Hard Times Handbook - Page 3

Our guide to living better, for less, in the recession

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Unless you want to walk, there's really no cheaper way to get around town than on a bicycle. And for the tens of thousands of San Franciscans who use bikes as their main mode of transportation, the Bike Coalition is a co-op knight in shining armor. The advocacy group, whose members successfully fought more than 200 miles of bike lanes in the city as well as bike access on Muni and BART, also puts on and sponsors a handful of events each month such as free urban cycling workshops to help you navigate the city streets safely, themed guided bike rides, and many other bike-friendly events. Membership starts at $35 per year, but many of their events are free for nonmembers or for a $5 donation.

www.sfbike.org

D-STRUCTURE

Owned by former pro skater and X-Games judge Azikiwee Anderson, D-Structure in the Lower Haight blurs the line between retail store, art gallery and performance space in a big way. Every month, this self-described "lifestyle clothing brand culture store" lets local artists take over the space and use the entire store as their canvas. For launch parties, which take place several times each month, the merchandise displays of urban hoodies and t-shirts and hip beanies are pushed to the walls to make room for DJs and events that range from art openings with live painting to indie rock shows, hip hop album release parties and film screenings. And did we mention the open bar? During its nighttime events, most of which are free and open to the public, D-Structure has been known to bring in a truck load of beer; that's what happened on New Year's Eve.

520 Haight, 415-252-8601, Mon.–Sat., noon–8 p.m.; Sundays, noon–6 p.m. www.d-structuresf.com

Johnny Funcheap runs FunCheapSF.com, a free SF-based service that uncovers and shares a hand-picked recommendation list of more than 50 cheap, fun, unique Bay Area events each week.

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Drink early and often

Five great happy hours that offer bargain booze — and amazing food deals

By Virginia Miller

BAR CRUDO'S HAPPY HOUR

About the best crudo (and some of the best seafood) anywhere, Bar Crudo's new digs on Divisadero Street provide ample room for you and your friends. You want to go at happy hour; there's free food and you can also get sweet deal on what is arguably one of the best seafood chowders around. A creamy bowl rich with fish, mussels, shrimp, squid, potatoes, and applewood-smoked bacon goes for $5 (normally $14). Oysters from British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, and Washington are normally $2.50 each, but only $1 during happy hour. Beer and wine specials rotate, $5 for wine or $3 for beer — and we're not talking PBR. Bar Crudo is known for a broad selection of Belgian and artisan beers, not to mention some beautiful wines.

Mon.–Thurs., 5–6:30 p.m. 655 Divisadero.415-409-0679. www.barcrudo.com

SEAFOOD HAPPY HOUR AT SWELL

For happy hour with a touch of class — and an affordable price — you can't beat Swell, a delightful, under-the-radar crudo/seafood restaurant. The post-work crowd gets $1 oysters — and not just any oysters, but our own local Point Reyes' bivalves. There's ceviche with kampachi and butterfish or mackerel bruschetta with garlic-ginger oil ($8 each). For imbibing, sip $6 Bellinis and Kir Royals or $6 glasses of chardonnay, syrah, or rosé.

Mon.–Thurs., 5–7 p.m. 603 Bush. 415-956-0396. www.swellsf.com

AVENUE LOUNGE'S FREE BRATS ON SUNDAYS

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