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NIGHTLIFE/SEX ISSUE Amazing organist Cameron Carpenter pipes up at SF Symphony (and Folsom Street Fair). Plus: All the best Folsom parties ever this week.  

This Week's Paper

this weekSEX ISSUE: Ready or not, here comes virtual reality porn. Plus: The best blowjob beats, Polly Superstar's new kinky memoir, and Cameron Carpenter shows off his organ (the kind with pipes).  Articles Online | Digital Edition | VOTE FOR BEST OF THE BAY

From the Blogs

SFBG Radio: The weird cult of Ayn Rand

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Today Johnny V. and Johnny A. talk about recall elections in Wisconsin, revolts against tax cuts for the rich -- and why it is that Republican nuts are so enamoured of Ayn Rand. Listen after the jump. Read more »

The Urban Eating League's food activists with flair

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Last Sunday I wore a slip, faked pregnancy, drenched myself in beer, and ate five brunches in four hours. Sure, behavior that doesn't raise an eyebrow on those of us who have seen the dark side of a bottomless mimosa, but this time my bedlam brunch behavior was part of a carefully devised social eating event focused on community building and celebrating local food. Improbable, no? May I present to you: The Urban Eating League.

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5 Things: April 22, 2011

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>>BLACK WHEELS Three reasons why African-Americans should ride bicycles, brought to you courtesy of community two-wheeler group Red Bike and Green. One, health: the exercise can counter obesity and chronic disease. Two, economics: why drop all your cash into a car pit when you can put it to brightening your present and future? Three, environment: environmental racism -- including pollution in low-income communities -- has gone on too long, and you can do you part to change it. Now that we have that out of the way, check out Red Bike and Green's first “black Critical Mass” of the year in Oakland on Sat/23. Bikes: too many good reasons to ride them. Read more »

PG&E CEO Peter Darbee stepping down

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Word's out that Peter Darbee, the Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Gas & Electric Corporation, is stepping down. Darbee's departure comes amid a federal investigation into the deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion, which resulted in tragic loss of life, devastated an entire neighborhood, and served to highlight safety issues with the utility's vast network of underground gas transmission pipelines. Read more »

Tibetan monks make Sutter stop on world peace tour

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Five Tibetan monks from Sera Mahayana Monastery in Southern India crouch on the floor of the Don Soker Gallery on Sutter Street, scraping sand out of brass cones with sheep’s horn tools.

Their orange and wine-colored robes match the brightly-colored sand – tangerine and yellow and bits of royal blue – slowly filling in sections of a large, ornate mandala. They have been working on the sand drawing since their morning prayers, and they will continue to work on it all week.

On Saturday, the millions of sand particles will be swept away into the water. Impermanence is the point, one of the monks told me. Read more »

Let cities raise taxes

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There's a move in the California legislature to allow local government much broader authority to raise taxes -- and the GOP types have their panties in a major bunch.Read more »

American Idol: Casey kisses J-Lo!

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Wow, a real-life Idol moment: Casey, who was voted off and saved by the judges a few weeks ago, who is by far the most emotional contestant, and who Jennifer Lopez has twice called cute and sexy, took things to a new level on 4/20: After offering a pretty strong rendition of Maroon 5's "Harder to Breathe," he ran onto the judges platform and planted a kiss on the cheek of the world's most beautiful woman. Read more »

Appetite: Lunch with Hoss Vare's inventive Persian-Middle Eastern menu

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Chef Hoss Vare's hugs are famous, as is his warm, inclusive greeting that makes dining at his restaurant Zare at Fly Trap such a pleasure. Plus, there's just no one quite doing what he's doing with Persian, Iranian and Mediterranean foods.

I visited during opening week of his just-launched, casual, weekday lunches served within Flytrap, a project Zare calls Zare's Grill and Grain. Lucky are they who work nearby and can grab to-go meals. But it's worth going out of your way for lunch here (just as it is for a more formal dinner or cocktails at the bar). Read more »

1964 all over again?

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Outstanding piece on Calbuzz about the new Belva Davis book, "Never in My Wildest Dreams: A Black Woman's Life in Journalism." The Calbuzzers recount the vicious racist attacks Davis endured during the 1964 Republican convention in San Francisco, when the Goldwater forces were in control:Read more »

SFIFF bonus blurb: British comedy "The Trip"

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Eclectic British director Michael Winterbottom (2002's 24 Hour Party People) rebounds from sexually humiliating Jessica Alba in last year’s flop The Killer Inside Me to humiliating Steve Coogan in all number of ways (this time to positive effect) in this largely improvised comic romp through England’s Lake District. Well, romp might be the wrong descriptive — dubbed a “foodie Sideways” but more plaintive and less formulaic than that sun-dappled California affair, this TV-to-film adaptation displays a characteristic English glumness to surprisingly keen emotional effect. Playing himself, Coogan displays all the carefree joie de vivre of a colonoscopy patient with hemorrhoids as he sloshes through the gray northern landscape trying to get cell reception when not dining on haute cuisine or being wracked with self-doubt over his stalled movie career and love life.

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Get baked with Obama

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Whoa, dude. Back up. What?

Well, sort of. We all have heard about the $35,800 dinner that President Obama will be feasting upon tonight in Nob Hill, so needless to say, the man is in town. And the Green Door, one of San Francisco's premier marijuana dispensaries, has tipped their patients off to some very top secret information – The president's motorcade, according to the Green Door's website, is expected to serendipitously drive past the shop, located at 843 Howard, at approximately 4:20 p.m., on this, the unofficial stoner holiday we affectionately call 4/20. Read more »

Live Shots: Bomba Estéreo at the Independent, 4/19/11

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Do you ever go to a concert and realize that the lead singer is your new style icon? From the peacock feather in her hair to the flamingo tee-shirt and chipped red nails, Liliana from Bomba Estéreo has got definite style chops. But the sold out audience at the Independent last night, April 19, wasn't there just to see what hip threads Liliana might throw on. They were there to hear the band's utterly unique music, a mix of electronica and traditional Colombian beats.Read more »

Soul comes to SF by way of Stringer Belle

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“If I had a dime for every time someone laughed at me, you know where I'd be?” 

So goes “Bright Lights,” the new single from Stringer Belle. But if you've caught a show with the SF R&B-soul group, fronted by singer Emily McLean, you'd probably think she was broke. When the music plays, it's McLean's stage, her voice sliding up and down tough melodies lain over the solid musicianship of the band behind her. She's got the kind of grace that has the power to make audience members randomly shout “like THAT!”

People laugh at this woman? Read more »

Editorial: Stop the garbage giveaway

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Impertinent questions to the supervisors: After awarding multi-million dollar tax breaks and giveaways to Twitter and others, and after being unable to raise PG&E's ultra-low 1939 franchise fee, why would you cement Recology's monopoly contract  in San Francisco with no franchise fee? Will you support the move by Sup. David Campos to  put the 1932 agreement on the fall ballot and give the voters a chance to mandate a competitive bidding process and a real franchise fee on the $275 million deal?  If not, I'd appreciate your reasoning. B3

A few years back, when Aaron Peskin was president of the Board of Supervisors, he decided that the contract to perform budget and policy analysis ought to go out to bid. Supporters of longtime budget analyst Harvey Rose were aghast — Rose, by all accounts, does a great job watching the city's dollars and helping the supervisors evaluate proposals. He has more than 30 years of institutional knowledge and memory; the very thought of replacing him seemed insane. Read more »

New development planned for site of demolished historic cottage

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About two years ago, the Guardian reported on the demolition of one of San Francisco's oldest buildings -- the Little House, a cottage on Russian Hill that stood for 148 years at 1268 Lombard Street. Read more »