The volunteer guides at San Francisco City Guides don't just hit mandated talking points—instead, they each create their walking tours from scratch, highlighting their favorite corners of the city in the process. They currently host more than 70 unique tours for month, some of which explore the historic Castro district, while others ramble through Golden Gate Park or San Francisco City Hall. Regardless of the area, the guides focus on history and architecture rather than the length of the sidewalk cracks, a focus that has kept the tours popular since 1978.
Hailed as one of America’s “coolest film festivals” by MovieMaker Magazine, the Disposable Film Festival celebrates and showcases the world’s best no-budget filmmaking. The festival culls its selections from short films shot on inexpensive equipment such as cell phones, still cameras, and webcams, giving audience to a new brood of cinematic mavericks unfettered by major studios, movie stars, or caterers who never bring enough bagels. Grab a fellow cineaste and eyeball the work of shoestring Scorceses and Bergmanesque Skypers as the 2011 festival kicks off with the competitive shorts program at the grand, lavish Castro Theater. A panel of experts appraises each film, and one diminutive flick is selected by the masses to receive an Audience Choice Award, giving laypeople a taste of the judgmental fun that movie critics, mothers-in-law, and sanctimonious squirrels enjoy every day. A festival T-shirt and tote bag help opening-night attendees reminisce about the evening's miniature masterpieces, and an online gallery of past competitors provides a glimpse of the sort of artistry audiences can expect. After the show enjoy complimentary appetizers and wine from Four Vines Naked Chardonnay, Mark West Pinot Noir, and Avalon Cabernet Sauvignon at the Lookout.
Ranked 138 in the world, Fred Dewitte, play tennis! San Diego’s head instructor, brings his NCAA Division I playing experience to every lesson he teaches for adult and junior students. Fred tailors lessons to the individual player’s skill level and ultimate goals, be it an improvement of stroke mechanics, physical fitness, or more thorough enjoyment of the game. Fluent in Japanese, English, and French, Fred can help native speakers of all three languages improve their arguments with line judges and translate opponents' grunts.
Broadway Theatricals' aim is to bring the scale and professionalism of the Great White Way to the Southern California community via hard-hitting musical numbers and incredibly elaborate production designs. The group estimates that its musicals and straight plays draw a consistent crowd of about 6,000, only a few of whom are ghosts that live in the theater’s basement. Numerous professional actors and musicians have passed through the sets of the company’s trademark crowd-pleasers since the company's 2011 inception.
Fab’s Corner Cucina strives to bring Mediterranean home cooking to California. Ever since the restaurant was founded in 1981, the chefs have fully committed to forging a menu of familiar Italian comfort foods that wouldn’t look out of place in an Old World trattoria. Oven-baked pizzas arrive at the tables laden with everything from ricotta cheese and sage to roasted chicken and red bell peppers. Additionally, the chefs create a number of homestyle favorites, including pastas glazed with hearty sauces as well as an array of familiar chicken and veal entrees.
Beyond the menu, the Zagat-rated restaurant aims to make patrons feel at home with its cozy, inviting decor. High-backed burgundy booths line one entire wall of the dining room, each of them featuring a faintly glowing pendant lamp as well as a piece of artwork or a photograph of the restaurant’s tax returns. These warm tones complement the space’s deep crimson walls and light, earth-toned accents.
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