizable squad in America dunks its way into town for two games. The shenanigans start at 1 p.m. at S.F.'s Cow Palace, Geneva & Santos, and at 7:30 p.m. at the Arena in Oakland, 7000 Coliseum (at Hegenberger). Admission to each game is $11-35 (or $100 for courtside seats); call (602) 258-0000 or visit www.harlemglobetrotters.com.
-- Jack Karp
The bay may be too chilly for most swimmers, but it still makes some folks feel warm all over. Photographer David Sanger salutes the beauty of our watery surrounds with "Portrait of an Estuary: San Francisco Bay," 30 large-scale prints that present unexpected tableaux: the lean, otherworldly forms of the monumental container cranes that line the Port of Oakland, the abstract patterns of the salt evaporation ponds in South S.F. Renew your view starting at 10 a.m. Wednesday (the show runs through March 14) at the Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak (at 10th Street), Oakland. Admission is free-$8; call (510) 238-2200 or visit www.museumca.org.
-- Joyce Slaton
Exercise that green thumb
"Dig your hands in the dirt!" was the rallying cry of Arrested Development's upbeat call to trowels, "Children Play With Earth," from the all-around awesome album 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life of... . The song describes how important it is for kids to experience growing things, and not just plastic things.
At "Be a Park Hero," this idea is the order of the day for those 10 and up. Participants do the Presidio's ecosystem a big favor by replacing native plants on its grasslands and caring for existing flora. Endangered species get a boost, local creepy-crawlies feel more at home, and you get to dig your hands in the dirt, starting at 9 a.m. at the Crissy Field Center, 603 Mason (at Halleck), S.F. Admission is free, but registration is required; call 561-7752.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser