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Hunt Club 

Seek and find at Crissy Field


When asked by my penny-pinching East Coast parents to justify the high cost of living in San Francisco, I list a number of advantages, starting with the agreeable weather and ending with our citizenry's accepting nature. But one Bay Area attraction is something no outsider could understand -- our omnipresent surprises. Generations of creative locals have created monuments to their own eccentricities: peculiarly designed houses, gardens filled with imaginative statuary, odd sidewalk plaques, ephemeral spray-painted commentaries. These curiosities are gifts available only to those who explore with their eyes open, as is the new "Crissy Field Mystery Trail Challenge." Walkers begin the self-guided tour at the Warming Hut near the Golden Gate Bridge and tramp through a one-mile section of the Presidio recreational area in search of eight hidden clues. Those sharp enough to find them all are rewarded with a goodie at the walk's end. Start investigating at 9 a.m. Thursday, July 1 (and continuing Wednesdays through Sundays), at the Crissy Field Center, 603 Mason (at Halleck), S.F. Admission is free; call 561-7752 or visit
-- Joyce Slaton



Just one look at the "S.F. Dodgeball Classic," a casual reprisal of the elementary-school game that takes place weekly in Golden Gate Park, will have you questioning the judgment of your old gym teachers. Complete with menacing hurlers, dodgees ducking for their lives, and the sounds of balls painfully meeting their targets, the sport's almost as brutal as a boxing match. But just as America's Funniest Home Videos is nothing without an agonizing "guy gets hit in the 'nads" selection, so is dodgeball most hysterical in its anti-social ugliness. Grab a ball and start chucking at 6:30 p.m. at Sharon Meadow, Kezar & John F. Kennedy, S.F. Admission is free; call 595-2753 or e-mail
-- Joyce Slaton

What happened to our bears?


Just look at that gentle bear lumbering across the California state flag. To most, the massive creature is a symbol of our state's size and might. But to the informed, the grizzly's appearance on our official banner is a ghastly irony. When white folks arrived on the West Coast in the 19th century, Ursus californicus was the most powerful carnivore around. But less than 75 years after the discovery of gold the grizzlies had been wiped out by settlers who didn't appreciate their munching on domesticated livestock. Hear anecdotes and see images from the days when these bears roamed wild as Susan Snyder, author of Bear in Mind: The California Grizzly, speaks at 6 p.m. at the "First Thursday Lecture Series" at the Society of California Pioneers, 300 Fourth St. (at Folsom), S.F. Admission is $3-5; call 957-1849 or visit
-- Joyce Slaton


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