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Events Around the City: Valentine’s Day Edition

Tank Hill
One of the best kept secrets of the city, Tank Hill is the perfect place for a romantic picnic with its sweeping, panoramic view of the San Francisco and an abundance of natural beauty. Although it gets chilly (and there is a bit of a hike to the top of the hill) the scenery is more than worth it. The location is more private than its counterpart, Twin Peaks. As an unexpected bonus, the cold weather is the perfect excuse to cuddle up with that special someone.
2 Belgrave Avenue (at Bigler Avenue)

Valentine’s Day Pillow Fight
As it turns out, smashing people in the face with pillows is a surprisingly romantic way to spend the holiday. Even the unattached flock to this event, which takes place annually, to have a great time on a day typically characterized by more gentle feelings.
The pros recommend wearing a helmet, bringing clean pillows and avoiding those made with tempur-pedic material, which apparently feels like taking a brick to the face when it hits you. Also be sure to show up on time and try not to bring feather pillows, which don’t last long in battle.
6 p.m Justin Herman Plaza

This chic spot is a must for anyone with a serious sweet tooth, with a menu comprised of solely gourmet desserts.
The setting, both intimate and romantic, is also light-hearted, featuring an array of board games that you can play to burn off the inevitable sugar high.
1335 Fulton Street (between Broderick St & Divisadero St)

Blue Danube Coffee House
More romantic than a lunch date and less committal than dinner, coffee is a great option for Valentine’s Day, especially if it’s a relatively new relationship.
Conveniently located in the Inner Richmond district, The Blue Danube is an unusually cozy spot with a few couches that are fantastic for some light canoodling (but please, don’t be that gag-worthy couple that spoons in front of everyone).
The coffee is great, the smoothies are delectable, and there isn’t a pastry that’s anything less than delicious. Keep in mind they only accept cash.
It’s also a great place when you want to try to prolong the date, with the neighborhood staples Genki Crepe and Green Apple Bookstore just a quick jaunt down the street.
306 Clement St (between 4th Ave & 5th Ave)

Musée Mécanique
Really cool antique machines? Check. Slightly creepy mechanical marionettes? Check. Fantastic photo booth? Check.
Musée Mécanique is a unique date spot to say the least and it makes for an evening of nostalgic fun on Pier 45. This vast collection of machines ranges from fortune dispensers to decades old arcade games and a photo booth, ensures you’ll have a memento to remember the evening by.
Fisherman’s Wharf Pier 45, Shed A

Events Around the City

The Mission Arts Performance Project – Saturday, Feb. 4
The Mission Arts Performance Project is a free, all day art crawl in the Mission District that will comprise of everything from spoken word poets rhyming on the streets to DJ’s filling the streets with music and the neighborhood’s eclectic citizens hawking their belongings in garage sales. The loosely organized event, which is somewhat centered around 24th street, officially commences at noon on Saturday, Feb. 4 and it is sure to be a quintessentially San Franciscan event. -A.R.

Free Admission to SFMOMA – Tuesday, Feb. 7

On the first Tuesday of every month, the San Francisco Museum of Modern art opens up their doors for free.
Their large collection boasts a plethora of 20th century art, installation art, photography, and prominent artist in the bay area art scene.
Their current exhibitions feature the late photographer Francesca Woodman, and the minimalist designs of product designer Dieter Rams.
The museum also has a café, and a rooftop garden with views of downtown. -R.W.

Free Lana Del Rey show at Amoeba – Thursday, Feb. 9
Though Lana Del Rey is a complete fabrication of the music industry, her singles “Born to Die” and “Video Games” are sinfully catchy. Thanks to brilliant marketing, her Americana indie-goddess image, and her alleged plastic-surgery induced pout, Lana Del Rey is the name on everyone’s lips. Del rey went from obscurity to SNL within months. Her much anticipated debut album, Born to Die, drops on Jan. 31.
On Thursday Feb. 9, Lana Del Rey will be playing a free show at Amoeba. We can decide for ourselves then whether or not she’s the next big thing or just a passing YouTube sensation. There will be a CD signing for the first 300 customers who purchase Born to Die at the store. -R.W.

“So You Think You Can Paint?” at Club Six – Thursday, Feb. 9

The goal of “So You Think You Can Paint?” is simple: complete as many art pieces as possible before the venue shuts down at 11pm. Club Six hosts this admission free event every Thursday, opening up their walls to anyone willing to put their brushwork on display. The club provides paintbrushes and more than enough paint to create to your heart’s desire, setting a fun atmosphere with their resident DJ, Mr.Robinson and an abundance of cheap drinks for the 21+ crowd.
For those less certain of their artistic skills, Club Six also offers a free art lesson from 6-7pm, hosted by the locally famous and multi-talented artist NoMe Edonna.
This event is very popular with the locals so be sure to get their a little early. Check it out at Club Six at 60 6th Street in San Francisco. -A.R.

Events Around the City: What’s Up This Week

November 17
Time after Time 80s Prom @ Cat Club, 9pm, FREE
There’s a certain kind of joy to be experienced when your dress is sneaker-friendly, all your hair is pulled to one side (preferably by use of a scrunchie), and your overzealous dance moves are finally socially acceptable. I can only assume that’s what led Cat Club to host an annual 80s themed Prom. So dust off your pastel colored suits and reveal your hidden neon wardrobe, slide on some legwarmers and reminisce in the slow jams played on the hour every hour and endless “Footloose” routines . This night just might outshine your high school prom.

November 20th
Word! USF Night @Bazaar Café, 6pm, FREE
USF’s creative writing students are learning the tricks of the trade, so an audience filled with intrigued listeners is anxiously awaited at this point in time. Non-fiction, fiction, narratives, and anecdotes are fresh in their repertoire and ready for their reveal. The last of its kind this semester, a showcase will be open to the general public with USF’s creative writing students the main act. Bazaar café comes equipped with microphones, sofas, coffee, and a sultry atmosphere perfect for the literary aficionado in all of us. Come for an hour, come for two, and listen to the plot unfold as our fellow USF students share their stories.

Union Square Holiday Ice Rink 2011, Daily 10:30am-11:30pm, $10 Admission $5 Skate Rental
Tis’ the season to fall on your behind in front of hundreds of people you are sure to see again on your next muni trip. You know the Holidays are approaching when: Starbucks brings back the crowd favorite – pumpkin spice latte, red becomes the cult color of the nation, and Union Square brings joy (and bruises) to the city of San Francisco with their much anticipated ice skating rink! Situated directly in Union Square, the rink is calling all friends, families, lovers, and singles, and each ninety minute session starts on the hour every hour, so grab the hand of your nearest victim and glide to your favorite holiday tunes.

November 25
Union Square Tree Lighting 6pm FREE
A holiday tradition, Santa Claus himself will lead the crowd in a spirited countdown (good thing they booked him in advance, you can imagine his work schedule this time of year) before flicking the switch and lighting the tree. This year’s 80-foot fir will be decked out in over 21,000 sparkling LED lights with decorations spanning from branch to branch. There’s something about the lighting of a Christmas tree which evokes the warmth of the season. So whether you’re front and center at Union Square, watching the action at home via television, or vandalizing your own home with decorations, I wish you all the simple pleasures that come with the season, no matter what your faith may be!

Events Around the City: What’s Up This Week

November 11

Veterans Day Parade @ Market Street, 11 A.M.
Veterans Day remembers, celebrates, and appreciates all the men and women who have served our country. The parade down Market St. will include floats, drill teams, marching bands, and men and women of honor making their way to City Hall. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Korean War so a special commemoration is planned to take place. Whether you support the war, whether patriotism runs through your blood, or if you just like to hum the tune of our national anthem the Veterans Day Parade is family fun for everyone.

Dolores Park Meditation Mob @ Dolores Park, 6 P.M.
With a historic revolution knocking on our backdoor, meditation doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. Unaffiliated with any religion, meditation serves as an outlet for progressive thinkers alike. With proven health benefits meditation aims to create and expand positive action and intention through liberation and enlightenment. The idea here is simple, one hour of silent meditation followed by eleven minutes of sound bath (soothing music). You are invited to join for all of it, part of it, or just a casual bask in the presence of peace. The Meditation Mob, sister to the better known Flash Mob, advises that you come with the deepest intentions for yourself, your community, and our planet.

Break the Silence Mural Project
With a central focus on the Palestinian-Israeli struggle for human rights, Break the Silence is an art/activist group committed to raising national awareness of the current day conflict in Palestine. The road to peace has presented many obstacles for Palestinians are in the midst of an ambivalent time. BTS aims to shed light on the urgency of social reform with positive cultural projects that directly benefit Palestinian organizations. Each mural is linked with history in hopes of increasing our knowledge of Palestinian culture and heritage. Two of their murals reside in the bay area, “Our Roots Are Still Alive,” in the Mission and “Edward Said Mural,” at SF State. In support of the many identities faced with oppression in Palestine, Break the Silences social justice movement is making a difference.

November 13

KUSF.org Rock N’ Swap Record Fair @ McLaren Hall ,7am-4pm, FREE
Trouble locating your favorite obscure vinyls, posters, books, and dvds got you down? Well pity yourself no more because KUSF is making their presence known yet again in what is known as one of California’s largest record swaps. Vendors come from all over to sell music and related items in every format your soul could conceive. Best part is, the venue lies on our stomping ground and it’s free for you and me.

Events Around the City: What’s Up This Week

November 2
Occupy SF Open Mic @ Justin Herman Plaza, 8pm

Ingenuity, creativity, and perseverance all lie intermingled among the 99% dwelling in Justin Herman Plaza, and their weekly open mic has proven itself conducive to their cause and rally for change. The platform is open to the general public utilizing the repeat-after-me technique with the advantage of a megaphone. Organized enough to produce a line up, yet innately free form. Voices from every walk and background will express a raw frustration of our social and economic crisis with optimism for hope in the future. The glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel is the spirit in which the demonstrators’ preform so need not shy away in fear of sermon out of anger and disparity, this event is truly uplifting.

November 5
Occupy SF March, 3pm, Starts @ Justin Herman Plaza

Occupy SF aims to start a revolution with their revolt against corporate greed and economic inequality. Demonstrators have been camped out at the Justin Herman Plaza for 5 weeks now, or tent city as the SF police have deemed it. As more and more people are rising in support of the much controversial protest, the marches are getting larger enhancing the demand for change. This Saturday the 99% are planning to march down Market Street in hopes of reaching Civic Center. Our generation holds the power for reform. If we stand together and demand rectification, imagine the upheaval.

November 6
Avant Garde Poetry Nights @ City Lights, 5pm, FREE

A landmark of poetry, City Lights will never stray far from its roots. Freedom of speech is exercised weekly in their small yet historic underground domain. George Albon has composed numerous collections of poetry, award winning novels and has even been featured in the anthology Bay Poetics. Alongside Albon, Denis Phillips, will be reading his new collection of poems titled Navigation. If just for familiarity with the venue alone, come hear the spoken word by two of the most innovative poets of our time.

Oct. 28 – Dec. 11
Cirque Du Soleil – Totem @ AT&T Park, tickets run $50-$150

Cirque Du Soleil conjures up our inner child who is still in search of awe and amazement. Misfits from around the world come together to produce a show featuring jugglers, rapid-fire, helium balloons, trapeze artists, acrobats, and lions and tigers and bears oh my! The dreamy half-dressed men and women who fly overheard draw the audience into the plot with live music, mythological stunts, and gravity defining maneuvers. This tour, called Totem, will showcase “a fascinating journey into the evolution of mankind from its primordial, amphibian state towards the aspiration of flight.” Although a student discount is available I know this comes as kind of a splurge, but c’mon, who doesn’t want to see the circus!

Events Around the City: What’s Up This Week

October 27
Halloween College Night @ Milk Bar, 9pm-2am, $2, 21+
With hopes of getting everyone in the ghoulish spirit Milk Bar is hosting its monthly college night with a Halloween theme. Milk Bar, located on Haight Street, has become a go-to venue for live entertainment near campus. Their lineup this evening brings you innovative student DJ’s and bands performing strictly for the likes of their peers. (USF will be represented by Stereo Fi) With regard to the approaching holiday discounts will be given in favor of those who come decked out in the most outlandish costumes.

October 29
Halloween Capture the Flag @ Golden Gate Park, 12pm-3pm, FREE
I hope you’ve realized by now that Golden Gate Park is home to bizarre oddities, unusual creative roots of expression, and unique free-for-all entertainment venues. If you in fact already arrived at this conclusion yourself then a mass capture the flag should come as no surprise. Capture the flag is a game with the potential to please even the most stubborn stumps on the log. This venture comes well organized for rules and tactics will be discussed at the beginning of the match. Whether you’re a novice or a veteran, don’t miss this one.

Urban Snowboard Showdown @ Civic Center Plaza , 12pm-4pm, FREE
With the 2012 winter Olympics still almost a year away, the Urban Snowboard Showdown is sure to prove itself as more than an intersession for its much-anticipated counterpart. Against better judgment the City of San Francisco is allowing Lib Tech to pile an overwhelming measure of snow in Civic Center for this non-stop shred junction. The Urban Snowboard Showdown is a snowboard competition crying out to extreme sport lovers and winter season devotees alike. Watch as 25 of the biggest up and coming “jibbers” battle it out for the $10,000 grand prize. This urban rail event will also feature food, music, autograph signings, and raffles with proceeds going directly to local charities.

KUSF in Exile: A DJ Set @ Amoeba Records, 2pm-5pm, FREE
For many of us, talking about KUSF – our former beloved “cultural oasis” radio station – is still a sore subject. Although we are no longer able to listen to our favorite DJs discuss the music that’s been pumping through their Beats by Dre headphones over the radio, the free-form radio station lives on. As part of the Save KUSF movement, Amoeba is showcasing KUSF DJs: t his particular set will feature DJ Harry Duncan and his award winning Roots and Rhythm mix. For those of you still in turmoil over the controversy, DJ Duncan is sure to bring back some fond memories.

October 31

Halloween! (All day, All ages)
I’ll admit that the timing of Halloween this year could have been more conducive to our weekend. But nonetheless, it is a holiday worth celebrating, and celebrate we shall! From me to you, Happy Halloween folks!