Events

Is San Francisco ready for the electric bike?

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"I'm so excited for that hill!" I shouted. And I was on a bike. 

I've never been excited for a hill on a bike before. But last week I tooled around on an electric bicycle with Karen and Brett Thurber, the husband-wife owners of Bernal Hieghts' sweet-swanky new shop New Wheel. We did about half of a 49-mile scenic drive (the one created in 1939 for the Golden Gate International Exposition that was meant to showcase the city's then-new neighborhoods), went up Twin Peaks, and I felt like a million bucks at the end of it.

I tell you this at the risk of sounding soft to pretty much every biker I know, but: "e-bikes" are fun. You can decide yourself -- New Wheel's always open for test rides, and it has a weekend of festivities planned Sat/31-Sun/1 to introduce the metal steeds to your loins. If you're open.  Read more »

Parra's world gets a wall at SFMOMA, spun at Mighty

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How about this: for your first museum piece you can take the entryway wall of the second floor of the SFMOMA. It's a bigger surface than you've ever painted on before. Just do whatever. You usually decorate skateboards and coffee mugs with your work, but putting your bird-faced, omni-stilletoed characters in front of some of the world's most voracious art fans isn't a big deal.

Oh, and the passers-by aren't going to know that you're the artist, so they'll probably offer some critique. You're good with criticism, right? Also, don't upset the children. And then your band can play a show at Mighty (Thu/29). Read more »

Wear it out

Spooky couture, a Mingus tribute, and a Prefuse 73 blowout for the local wobblerati

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marke@sfbg.com

SUPER EGO "It's the post-Apocalyptic story of a cultlike group of women who are completely crazy and believe that by sacrificing 'Paulina' they can bring some order to the chaos in their lives," super-stylish designer (and renowned club sweetheart) Dexter L. Flawk tells me of his debut collection. "In reality, it's a Pan's Labyrinth version of my last relationship."Read more »

St. Patrick's Day events

From bagpipes with your morning joe to punky sláinte shouts

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culture@sfbg.com

"THE HISTORY OF THE IRISH COFFEE" PRESENTATION

If you're already weary of the beer-overkill this weekend entails, celebrate St. Patrick's with a different type of festive drink — the Irish coffee. The Buena Vista Cafe holds a collection of clippings and photographs that track the beginnings of Irish coffee in San Francisco from as far back as the 1960s. Luckily, the drink is still around to salvage everyone's hangover this weekend. Presented as part of the Crossroads Irish American Festival.Read more »

You need to know about Afghanistan. Here's how you can start

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What fresh hell is this. Last weekend, a US Army staff sergeant who has suffered past traumatic head injury walked off his military base and allegedly shot 16 Afghani men, women, and children.

Sadly, that Wall Street Journal article about the matter that I linked to in the first sentence of this post goes on to state that not only does Hilary Clinton think the incident has no bearing on our country's "steadfast dedication to protecting the Afghan people," the Afghan people don't seem to be all that surprised by the US serial killer in their midst. A tribal elder from the Helmand province was quoted as saying "even if he was a madman, what about all the other times when they've killed our innocent women and children? How do you explain those?" Iraq Veterans Against the War has one answer -- the group released a statement that says the military's policy of redeploying mentally unfit troops in the field is to blame. The suspect soldier was on his fourth tour of duty.

The incident only underlines the fact that Afghanistan is no longer on anyone's mind anymore. What is going on out there? Read on for an upcoming Bay Area event that hopes to provide some answers. Read more »

Arting around: Monthly Polk Street art cruise debuts today

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Lower Polk has surged forth as one of the city's more exciting hubs of gallery art. So it's no surprise that the neighborhood is expanding its quarterly art walk into a monthly event -- the Lower Polk Art Walk, which will take over the sidewalks every first Thursday, starting today. 

The beauty of an art walk is that there is no start point or end point -- and there's plenty of chin-scratching and ah-oohing to be done at galleries up and down Larkin and Polk Streets. So throw away your itinerary and let your feet do the planning for you as you peruse the participating eight galleries. Just make sure to meander into the showing by Larkin Street Youth Services, a collection of works by the young people who are participants in its programs geared towards homeless youth. Here's three other gallery spaces that'll be worth a look:  Read more »

6 great author readings in the next 12 days

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Opt for a night sans sloppy drunks, covers, reality TV, or morning-after regret. Opt for a book reading -- here, we'll get you started with a list of upcoming page-turners. 

Joshua Foer: Moonwalking with Einstein

Foer investigates the inner workings of our brain by drawing on scientific research, cultural history of memory, and personal explorations of different memory techniques.  

Fri/5 7:30 p.m., free. The Booksmith, 1644 Haight, SF. (415) 863-8688, www.booksmith.com. Read more »

Riding the 'Dark Wave': Jay Howell comes home for a zine release

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Jay Howell may have left us for the palm trees in Silverlake, but that doesn’t mean that he’s gone forever. 

You may know Howell for his zine Punks Git Cut, his drawings of people with neon faces on vintage book pages, or as that really tall guy you always used to see in the coffeeshop. Upon moving to sunny (and smoggy) Los Angeles, Howell has gotten a car, finished up doing the character development for Bob’s Burgers, and is currently working as the art director for a show on Nickelodeon. He returns to San Francisco on Sat/18 for an art show at Fecal Face Dot Gallery to celebrate the release of his new zine The Dark Wave -- a 50-page comic book about the lead singer of a death metal band and his existential journey to the ocean. Read more »

This is our country, too: Fred Korematsu's daughter on her father's civil rights legacy

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“One never knows after someone dies what happens to their legacy. Sometimes it becomes a part of history and sometimes it grows,” Karen Korematsu -remarked in a phone interview with the Guardian this week. Her father, civil rights activist Fred Korematsu, will be honored statewide with his own official day on Mon/30. You can celebrate his legacy locally at the Oakland Museum of California’s Lunar New Year event on Sun/29, where Karen will be speaking about her dad’s contribution to our cultural heritage. Read more »

A Bay Area kind of stand-up: Frankie Quinones of For the People Comedy

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Common knowledge states that if you're serious about becoming a stand-up comedian on the West Coast, you move to Los Angeles. But Frankie Quinones created the diversity of For the People Comedy here in San Francisco and despite his rising star on the stand-up scene, he's sticking around for the moment.

Maybe that's because Carmelita lives here. “She's taken on a whole thing of her own, her own career,” says the Ventura County native of his sassed-up, club-going Latina sexpot. “Carmelita's got her own list of things to do in 2012.” You can check out Quinones -- and possibly Carmelita or his popular "Cholo Whisperer" skit -- at the next For the People event at Cobb's on Thu/19. 

Read more »