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Heavy Petting 

Who Needs Friendster?

FRI-SAT 8/8-9

They stink, they shed, they bite, and they poop in inappropriate places. Many animal companions even understand human languages, but infuriatingly refuse to communicate in them. Still, when the little chin rests on your shoulder and your pet sighs contentedly, forget it: You'll do practically anything to make him happy. At the East Bay SPCA Adoptathon, more than 150 new pals are waiting for you starting at 8 a.m. Friday (and continuing straight through Saturday) at the SPCA, 8323 Baldwin, Oakland. Admission is free; call (510) 569-0702 or visit
-- Hiya Swanhuyser

Get Crafty
Artisans galore

FRI-SUN 8/8-10

When I was a kid at camp, I fashioned uncooked-macaroni ashtrays, lion masks from paper plates, and miniature lampshades for my precious dolls out of discarded creamer containers. As charming as I'm sure they were, the homespun tchotchkes of my youth can't hold a hand-dipped candle to the items presented at the American Craft Council San Francisco Show.

Through a rigorous jury process, more than 300 of the most splendid craft artists nationwide have been selected to present their awe-inspiring wares to us, the buying public. The one-of-a-kind and limited-edition offerings feature pieces like quilts, hand-woven baskets, and blown-glass sculptures. Many of the artists will be on hand, so not only can you meet the makers but you can also shake their talented hands. Peruse (or purchase) starting at 10 a.m. each day in Fort Mason's Festival and Herbst pavilions, Marina & Buchanan, S.F. Admission is $8-14; call (800) 836-3470 or visit
Sunny Andersen

Mucho Machi

SAT-SUN 8/9-10

Almost three decades ago a group of young Japanese activists watched sadly as Japantown's family homes and apartment buildings were demolished to make way for commercial malls on Buchanan and Post streets. Their neighborhood was turning into a touristy warren of gift shops and noodle joints, and they didn't like it. But how to preserve the vibrant Pan-Asian character of their enclave? Their answer was the Nihonmachi Street Fair, a kid-organized and -run celebration of Asian and Pacific Islander culture that has set up shop in Japantown every summer since 1973. Nihonmachi offers the usual street-fair delights -- cultural demos including Polynesian dancing and taiko drumming, children's activities like hands-on origami, and artisan booths -- plus gourmand-pleasing goodies from a panoply of Pacific Rim cuisines. The fest begins at 11 a.m. both days on Post between Laguna and Fillmore, S.F. Admission is free; call 771-9861 or visit
Joyce Slaton


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