The View From Greenwich

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Thursday, June 9: Lurk on Craigslist and StubHub and try to score last-minute tickets to Death Cab For Cutie’s concert at The Fillmore tonight. You can expect to hear new tunes like You Are A Tourist from their new album, Codes and Keys.

Friday, June 10: It’s the annual 70MM Festival at the Castro Theatre, and Thursday and Friday feature Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller Vertigo. Showtimes are at 2pm, 5pm and 8pm, and tickets are $10 for adults and $7.50 for seniors and children.

Saturday, June 11: Okay, I can barely contain my excitement about this one. Opening on Saturday is the DeYoung’s newest exhibit, Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musee National Picasso, Paris. The exhibit will feature over 100 of Picasso’s masterpieces, including works from the Blue Period, the Rose Period, the Cubism phase, and more. This exhibit is only possible because the Musee National Picasso is closing for renovations until 2012, so it’s definitely not to be missed.

The 70MM Festival continues with screenings of Lawrence of Arabia on Saturday and Sunday. Showtimes are at 2pm and 7pm.

There’s also a disproportionate amount of beer to be consumed, both at Brew Fest (see previous post here) and at the Tenth Annual Monterey Beer Festival. From 12:30pm to 5pm, over 80 breweries will fill the Monterey County Fairgrounds with their finest draughts, accompanied with food and live music. General admission tickets are still available for $35.

Sunday, June 12: Finish your weekend with the 2011 Scavenger Crawl, which is essentially a pub crawl for charity. Huh? Yeah, I know. Allow me to explain. A $20 ticket allows you to participate in a three-hour scavenger hunt in SOMA, with clues directing you to various bars and restaurants, which will be offering drink specials. Taking a cue from Bay to Breakers, costumes are highly encouraged. All proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Brush Fire Painting, an organization that uses the power of art to heal children.

Sunday is the last day of the Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave exhibit at the Legion of Honor. Isabelle de Borchgrave is widely recognized in Europe for constructing life-size recreations of historical costumes completely from paper, which she hand-paints, crumples, braids, pleats, and more.

Didn’t have any success snagging those last-minute Death Cab tickets? Well, try your luck again and take a shot at snagging tickets to Florence and the Machine’s show at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley.

Photo Credit: SF Gate. ‘Reclining Nude’ [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/c/a/2011/06/05/PK5F1JL8V5.DTL&object=%2Fc%2Fpictures%2F2011%2F05%2F26%2Fdd-picasso05_PH__0503530225.jpg].

         

I think that Memorial Day is my new favorite holiday. It’s a long weekend, you’re right on the cusp of summer, and everyone just wants to be outdoors. I stopped short of actually attending a parade or eating an apple pie, but I did manage to celebrate the weekend with some distinctly all-American traditions.

BEER:

It’s not often that I make the trek out to the Sunset. From my neighborhood it requires an hour on two separate buses, and I mean really, that’s just absurd. However, I might have to make the journey more often after discovering Social Kitchen & Brewery on Friday night. Social Kitchen is a modern brewpub on 9th Street, between Irving and Judah. It offers a full menu of food to go along with the beer that is brewed on site. There’s a lower level with a bar and tables, but the upper level is the place to be. You walk up some industrial metal stairs, which offer you a neat view of the brewery in action, to a small balcony lined with tables from which you can spy on the people at the bar downstairs. The place is very open, with high ceilings and good light and acoustics, and it all makes for a very pleasant spot to chat with friends over a pint or two. I ordered a Rapscallion (a golden Belgian ale) and tried a sip of my friend’s Moulin Rouge (a darker Belgian ale), both of which were quite tasty, and definitely piqued my interest to go back and try some other varieties. Go during happy hour (4pm-close on Mondays, and 4pm-7pm Tuesday through Friday) for $3-$4 beers and $3-$5 appetizers.

  

Photo Credit: ‘Social Kitchen & Brewery’ [http://socialkitchenandbrewery.com].

BASEBALL:

I have a confession to make…I’m an Oakland A’s fan. Sure, I shamelessly jumped on the bandwagon for the Giants’ World Series victory last year, but I grew up in the East Bay, and despite the agony that comes along with it, my heart is with the green and gold. Fellow A’s fans can be hard to find amongst the sea of Brian Wilson fanatics, but fortunately for me one of my good friends is a fellow A’s loyalist, and organized a tailgate at the A’s game on Saturday. Tailgating through three hours of rain proved to be well worth it when, after the game, all the fans were allowed onto the field for a fireworks show. The A’s do this after a few games every season, and it’s a lot of fun to bring some blankets and lie out on the turf, knowing that the outfielders were trampling that very grass just a few minutes ago. This season’s remaining fireworks games are Saturday July 2 (vs the Diamondbacks), Friday July 29 (vs the Twins), Saturday August 20 (vs the Blue Jays), and Friday September 16 (vs the Tigers).

BEACH:

Happily, the rain went away by Sunday, providing us with a great day for a barbecue at Baker Beach. Across the parking lot from the beach, there are picnic tables and communal grills, which seem to fill up quickly, so get there early! The beach itself is gorgeous, with a great view of Marin and the Golden Gate Bridge. Definitely walk up to the north end of the beach and climb up onto the rocks to watch the waves roll in and crash beneath you. Of course, I have to add the caveat that if you are offended by human anatomy, you might want to skip that, because on your way to the rocks there’s a pretty extensive nudist colony (primarily of the geriatric variety). But, hey, to each his own. One major plus is that Baker Beach is really easy to get to by public transportation. Just get yourself to the 1 or the 38L, get off at 25th Street, and walk north a few blocks until you start to see signs for the beach.

 

San Francisco seems to be going for a “so much to do, so little time” theme this weekend. I guess we’d all better make the most of our last couple days before the world ends, right?

ART:

There are not one, not two, but three different art fairs going on this weekend. ArtMRKT brings together 65 galleries at the Concourse Exhibition Center (620 Seventh Street), including local galleries and galleries from London and New York, and focuses on contemporary art. Fri-Sat 11am-7pm, Sun 11am-6pm.

ArtPadSF focuses on emerging contemporary galleries and Bay Area artists, and will showcase 30 galleries at the Phoenix Hotel (601 Eddy Street) in addition to video installations, DJs, live music, and performances. Fri-Sat 12pm-1pm, Sun 11am-6pm.

The SF Fine Art Fair hosts over 60 post-war and contemporary galleries at the Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion, and caters to the high-end set. Fri 12pm-8pm, Sat 11am-7pm, Sun 11am-6pm.

If you’re just looking to peruse, not to purchase, head to SFMOMA for the opening day of the new exhibit “The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde”, featuring famous works by Picasso, Matisse, Cezanne, Renoir and more.

ENTERTAINMENT:

Check out the free screenings of USA Network’s Character Project Short Film Series. USA teamed up with RSA Films and Ridley and Tony Scott to produce a series of seven short character-driven films, which are being shown across the nation as part of a multi-city screening exhibition, with each film shown in a modern-art style “screening capsule.” This weekend brings the exhibition to San Francisco, so head on down to Justin Herman Plaza anytime between 10am and 8pm, Friday through Sunday.

You can still get tickets to Prince! The concert is at 7:30pm at HP Pavilion in San Jose. Buy tickets here.

Go a bit further afield and hit up the Sonoma Jazz+ Festival, which is going on all weekend at Sonoma Plaza. Stroll through beautiful Sonoma while listening to live jazz performances, along with performances by headliners such as Sheryl Crow and the Gipsy Kings. There will be local wineries and breweries pouring all day, and you can snack on traditional New Orleans fare (beignets, anyone?).

FOOD AND DRINK:

La Cocina is hosting a neighborhood dinner tonight at their facilities in the Mission, as part of their plans for the Street Food Festival on August 20. Dinner is from 4-7pm. RSVP to streetfoodfest@lacocinasf.org.

The Uncorked! Wine Fest at Ghirardelli Square on Saturday (1pm-6pm) will feature pours from over 40 wineries, cooking demonstrations, and live music. Tickets go for $50 and get you unlimited tastes and a souvenir glass. Portions of the proceeds will go to Save the Bay.

It that’s not enough wine for you, the Wine 4 Japan Fundraiser at Commonwealth Club is from 5:30pm-8pm. Tickets are $30, and all proceeds benefit the Red Cross’ relief efforts in Japan.

Alternatively, if wine’s not your thing, there will be plenty of other options at the First Annual Haight Street Pub Crawl, also on Saturday. The pub crawl starts at Martin Mack’s, and check in is from 2pm-4:30pm.

Enjoy! And good luck surviving the Rapture. On the off chance that it doesn’t happen, see you next week.

Photo Credit: Calendar. ‘Western Michigan University’ [http://www.wmich.edu/registrar/calendars/].

If you haven’t yet bought a ticket to the Smuin Ballet's Spring Program, pull out your wallet and buy one right now. This contemporary ballet troupe is currently performing at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts until May 15 (after which it will be performing in Walnut Creek May 20-21, in the South Bay May 25-29, and in Carmel June 3-4; see schedule and ticket prices here).

I attended the performance with a few friends on Tuesday night, with tickets that we had purchased on Groupon. To be honest, I knew absolutely nothing about the Smuin Ballet when I bought the ticket, and I only decided to go because 1) the ticket was cheap - only $30 for a VIP ticket, which got us seats in the fifth row - and 2) I skimmed the description of the performance and vaguely noticed something about the Beatles. Anyway, it turns out that the Smuin Ballet (founded by Tony and Emmy Award-winning choreographer Michael Smuin) is a modern ballet troupe at its finest, fusing classical ballet techniques, contemporary dance styles, and a variety of music to match.

The Spring Program is composed of three acts. The first, Momentum, is set to a Prokofiev concerto, and focuses on the pairing of the dancers, who are light and playful. The second act, Requiem, is choreographed by the Smuin Ballet’s Choreographer in Residence Amy Seiwert and set to a famously unfinished Mass composed by Mozart, and in my opinion this act is the star of the show. The haunting music is reflected in the dancers’ powerful movements as they weave through gauzy curtains beneath dramatic lighting, and the emotion of the piece is palpable. The third and final act, To The Beatles, is as light as Requiem is heavy, and it is a perfect ending to the night. Clad in neon bellbottoms and minidresses, the dancers burst onto the stage to moonwalk and twist their way through an assortment of Beatles classics ranging from Help to Day Tripper to Penny Lane. The whole audience was laughing and cheering throughout, and I personally had a grin on my face the whole time.

All in all, the Smuin Ballet’s Spring Program was one of the freshest and most exciting dance performances I’ve ever seen. The moment the show ended, I wished that I could stay in my seat and watch the whole thing all over again. I already can’t wait to see what they put together for their next program. Groupon or not, I’ll be there.

Photo Credit: Smuin Ballet. ‘Goldstar’ [http://www.goldstar.com/events/walnut-creek-ca/smuin-ballet-mini-subscription.html].

Tuesday, May 10: Go check out Snakes & Lizards: The Summer of Slither at the California Academy of Sciences. This exhibit just opened yesterday and features over 60 live snakes and lizards from five different continents, including a 15-foot long albino python, a Gila Monster, and an Eastern Water Dragon.

Wednesday, May 11: Head to Cobb’s Comedy Club at 8pm for the Cobb’s Comedy Showcase, where for just $10 you can see acts by 10 of the best rising comedians from the area.

Thursday, May 12: It’s Bike to Work Day, so pull on your padded shorts and strap on your helmet! At night, head to the afterparty at DNA Lounge from 6pm-9pm, where there will be DJs, raffle prizes, and a cycling fashion show.

If biking isn’t your thing, you can instead go to the Reader’s Cafe at Fort Mason at 6:30pm for this week’s installment of the 2011 Poetry Series, and enjoy discounted snacks and drinks while listening to readings by Jorge Argueta and Dottie Payne. Alternatively, make your way to Dogpatch Studios at 7pm for Taste of Potrero, a gala event where you can sample small bites from Potrero Hill restaurants, as well as bid in a silent auction, with all proceeds benefiting the Daniel Webster Elementary School.

Friday, May 13: Go see Hugh Jackman’s show at 8pm at The Curran Theatre. You can expect Broadway-style Hugh, not Wolverine.

Saturday, May 14: It’s the 12th annual SF Oyster Fest at the Great Meadow at Fort Mason from 11:30am-7pm. Enjoy oyster cooking demos, a “Shuck and Suck” competition, and exhibits on the history of oysters, all while listening to live music from Rodrigo y Gabriela, Guster, Pepper, and more. Tickets go for $35, and proceeds benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Sunday, May 15: Bay to Breakers. Need I say more?

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO WEEK!!!

Tuesday, May 3: Snag tickets to the final week of performances of The Little Mermaid by the SF Ballet at the War Memorial Opera House. Tuesday’s show is at 8pm, and tickets range from $30 to $265, depending on how classy you want to be.

Wednesday, May 4: Head to the opening reception of the Annual Artists Warehouse Sale from 6pm-9pm in the Fort Mason Gallery and Conference Center, and spruce up your apartment with works of art by Bay Area artists at discounts of up to 75% off. The opening reception is free for SFMOMA members and $10 for the general public. If you’re not worried about the best pieces getting snapped up, skip the reception and attend the sale for free Thursday through Sunday.

Thursday, May 5: Happy Cinco de Mayo! There are sure to be specials on Tecates and Coronas in every bar in the city (hopefully more on that soon), but do it up big by attending the Big Bang Party After Dark at the California Academy of Sciences, 8pm-midnight. There will be cocktails, snacks, desserts, live DJs and a performance by Project Bandaloop. Tickets are $80 for Academy members and $100 for the general public, and proceeds support research and education programs at the Academy.

For half that price ($50), you could also head to the Ferry Building for Tacolicious’ Hecho En San Francisco benefit for La Cocina and CUESA, and sample tequila, beer, wine and food from various Mexican restaurants throughout the city (Nopalito, La Palma Mexicatessen, and more). Buy tickets here.

Friday, May 6: Grab dinner at the Fort Mason parking lot, where the Off the Grid food trucks congregate every Friday from 5pm-9pm. If you’re up for heading across town, catch a screening of Braveheart, which is this week’s installment of Park Chalet’s free Friday Night Movies series (every Friday through October). While you watch, munch on $3 snacks and wash them down with $3 beers and $6 wines and cocktails.

Saturday, May 7: It’s a big week at Fort Mason. Today, hit up the BCBG and Ella Moss sample sale from 10am-4pm in the Fleet Room in Building D, and snag new duds for up to 70% off (and an additional 10% off for cash purchases). Afterwards, aspiring cyclists can attend the Free Urban Cycling Workshop from 2pm-6pm in Building C, courtesy of the SF Bicycle Coalition (advance registration required; sign up here). Round out the day at AT&T Park, where the Giants host the Colorado Rockies at 6:05pm.

Sunday, May 8: Recover from your Saturday night with some hair of the dog. The Noe Valley location of the very delicious La Mediterranee is offering a free mimosa with the purchase of any brunch entree every Saturday and Sunday through May 30 (brunch is served 11am-3pm). To get the deal, sign up for your Daily Dishout coupon here.

Finish your week with some laughs and go see Sarah Colonna and Brad Wollack, both of Chelsea Lately fame, at Cobb’s Comedy Club at 8pm. Tickets go for $18.50.

Photo Credit: Mexican Food. ‘Herald-Tribune’ [http://exploreyoursarasota.blogs.heraldtribune.com/11373/mayo-es-buena-for-mexican-food/].