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San Francisco Events Calendar

 
         
     

December |January

 
         
 

December 2005

   
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2

 

Stargazing: Late Autumn Skies

 
     

Time 7:30 p.m.
Price $12 individuals; $18 families
Location San Francisco Botanical Garden

 
   

See the stars from the Garden at night with Bing Quock from the California Academy of Sciences. As we approach the start of winter, the stars of summer are still prominent, though setting in the west at sunset. The constellations of fall are directly overhead, and the famous winter constellations are just rising in the east, led by the monstrous Taurus the Bull. The Red Planet Mars also stands blazing in the southeast after sunset, and we'll gaze at it through a telescope, along with the Andromeda Galaxy, a double star cluster, and the strikingly beautiful Pleiades star cluster. Cancelled in the event of cloudy weather. Meet at 7:15 p.m. at the main gate.

 
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3

 

Birding for Everyone

 
     

Time 10 a.m. - noon
Price Free
Location San Francisco Botanical Garden

 
   

A leisurely birding tour and nature hike that tromps through the microhabitats of the Garden. Bring binoculars (if you have them) and a pencil. Meet at the main gate near the Garden Bookstore.

 
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4

 

RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) Alumni Craft Sale

 
     

Time 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Price Free
Location Fort Mason, Building A

 
   

Meet the artists and shop for unique gifts. This year's sale will include jewelry, ceramics, toys, home accesories, paintings, prints, photography, sculpture, glass, textiles and much more!

 
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6

 

Myths and Icons: Kiki Smith as Historian

 
     

Time Noon - 1 p.m.
Price Free (museum admission also FREE on this date)
Location SFMOMA, Phyllis Wattis Theater

 
   

Known as the most visceral of sculptors, Smith has used her art to rewrite a variety of histories—those of art, religion, and women, to name a few. In this program, curatorial associate Joshua Shirkey traces the artist's interest in our cultural past through her sculptures and two-dimensional works, examining her efforts to imagine new narratives for an era profoundly changed by feminism, AIDS, medical technology, and environmentalism.

 
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8

 

Conner Obscura: Part I

 
     

Time 7 - 10 p.m.
Price $10-15
Location SFMOMA, Phyllis Wattis Theater

 
   

This special, two-part program offers a chance to see virtually every film and video work in existence by Bruce Conner. Prominent in the Beat movement, Conner is recognized as a pioneer of independent filmmaking, incorporating compiled footage, pop music, and fast-paced editing to create a distinctive style that continues to influence filmmakers today. Part I of this special program features rarely seen films by Conner, with reassessments of his earlier work and remastered movies. The program concludes with a conversation between Conner and writer/critic Tony Reveaux, plus audience Q&A .

 
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9

 

Sea Music Concert Series presents Jeff Warner

 
     

Time 8 p.m.
Price $14
Location Aboard the historic ship Balclutha, Hyde Street Pier

 
   

With warmth, humor, and understated scholarship, American roots music interpreter and performer Jeff Warner connects 21st century audiences with the music and everyday lives of 19th century people. Accompanying himself on concertina, banjo, and guitar, he presents musical traditions from the Outer Banks fishing villages of North Carolina to the lumber camps of the Adirondack Mountains and the whaling ports of New England. Tickets available at the Maritime Store, 2905 Hyde Street, .

 
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10

 

Presidio Walking Tour: First Line of Defense

 
     

Time 10 - 11:30 a.m.
Price Free; registration required
Location Meet at the Crissy Field Center in the Presidio

 
   

Join a National Park Service ranger for an investigation into the Western Defense Command, and learn about the role of the Presidio during World War II. This is a moderate 1.5 mile walk with steep steps. Pre-registration is required; phone .

 
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10

 

Conner Obscura: Part II

 
     

Time 2 - 6 p.m.
Price $10-15
Location SFMOMA, Phyllis Wattis Theater

 
   

This special, two-part program offers a chance to see virtually every film and video work in existence by Bruce Conner. Prominent in the Beat movement, Conner is recognized as a pioneer of independent filmmaking, incorporating compiled footage, pop music, and fast-paced editing to create a distinctive style that continues to influence filmmakers today. Conner will be present to answer questions at the event's conclusion.

 
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10

 

Parol Lantern Parade

 
     

Time 5 - 8 p.m.
Price Free
Location Mission Street between 6th Street and Yerba Buena Gardens

 
   

Filipino parols are traditional Christmas lanterns in the shape of a five-pointed star, symbolizing the star of Bethlehem. During the holiday season they will be displayed at several different locations throughout San Francisco. The parade starts at 6th and Mission Streets and follows Mission to the Yerba Buena Gardens. The parade ends with a holiday program at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Waterfall in Yerba Buena Gardens.

 
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15

 

Metal Storm: The Scandinavian Black Metal Wars

 
     

Time 7 p.m. or 8:45 p.m.
Price $5-8
Location Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, screening room

 
   

A little Hell for the holidays! In 1991, the singer of the seminal Norwegian Black Metal band Mayhem was found dead in his apartment of a self-inflicted shotgun wound. A photo of his mutilated body graced the cover of Mayhem's subsequent album. This was to be the first in a series of violent events associated with the increasingly frightening Black Metal scene in Scandinavia, which over the next few years would escalate to include the burning of nearly 100 churches and culminate in the murder of Mayhem guitarist Euronymous by fellow band member Varg Vikernes. Appropriating an existing documentary (Satan Rides the Media) as its starting point, Metal Storm contextualizes these events to tell the tragic story of an unholy war that has left a grim legacy for metal fans the world over.

 
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17

 

Solstice Night Hike

 
     

Time 4 - 6 p.m.
Price $5
Location The Presidio; pre-registration required; directions sent with confirmation

 
   

Pre-registration required; directions sent with confirmation.
Celebrate the winter solstice with an evening hike that starts at Rob Hill and finishes with a Baker Beach campfire. Ranger Cidney Webster shares stories of the ways people from the past welcomed back the sun. Call to pre-register.

 
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31

 

Japanese New Year's Bell-Ringing Ceremony (Joya no kane)

 
     

Time 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Price $6-10 (includes museum admission)
Location Asian Art Museum

 
   

In Japan, temple bells are rung 108 times to represent the leaving behind of the 108 earthly desires. It is hoped that with each reverberation the bad experiences, wrong deeds, and ill luck of the past year will be wiped away. The museum's 20th annual Japanese New Year Bell Ringing Ceremony begins at 11 a.m. with a bamboo flute performance (shakuhachi) featuring Zen music by John Singer. Following this, a Buddhist priest will lead participants in the ceremonial bell-ringing. Numbered tickets to ring the bell will be distributed in the South Court starting at 10 a.m., one to each family or group, on a first-come, first-served basis.

 
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January 2006

   
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3

 

Mochitsuki! Japanese Mochi-Pounding Party

 
     

Time 11 a.m. – noon
Price $6–10 (includes museum admission)
Location Asian Art Museum, Samsung Hall

 
   

Oshogatsu (Japanese New Year; literally, new month) is the most important time of the year, marked with good feelings and nostalgia. Once essential to the New Year celebration, the time-consuming practice of mochitsuki or mochi-pounding, in which glutinous steamed rice is pounded into delectable sweet, soft cakes, is now rare even in Japan, as busy people eat store-bought mochi rather than make their own. Celebrate the New Year with San Francisco’s mochi experts Kagami Kai as they present the tradition of mochitsuki with music, dance, and costumes. Members of the audience not only get to have a hand in the festivities, they’ll also be able to sample the freshly made treats after the performance.

 
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5

 

The Beats: Jack Kerouac and Friends

 
     

Time Noon – 2 p.m.
Price Free
Location San Francisco Public Library, Main Branch, Koret Auditorium

 
   

The San Francisco Public Library screening series The Beats: Jack Kerouac and Friends features a different documentary film each Thursday in January. On January 5, they present The Source (1999, 89 min.), a portrait of the Beat Generation with archival interviews and readings by Dennis Hopper and Johnny Depp. The library will also exhibit (January 14 – March 19) part of Kerouac’s manuscript for the now classic novel On the Road —a 120-foot long scroll consisting of a series of single-spaced, typed, twelve-foot long rolls of paper that have been taped together—as well as an overview of Kerouac’s life and a brief history of the Beat movement told through photos, books, and ephemera.

 
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5

 

Cindy Sheehan Book Reading

 
     

Time 7 p.m.
Price Free
Location A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books

 
   

After Cindy Sheehan’s son Casey was killed in Iraq, she decided that the only way she could make sense of her life was to do everything in her power to stop the war. Her outspoken protests against the war and the Bush administration have made her a favorite subject of the media and a lightning rod for the anti-war cause. Sheehan will read from her new memoir Not One More Mother’s Child, which recounts her journey from grieving mother to ardent activist.

 
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8

 

Crissy Field Aviation Walk

 
     

Time 10 a.m. – noon
Price Free; pre-registration required
Location Crissy Field; meet at the Warming Hut, end of Mason Street

 
   

Explore Crissy Field and learn about its role in early aviation history on this easy, one-mile walk. Cancelled in case of rain. Pre-registration is required; phone .

 
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12

 

The Beats: Jack Kerouac and Friends

 
     

Time Noon – 2 p.m.
Price Free
Location San Francisco Public Library, Main Branch, Koret Auditorium

 
   

The San Francisco Public Library screening series The Beats: Jack Kerouac and Friends features a different documentary film each Thursday in January. On January 12, they present The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg (2005/1992, 82 min.), a newly updated “director’s cut” of the 1992 biographical documentary about the most famous Beat poet. The library will also exhibit (January 14 – March 19) part of Kerouac’s manuscript for the now classic novel On the Road —a 120-foot long scroll consisting of a series of single-spaced, typed, twelve-foot long rolls of paper that have been taped together—as well as an overview of Kerouac’s life and a brief history of the Beat movement told through photos, books, and ephemera.

 
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1218

 

Berlin & Beyond Film Festival

 
     

Time Various screening times
Price $710
Location Castro Theatre

 
   

Presented by the Goethe-Institut, the annual Berlin & Beyond film festival screens new films from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. This year’s highlights include a tribute to Michael Verhoeven (The Nasty Girl; The White Rose) who will be honored with the Award for Lifetime Achievement in Directing. The annual panel discussion at the Goethe-Institut will explore Resistance & Film, a theme introduced by the Opening Night feature Sophie Scholl—The Final Days, as well as by the films of Verhoeven and younger filmmakers, many of them present at their screenings.

 
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13

 

Jimmy Carter Book Signing

 
     

Time 5:30 p.m.
Price Free with book purchase; tickets required
Location Cody's Books

 
   

Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter comes to Cody's Books in San Francisco to sign copies of his newest book, Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis. President Carter says that America’s most basic precepts—such as free and open debate on controversial issues, the protection of civil liberties and personal privacy, the separation of church and state, the use of our power and influence around the world, the nurturing of global freedom and human rights, and protecting the environment—are being challenged by a fundamentalist shift in government and in our houses of worship in ways previously thought unimaginable. The result is a moral crisis that threatens the values espoused by our nation since its founding. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, President Carter describes his own involvement and reaction to the extensive and profound transformations in political philosophy, values, and public discourse. THIS IS A BOOK SIGNING ONLY. President Carter will not be reading or speaking. Tickets for the signing line are required; they are free with the purchase of Our Endangered Values at any Cody’s location beginning January 2. You will not be allowed in the signing line without a ticket. Customers will receive one ticket for each book purchased; there is no limit to the number of President Carter’s books purchased for signing. Customers are requested to respect a firm “no photographs” rule while in line or at the signing table; a quick photograph may be taken from an area set aside for that purpose after books are signed.

 
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1326

 

Noir City Film Festival

 
     

Time Various screening times
Price $10
Location Palace of Fine Arts and Balboa Theater

 
   

An annual celebration of film noir, this year’s festival includes a screening of Sean Penn’s neo-noir drama The Pledge, followed by an onstage conversation with Penn and then a screening of his favorite noir from the classic era. Other highlights include: a tribute to Dashiell Hammett, including a restored print of City Streets (1931), the only story Hammett wrote directly for the screen; City That Never Sleeps (1954), a rarity on loan from the personal film vault of Martin Scorsese; a program of 1930s “proto-noirs” from the mind of writer-director Ben Hecht; tributes to actor John Garfield and writer Cornell Woolrich; special guests Farley Granger, Coleen Gray, James Ellroy, and producer-writer Stanley Rubin, all appearing onstage to discuss their lives and work; and—most exciting for San Franciscans—the Film Noir Foundation's resurrection of The Man Who Cheated Himself, a virtually forgotten gem shot locally in 1950.

 
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14

 

Barbary Coast Trail Walking Tour: Poets, Pisanos, and Fabulous Frescos

 
     

Time 10 a.m. – noon (rain or shine)
Price Free; donations appreciated
Location Tour begins in front of Vesuvio Cafe and City Lights Bookstore, on Columbus Avenue near Broadway

 
   

Join tour guide Ariel Conn as she explores the artistic and culinary traditions of North Beach, from the free-spirited Beats to the Italian immigrants who brought a buon gusto philosophy to San Francisco. We begin at Vesuvio Café then visit Washington Square, the heart of North Beach, and a nearby Italian bakery that still bakes bread by hand. At Coit Tower we imagine Gold Rushers who once spied arriving vessels, then view Depression-era murals which reveal a tumultuous and productive period in California’s past.

 
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16

 

9th Annual Bringing the Noise

 
     

Time 7 p.m.
Price $12 general; $5 for youth under 20 and seniors 65+
Location Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Theater

 
   

Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with the voices of today’s generation at this annual tribute to the memory and spirit of cultural activists who have used their voices to bring forth social change. Just as Dr. King shook the nation with his legendary oratory, so the youth speak, reviving the tradition of questioning, affirming, and inspiring the listener to action through Spoken Word performances. What better way to commemorate the work of the Civil Rights Era than through the eyes of the Bay Area’s multicultural and multitalented young poets? Featuring past and current Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam Champions, members of Spokes, and special guests MC Ise Lyfe, DJ Funklor, Young Artists at Work crew of Yerba Buena, and others.

 
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18

 

Lonely Planet Bluelist

 
     

Time 7 p.m.
Price Free
Location Get Lost Books

 
   

WORLD Lonely Planet has taken suggestions and recommendations from thousands of readers and its writers to come up with the new book Lonely Planet Bluelist. Come hear from editor Don George about the world’s most interesting and unusual travel destinations and the travel scene in various countries. Bring your own recommendations on places you love.

 
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19

 

The Beats: Jack Kerouac and Friends

 
     

Time Noon – 2 p.m.
Price Free
Location San Francisco Public Library, Main Branch, Koret Auditorium

 
   

The San Francisco Public Library screening series The Beats: Jack Kerouac and Friends features a different documentary film each Thursday in January. On January 19, they present The Coney Island of Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1996, 60 min.), in which poet and publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti expounds on the roles of poets and authors of dissident literature in American culture. The film includes conversations and commentary with Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Ed Sanders, Amiri Baraka, and others. The library will also exhibit (January 14 – March 19) part of Kerouac’s manuscript for the now classic novel On the Road —a 120-foot long scroll consisting of a series of single-spaced, typed, twelve-foot long rolls of paper that have been taped together—as well as an overview of Kerouac’s life and a brief history of the Beat movement told through photos, books, and ephemera.

 
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25

 

Annual Around-the-World Party

 
     

Time 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Price Free for H.I. members and H.I. hostel guests; $10 nonmembers and non-guests
Location San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf Hostel

 
   

Eat, drink, and merrily mingle with like-minded travelers and fellow Hostelling International members at the HI-USA Golden Gate Council’s annual membership party! We’ll also hear from a special guest speaker on volunteer vacations. RSVPs appreciated before January 20; please call or email . We hope to see you there!

 
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26

 

The Beats: Jack Kerouac and Friends

 
     

Time Noon – 2 p.m.
Price Free
Location San Francisco Public Library, Main Branch, Koret Auditorium

 
   

The San Francisco Public Library screening series The Beats: Jack Kerouac and Friends features a different documentary film each Thursday in January. On January 26, they present Jack Kerouac: King of the Beats (1985, 73 min.), featuring dramatic recreations of scenes from Kerouac’s fiction and narration by Peter Coyote. The library will also exhibit (January 14 – March 19) part of Kerouac’s manuscript for the now classic novel On the Road —a 120-foot long scroll consisting of a series of single-spaced, typed, twelve-foot long rolls of paper that have been taped together—as well as an overview of Kerouac’s life and a brief history of the Beat movement told through photos, books, and ephemera.

 
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28

 

Barbary Coast Trail Walking Tour: Waterfront Wars, Fishing Feluccas, and Windjammers

 
     

Time 10 a.m. – noon (rain or shine)
Price Free; donations appreciated
Location Tour begins at the intersection of The Embarcadero and Kearny Street, on the Bay side of The Embarcadero

 
   

For 150 years San Francisco was above all a port city. This tour, led by Leiasa Beckham, explores the waterfront from the days of sail to the era of husky longshoremen. We begin at the Great Seawall, San Francisco’s largest public works project, and follow the waterfront to two WWII vessels and into famous Fisherman’s Wharf. The tour visits Hyde Street Pier, the largest collection of historic ships in the United States, and ends at the streamlined modern Maritime Museum.

 
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