Lucy Schiller

Period Piece: Baker Street sense

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Guardian history writer Lucy A. Schiller is examining SF's history corner by corner this week -- in this piece, the murder in Baker Street's torrid past

It should come as no surprise that many of San Francisco’s streets are named for old white men. After all, many financially successful California pioneers were just that (occasionally minus the “old”). But the figures referenced by San Franciscan alleys, thoroughfares, boulevards, and avenues do hold some insight into the city’s past. The picture of 19th century San Francisco painted by its street names is a wildly weird one. Common themes: lawlessness, violence, sometimes ugly individualism, and the occasional progressive value.

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Gifted: Double your pleasure with a matched-funds donation to the Berkeley East Bay Humane Society

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Consider the cat signal illuminated -- the pet protectors have stepped in to save the day. Pawesome, a formidably cute website dedicated to the wellbeing of our faithful animal companions, has announced a dollar-for-dollar campaign to help a shelter still reeling from fire damage. Still struggling to think of a gift for your cat-enthused father? You've found it, furry friend. Read more »

On the Cheap Listings

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Submit items for the listings at listings@sfbg.com. For further information on how to submit items for the listings, see Picks.

WEDNESDAY 21Read more »

A different kind of holiday fair: POOR Magazine's Mercado de Cambio

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“Welcome to the revolution,” says Mariposa Villaluna as she staffed a table at POOR News Network’s annual holiday market and knowledge exchange on Saturday, Dec. 17. “We’ve been doing this for centuries.”

Villaluna, who has worked with POOR on many of its community art, education, and journalism initiatives geared towards low and no-income San Franciscans, described Saturday’s “Po’ Sto” as an alternative to more widespread – and more consumerism-oriented – holiday sales. Read more »

No more Scrooge: A list of nonprofits that still have holiday volunteer slots

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Mincemeat, Christmas goose, Hannukah gelt, lush sprays of holly bedecking the proverbial halls – traditionally, the December holidays are all about richness, overeating, and expense. But -- especially these days -- not everyone will be blessed with bounty over the holidays. In trying economic times, the number of San Franciscans struggling to put food on the table let alone buy their loved ones presents is steadily growing. 

So volunteer. San Franciscans have a long-standing tradition of helping out come the holidays, and many of the traditional community meals and grocery hand-outs have filled up their guest lists like a Big Freedia show during Pride Week. Nevertheless, a bunch of opportunities remain for those looking to lend a last-minute hand. Read more »

On the Cheap Listings

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Submit items for the listings at listings@sfbg.com. For further information on how to submit items for the listings, see Picks.

THURSDAY 8

Drag Queens on Ice Union Square Ice Rink, 333 Post, SF. www.unionsquareicerink.com. 8-9:30 p.m., $10. Mutha Chucka, Anna Conda, Lil' Hot Mess and other dazzlingly-named lovelies gleefully speed and twirl through the Union Square ice skater crowd.Read more »

Skew your perceptions: Lomography's new gallery store opens Thursday

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Almost as cryptic as some of their warped, blurred, color-drenched photos is the Lomography Society's 10th rule: “Don't worry about any rules.” For an artistic movement as commercially successful (the fantastically cheap cameras sell at Urban Outfitters worldwide) and historically important (the LOMO LC-A, the first lomographic camera, was mass produced in Soviet Russia for the enjoyment of the proletariat masses) as Lomography, it sure is hard to pin down. Read more »

Period Piece: A walk in the (man-made) woods

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It’s easy to get a little romantic standing in a beam of filtered sunlight inside Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve. The 61-acre expanse of ivy and eucalyptus feels like a remnant of an earlier, wilder San Francisco. 

But the densely tangled forest backing UCSF’s medical campus is actually man-made. It harkens back to the heyday of good old Adolph Sutro, bathman, silver magnate, and forest enthusiast. Sutro covered the mountain on his sandy property with many of the trees standing today. Read more »

Flipping the bird: Your best bets for last-minute Thanksgiving meals

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Wandering through the smorgasbord of Thanksgiving options is no small feat.Turkey, duck, fake bird, no bird? Pie flavors, side dishes, stuffings, and guestlists present a swamp of options -- assuming you’re staying home to toil in the kitchen.

But for those eager to get out for whatever reason – a volunteering spirit, a mounting desire to escape from relatives, your ex decided to bring him to your Friendsgiving – there’s a cornucopia of alternative Thanksgiving choices in the Bay. Some of these samplings are far cheaper (and maybe even better?) than an at-home meal attempt. Some entail helping out folks who might not otherwise get to eat on T-Day. Some are real-deal moveable feasts: order it up and take it to go. But all run their pudgy fingers up and down the backbone essential of Turkey Day: eating, and then eating some more. Read more »

On the Cheap Listings

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Submit items for the listings at listings@sfbg.com. For further information on how to submit items for the listings, see Picks.

WEDNESDAY 23Read more »