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"I ♥ the '90s": I Heart the '90s

Fourth Friday of every month, 9 p.m.
Madrone Art Bar 500 Divisadero, San Francisco Haight/ Fillmore

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As long as humans feel nostalgia, there shall be nights looking back at decades the kids may or may not have been alive to go through the first time. DJ parties focused on the '90s are popping up all over town: the Western Addition version — I ♥ the '90s — is at Madrone, where DJs Samala, Mr. Grant, and Sonny Phono remember the hip-hop, dance, alternative, grunge (read: everything they want) from the flannel era, while VJ Teo fills the TV screens with images of video days gone by. 415-241-0202

"Teenage Dance Craze": Teenage Dance Craze

Last Friday of every month, 10 p.m.
The Knockout 3223 Mission, San Francisco Mission/ Bernal Heights

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We're just dreaming, but here is our dream: to see dive-bar dancers whose attention to detail matches the obsession of Bay Area vintage-music DJs. For example, at Lonely Teardrops' doo-wop night about a year ago, we lost our composure and requested a Claudine Clark song. "I have one," the DJ said, looking guilty. "But Claudine Clark is girl group, not doo-wop, so I might get in trouble with the other DJs. They're pretty strict." Can you imagine the dancers who would go with that? If we were to find them, said rumpbumpers would undoubtedly show up, dressed to the goddamn nines, at The Teenage Dance Craze Party, presided over by Beatle-booted thugs DJs Sergio Iglesias, Russell Quan (pictured), and dX the Funky Gran Paw. 415-550-6994

Stand-Up Paddleboarding Lessons

Boardsports 1200 Clay, San Francisco North Beach/ Chinatown

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When the ancient Polynesians invented surfing, they often used a paddle to help them navigate. Fast-forward a few millennia, and Stand-Up Paddleboarding, or SUP, finds itself trendy again. Part of its increasing popularity is that standing upright allows surfers to spot waves more easily and thus catch more of them, multiplying the fun factor. Paddling back to the wave becomes less of a strain as well. The ability to cruise along on flat inland water, surveying the sights, is another advantage. Finally, it’s a good core workout. If you’re sold on the idea, schedule an intro SUP lesson, free with board and paddle rental, and you may find yourself riding the waves like a Polynesian king. 415-385-1224

Heart of the City Farmers' Market

Wednesdays, 7 a.m., Fridays, 7 a.m. and Sundays, 7 a.m.

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Thrice-weekly market featuring fruits, vegetables, nuts, eggs, and other forms of sustenance from local growers. 415-674-9701

Gardens of Alcatraz Tours

Fridays, Sundays, 9:45 a.m.

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To our recurring surprise, many locals never get the idea to visit Alcatraz, because traveling by boat to an island to walk around cellblocks is just something they don't like do. How come? Because tourists get that idea, every day, by the shorts-wearing boatloads. Here's your solution: The Gardens of Alcatraz Tours, in which you walk around garden landscapes originally developed and maintained by prisoners, guards, guards' families, and whoever else had the forbearance to grow in the brutal climate, like Mother Nature herself. Turns out that a riot of green-thumb niceties occurred during the island's 100-year military and prison period, including a satisfying amount of rose tutoring by the warden's secretary Fred Reichel. This was followed by decades of neglect, and the plants went bad, but rehabilitation efforts, begun in 2003 and led by historic photos, have restored the island to its flowering innocence and landed awards from the California Preservation Foundation. We figure the twice-a-week docent-led tours are light on tourists, because how many visiting Dads are choosing vegetation over sitting in the yard and imagining they're Al Capone, Clint Eastwood, or (if Dad sucks) Nic Cage? Not many -- or, more precisely, not ours. 415-561-4900

All You Can Eat Free Buffet at the Gold Club

Mondays-Fridays, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

The Gold Club World Class Gentlemen’s Club and Restaurant present the All You Can Eat FREE BUFFET! This lunch featuring country fried chicken, crumb crusted mac and cheese, homemade lasagna and more has won Best of San Francisco four years in a row. Enjoy an award-winning lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 a.m. ’til 2:00 p.m.

Some Thing

The Stud 399 Ninth St., San Francisco South of Market

The unGoogleable inheritor of the Trannyshack art-drag scepter is known as Some Thing; each Friday brings a new theme via semi-pun. It could be simple, such as Some Thing Good, or it could be A Li’l Sumptin’ Some Thing, which is funny but what are you going to wear? The first show begins at 11 p.m., and this segment is titled Some Thing — it’s danger-drag; unexpected, experimental, post-punk, political, performance-arty stage shows. The second show, at midnight, Some Thing More, is hosted by Glamamore, sigh, the dreamy diva and queen of synchs — her show is polished, practiced, yet still a screaming good time. Also at this post-Tiara Sensation weekly événement, a person can and does visit Haute Gloo’s craft table, to make a tiara or other accessory (we once did-it-ourselves upon a Barack Obama-themed diadem). Various documentation situations ensue, by which we mean there is usually a photo set on which to get shot. 415-863-6623

Beach Blanket Babylon

Club Fugazi 678 Green, San Francisco North Beach/ Chinatown

Every San Franciscan has a list of local activities they haven't done that the average visitor to this city probably has. For us, that was Beach Blanket Babylon, the North Beach musical revue famous for its huge hats and culture-skewering whimsy. The show comes recommended by seemingly every travel guide, as well as local newspaper critics. But BBB is one of those things, like going to Alcatraz or eating clam chowder in a bread bowl, that a self-respecting San Franciscan probably wouldn't be inclined to do on their own. This is a mistake. The story follows Snow White on her search for love across the world and the pop culture universe. Along the way we encounter hilariously rendered versions of seemingly every major figure in the pop canon: Prince, Elvis, James Brown, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Michael Jackson, Adele, Tina Turner, even Nicki Minaj. The BBB script must get rewritten constantly, because there were lines in a recent production referencing events that only took place a week ago. And they were funny. Not tepid, and not stand-up comedy-level risque, but somewhere in between. In fact there were few moments during the 90-minute show when most of the audience wasn't laughing. So yeah: BBB might seem like one of those S.F. activities only tourists will enjoy. It's definitely not. 415-421-4222

Alcatraz Night Tour

Mondays, Thursdays-Sundays

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Alcatraz -- "The Rock" -- is one of those tours that you have to take at least once, whether you're local or just visiting. The abandoned prison sitting on an island about a mile and a half off the city's north shore was home to some of the most infamous names in crime, including Al Capone, it was the site of a Native American occupation, and it's still home to the oldest operating lighthouse on the West Coast. The Rock's got its ghosts, and there can be no better time than night to explore its dilapidated old corridors -- especially if it's a foggy night. 415-981-7625

The Salon Doré

Legion of Honor 100 34th Ave., San Francisco Richmond (Outer)


The Legion of Honor today reopens its incredible French period room, The Salon Doré. The type of room, particular to pre-revolutionary France, was called the salon de compagnie, or salon for conversation. "There was no eating," explains the Legion's curator of European decorative arts and sculpture, Martin Chapman. "They just sat and made conversation and it was the [woman of the house's] ability to hold the conversation. It was a bit like being an actor." Although fake conversations were perfectly acceptable in 1780s France, there's nothing fake about this room — its paint, furniture, paneling, upholstery, and gold gilding have been completely refurbished over the past 18 months. The museum's painstaking efforts have fully restored the room to its original splendor. "When used," Chapman says, "there is a whole orchestration — there's a sort of ballet that plays out in these salons."


Hiking Yoga


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Eric Kipp may be brilliant. Without a doubt, the spirit of San Francisco itself pulses quickly in his veins, because he is the creator of Hiking Yoga. It's exactly what it sounds like; you follow the charge up one of our butt-bustin' hills, and once you're up there, the organizer/sherpas hand out mats and water, and you do some yoga. The courses are chosen for their vistas as well as for their challenges: City-proud fitness nuts, prepare to fall in painful workout love.

San Francisco City Guides Walking Tours


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As a self-described "logical extension of a free public library," our local free walking-tour company is, like most libraries, a fascinating mash of nerdy and white-hot rad. The San Francisco City Guides walking tours happen every day (except major holidays), are free, and follow in the footsteps of hypereducated history nuts who hand out copies of secret, illuminating documents while pointing out the beauty all around us. What's more, in the best-weather months of May and October, the Guides offer extra tours, bringing the weekly count up to 114. Among the tours offered: Palace Hotel, Russian Hill Stairways, Castro: Tales of the Village, Pacific Heights Mansions, Ferry Building, and Market Street: Path of Gold. The Diego Rivera tour, offered Mondays, is one of our favorites — the City Club (formerly the Stock Exchange building) at 155 Sansome is normally closed to the public; the mural, Allegory of California, is pure weird radiant Rivera sorcery. 415-557-4266

Animal Attraction

California Academy of Sciences 55 Music Concourse, San Francisco Richmond (Inner)

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In ancient Rome, the god of fertility was honored in February, with ceremonial love lotteries and mock-floggings with a bloody goatskin. Even those are a pale reflection of truly bizarre courtships that unfold in the natural world. For example, the common garden snail is a hermaphrodite that carries both sets of genitals near its head. Once a week, it engages a new companion in an orgy of sensual caresses until the moment of genital penetration, when the “top” suddenly stabs its partner with a very sharp barb. (The snail’s “love dart” is tipped with a chemical compound that acts as an antidote for the critters’ natural birth control.) Taking a page from Isabella Rossellini’s award-winning Green Porno, the much-anticipated exhibit “Animal Attraction” explores all kinds of strange reproductive rituals. One is the creepy anglerfish, the male of which sinks his teeth into his mate and dissolves until nothing is left but gonads. Another is the exquisite bower bird, which attracts a partner through song, dance, and flamboyant architectural feats. Daily programs include dives in the world’s deepest living coral exhibit to shed light on reef reproduction; somewhat awkward demonstrations of bee dancing, which is crucial to pollination; and regular feedings of the African penguins, which we know form long-lasting same-sex couples in captivity. 415-379-8000

Off the Grid

Fridays, 5-10 p.m.
Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, San Francisco Marina/ Cow Hollow


More than 32 food trucks will pull up to Fort Mason for Friday night’s Off the Grid Food Truck Party. Off the Grid is sort of like a food court for nomads, gatherings of extreme culinary variety, with live music and full bars. If you get there early enough, you’ll be able to snack on treats from the Koja Kitchen, the Fat Face truck, Curry Up Now, and many more. There is also a Prix Fixe option, which costs $40 per person and must be reserved beforehand. The event is BYOB, meaning Bring Your Own Blanket


Audium 9

Fridays, Saturdays, 8:30 p.m.

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The Audium was started in 1965 by composer Stan Shaff and equipment designer Doug McEachern. Shows are Fridays and Saturdays, and you have to be there on time — they lock the door. The room fits 50 people or so. There are chairs arranged in a semicircle. There are something like 180 speakers arranged around the room. After a short speech, they turn off all the lights and you listen — in pitch darkness, in a room full of strangers. That's it. You listen. There is no texting, no going to the bathroom. No nothing. Your senses all dissolve into one. And the composition is fantastic. But if you put 50 of these things around the country, 49 of them would probably fail. You only need one Audium. Apple Inc. is going to make 80 bazillion iPads in the next hour. This week the Audium will host 50 people per show. Why are we talking about the Audium? Because it's a singular San Francisco experience — the complete opposite of the iPad or the newest HTC smartphone or a computer-animated movie from Disney. We like to go there when it's raining out. 415-771-1616

Secret Improv Society

Fridays, Saturdays, 10 p.m.

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This city's theater scene is chock-full of improv. Whether you're new to it or a grizzled veteran, you won't have to hunt too long to find a venue. Each Friday and Saturday night, the Shelton Theatre hosts its own brand of "secret" improv theater. The stage at the Shelton has given such luminaries as Danny Glover and Francis Ford Coppola a venue. They've got their own vets on hand for the shows, plus a new guest from San Francisco's scene each week. Come to watch (there's an open bar!), or try your hand at performance. Of course, there's audience contribution, so writer's block — or actor's block, as it were — shouldn't be a problem. 415-882-9100

Art/Act: Local - Sea Change Opening Reception

Fri., Feb. 22, 6-8 p.m.
David Brower Center 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley Downtown Berkeley

The David Brower Center is pleased to present Art/Act: Local - Sea Change, a new iteration of our annual juried exhibition of work by Bay Area artists. The show features works by five artists: photographer Barbara Boissevain, painter and printmaker Sukey Bryan, public environmental artist Lauren Elder, sculptor Ethan Estess, and printmaker Sarah Newton. Sea Change examines the negative changes currently occuring in the world’s oceans and the positive changes we hope to achieve in the future. Please join us for the free opening reception, featuring a panel discussion with the artists at 6:30 pm. 510-809-0909

Chesley Bonestell: A Brush with the Future

Fri., Feb. 22, 7-9 p.m. and Sat., Feb. 23, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
Roxie Theater 3117 16th St., San Francisco Mission/ Bernal Heights

Buy Tickets$9 to $12

The Comic-Con Best Documentary winner about Chesley Bonestell, the native San Franciscan artist called “The Father of Space Art” and credited as a quiet force behind the creation of America's space program. Bonestell not only gave us his famous view of “Saturn as seen from Titan” but also survived the 1906 SF quake to eventually help rebuild the city and work on the Golden Gate Bridge! "Chesley Bonestell: A Brush with the Future" chronicles the extraordinary, nine-decade life of a quiet, artistic visionary, whose paintings continue to inspire us to reach for the stars. 415-863-1087

Left Eye Cinema: ¡Las Sandinistas!

Fri., Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m.

he Immigrant Rights and International Solidarity Committee of the SF Democratic Socialists of America is presenting a screening and exclusive Q and A session with the film’s director of the award-winning documentary: ¡Las Sandinistas!. This film shares the untold stories of women who shattered barriers to lead combat and social reform during Nicaragua’s 1979 Sandinista Revolution, and the ensuing US-backed Contra War, as these same women continue as leaders in the struggle against their current government’s suppression of democracy and women’s rights. 415-824-3890

Lauren Daigle

Fri., Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m.
Warfield Theatre 982 Market, San Francisco Hayes Valley/ Tenderloin

w/ Scott Mulvahill, Ahi 415-345-0900

Creating Leonardo: Celebrating 500 Years of Leonardo’s Legacy

Fri., Feb. 22, 7:30-10 p.m. and Sat., Feb. 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Buy Tickets25.00 - 80.00

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Humanities West brings together a panel of noted scholars and performers for a two-day program of lectures, dramatic readings and music to celebrate and explore the cultural contributions of Leonardo da Vinci and the mythologized legacy that has developed over the 500 since his death. Presenters include Paula Findlen (Stanford), Martin Kemp (Oxford), Kip Cranna (SF Opera), Monica Azzolini (University of Bologna) Pamela O. Long (MacArthur Fellow) and Deborah Loft (College of Marin). The program features a performance by the men’s classical vocal ensemble Clerestory, and a spoken word performance by acclaimed Bay Area actor James Carpenter. 415-392-4400

Humanities West: Creating Leonardo: Humanities West: Creating Leonardo

Fri., Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m. and Sat., Feb. 23, 10 p.m.

Leonardo da Vinci’s achievements continue to amaze us, even after 500 years: iconic images like the Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, and the Vitruvian Man; a remarkable range of artistic and scientific drawings; and inventions far ahead of their time. His notebooks go beyond the writings of other artists of his era, in recording his observations on the world of nature and man. His intense curiosity about “how things work” led to ground-breaking creations: from studies of plants and mountains, to comparisons of the motion of hair and water, to renderings of the human form, based on dissections. His innate abilities were shaped by his unusual early self-education, followed by his fortunate apprenticeship to Verrocchio, the most accomplished painter and sculptor in Florence. Leonardo worked for a variety of patrons, each affecting his work by supporting different sides of his talent. Join Humanities West in exploring Leonardo’s vast achievement and his interaction with the world that shaped him. With support from the Stanford Department of History and the Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies; the Stanford Humanities Center; the Italian Cultural Institute; the UC Berkeley Institute of European Studies; and the Leonardo da Vinci Society. 415-673-6672

Creating Leonardo: Celebrating 500 Years of Leonardo's Legacy

Fri., Feb. 22, 7:30-9:30 p.m. and Sat., Feb. 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

2-day program of lectures and performances honoring Leonardo da Vinci and celebrating his accomplishments and contributions to the arts and sciences. 415-391-9700

Lakehouse Yazz

Fri., Feb. 22, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Stow Lake Boat House 50 Stow Lake Dr, San Francisco Richmond (Inner)

Buy Tickets

THE FOUNDING FATHERS, featuring Geechi Taylor. Located in the heart of San Francisco's famous Golden Gate Park, there’s a lovely boathouse known mostly to The Founding Fathers is a jazz project celebrating the immense contributions of oppressed peoples to the founding, building & maintaining of US infrastructure and culture. Their music explores the influence of Afro-Latin rhythms on American music, playing fresh arrangements of tunes by Horace Silver, Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, Poncho Sanchez, Charlie Parker, and more! 415-890-5440

Austin Lucas

Fri., Feb. 22, 8 p.m.
Hotel Utah 500 Fourth St., San Francisco South of Market

Buy from TicketFly$15



Fri., Feb. 22, 8 p.m.
Thee Parkside 1600 17th St., San Francisco Potrero Hill/ Dogpatch

w/ Death Threat, Billy Bio, Hangman, Cutthroat 415-252-1330

Mardi Gras Warm Up with Harry Best, Koudmen and Asheba

Fri., Feb. 22, 8-11 p.m.

Buy Tickets

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm Tickets are $15 Advance / $20 Day of Show Some of the Bay Area’s top Caribbean musicians will come together in a celebration of Kweyol Karnaval as portrayed in the English and Kweyol-speaking islands of the Caribbean. The show will be held February 22, 9pm at the Ashkenaz Dance and Cultural Center in Berkeley. The group will include guitarist Bernard George, drummer Clayton Hazel, keyboardist Dilly George, all hailing from Dominica. Joining them will be Harry Best of St. Lucia and Andrew Charles of Barbados. 510-525-5054


Fri., Feb. 22, 8-10 p.m.

Buy Tickets$5-$25

Specializing in the music of female composers, Curium will perform works by Jennifer Higdon and Germaine Tailleferre, along with Brahms’ powerful C minor Trio. 415-474-1608

Down & Outlaws

Fri., Feb. 22, 9 p.m.
Bottom of the Hill 1233 17th St., San Francisco Potrero Hill/ Dogpatch

Buy Tickets$12

w/ Alvie & The Breakfast Pigs, Sweetwater Black 415-621-4455

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