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TABLEHOPPING Doc Ricketts, Bistro L'Aviateur, Le Marais Bistro and Bakery, and more whip up some juicy new food destinations 

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weekcoverPOT OLYMPICS: Weed-smoking pro athletes blow smoke at lazy pothead streotypes. Plus: Supervisor candidates tackle gun violence in the Bayview, Mezcal becomes a victim of its own popularity, and our Best of the Bay Readers Poll is here. Articles Online | Digital Edition | VOTE FOR BEST OF THE BAY

From the Blogs

NY Export: Opus Jazz -- where dancers get to be themselves

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The empty, Depression-era McCarren Park Pool in Brooklyn was, until 2009, a hip venue packed with vibrant twenty-somethings for concerts and summer “pool parties” alike. It’s also appropriately the location for the opening dance scene in NY Export: Opus Jazz, a film celebrating youthful exuberance, during which, fresh-faced New York City Ballet members in sneakers and street clothes perform the original 1958 Jerome Robbins choreography from the ballet of the same name. Exuding vigor and cool, the film, conceived by New York City Ballet soloists Ellen Bar and Sean Suozzi, marks the first return of Robbins’ choreography to the streets of New York since West Side Story. NY Export: Opus Jazz made its San Francisco premiere on Fri./25 at the Ninth Street Independent Film Center as part of the San Francisco Dance Film Festival, directed by Greta Schoenberg. Read more »

Umbrella weather: A glimpse of the future during the BNP Paribas Open

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In San Francisco, you need an umbrella for the rain. In Palm Springs, you need an umbrella for the sun. Under a solar glare, the men's side of the BNP Paribas Open would bring a final four made up exclusively of slam-title winners. Yet its most revealing and perhaps best-contested match occurred before the final weekend, on a packed secondary court, where two representatives of the game's future – Milos Raonic and Ryan Harrison – dueled as afternoon gave way to evening.

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Live Shots: Naughty By Nature at Yoshi's San Francisco, 3/24/11

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Everyone get ready for a blast from the past -- and the sudden realization that maybe we're getting old. That's right, turning into real fogies. That's how it goes down when you're at the concert of a group you listened to when you were young and sprightly and they keep throwing words out like “time machine” and “1989” -- it's like, wow, I'm at a 20th anniversary reunion concert for a band I actually like. Weird.

Luckily, Naughty by Nature, the award-winning hip-hop trio from New Jersey, don't look like they've aged a bit and they've definitely still got the same contagiously groovin' energy that made us love them so much in the first place, way back when. Read more »

5 Things: March 25, 2011

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>>I DREAMED MY BIKE HAD FENDERS... Should the rain keep up you will need a weekend project and more pots to catch the surprising amount of leaks a Victorian can accumulate in 100-odd years. But we've got you on the project: dream catcher 101, courtesy of ridiculously intriguing Portland style blogger Jena Coray. Ms. Coray's site, Modish, can be depended on for ravishing vintage photographs interspersed with cute-as-a-button used uniform jackets, locally made jewelery, and snippets on that most haute of Portland pastimes, gardening. Nightmares begone! Read more »

Dan Savage turns anti-gay-bullying "It Gets Better" YouTube phenom into book

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In a mission to take the It Gets Better Project -- his groundbreaking video collaboration series that seeks to help victims of gay bullying by spreading stories of survival -- directly from YouTube to the shelves of school libraries, sex columnist and author Dan Savage has compiled a collection of "It Gets Better" testimonials into a new book, It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living. Contributors range from Barack Obama and Ellen Degeneres to Chaz Bono and SF's very own Lynne Breedlove, and represent a wide and diverse range of older voices hoping their stories of getting through rough youthful periods will inspire youth to take heart and hold on. All the profits from the book, which came out this week, will benefit LGBT charities.

Savage will stop at the SFSU bookstore Friday, March 25, at noon in his cross-country college tour to promote it. He took some time to talk to us about how a book can add a special magic to the project, why LGBT adults have been frightened to reach out to queer teens, and where he sees his project in 10 years.

SFBG: The It Gets Better campaign that you and your partner Terry started has gotten over 35 million views on YouTube. Why a book? What can a book do for the campaign that a video hasn’t done so far?

Dan Savage: Having written a couple of them, books are kind of magic. They wind up places that no one can predict and no one expects. People have a way of happening upon a book at just the moment in their lives when they need to read that particular book. So it was a way to make more magic happen for the It Gets Better project. Also, it is a way for schools to demonstrate their support for LGBT students by shelving this book in their libraries, in addition to having anti-bullying programs and GSA’s. Not all students have internet access or allowed internet access. It’s a way for schools to get involved without having their students be on YouTube all day long.

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The Performant: Any way you want it

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Bad hair days gone wild at Rock of Ages
 
That distance makes the heart grow fonder does go a long way in explaining the recent resurgence of hair metal. Somehow despite all better judgment, a spangled veil of wistful nostalgia has fluttered over that particular genre of music you probably loathed when you had to listen to it blaring non-stop from every corporate rock station in the nation [or while guys in eyeliner and leopard tights were beating you up in high school for being a flannel-wearing, Smiths-loving faggot -ED.].

But nowadays stone-washed denim is the new sepia-tone, and don’t think the canny producers of the touring, glam-rock “jukebox musical” Rock of Ages don’t know it. Any show where scantily-clad beauties hand out custom-made lighters at the door (ok, little flashlights) to hold up at the appropriate moments, that is to say every five minutes, is staged quite emphatically to push your most embarrassingly sentimental buttons. But it’s such an eagerly goofy emphasis that you can’t really resent the blatant manipulation. You’ll probably even wind up singing along.

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Chauncey Bailey killer struggles with testimony

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Report from The Chauncey Bailey Project, of which the Guardian is a member:

By Thomas Peele and Josh Richman

OAKLAND — Devaughndre Broussard, the admitted killer of Oakland Post Editor Chauncey Bailey, struggled through testimony Thursday morning against former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV, the man he says ordered him to commit two murders. Read more »

Black tassels for Eddie

The burlesque community says goodbye to a great

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culture@sfbg.com

BURLY Q A pink bunny suit. The forbidding mustache of a Latin American militarist. A skulking spy, a washed-up punk rocker, a burly lumberjack. This was SF's burgeoning neo-burlesque scene, but Eddie Dane's outfits stayed firmly in place on stage. Shouldn't the women shuffling off their lacy purple push-ups — not this giant carnival barker! — be the ones in grabbing the spotlight with their tongue-in-cheek costumes?Read more »

Preaching Tikkun

Rabbi Michael Lerner still courts controversy as he celebrates his magazine's silver anniversary

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Michael Lerner recently endured death threats, attacks on his house, and a cyber attack that shut down the website of his beloved magazine Tikkun. But it's nothing new for an outspoken outsider whom infamous former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover once dubbed "one of the most dangerous criminals in America."

The 68-year-old rabbi jokes that his middle name is chutzpah (Yiddish for audacity, good or bad) and says he has been a magnet for controversy his entire life. But that doesn't make the recent threats from Zionists and other strong advocates for Israel any less scary.Read more »

A creative way out of the state budget mess

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With no Republicans willing at this point to go along with the governor's June election plans, Jerry Brown has quite the problem on his hands. There never really was a Plan B. And now he's got to find one, fast. He's already made the cuts, and they're awful. He's not going to get his own party to go along with much more. But it's legally dubious whether he can put taxes on a special election ballot without any Republican support, and he clearly doesn't want to.Read more »

5 Things: March 24, 2011

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>>BEES ARE BACK IN TOWN On March 24, Hayes Valley Farm welcomes back the bees. Hives previously kept at the urban farm were wiped out by a mysterious pesticide sabotage, but head beekeeper Karen Peteros, co-founder of San Francisco Bee-Cause, has stayed busy bringing the pollinators back. Tonight's oddly matched Return of the Bees event at the Korean American Community Center will feature a discussion about the new hives, as well as a meet-and-greet with San Francisco Sups. Jane Kim (D-6) and Scott Wiener (D-8) and Ross Mirkarimi (D-5). Catching the buzz of urban farming politics? Become a budding apiarist by signing up for an urban beekeeping workshop.

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Housing: Density and affordability

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The way the Chron describes it, the debate over the city's updated Housing Element is all about density. And that's part of the issue, no doubt: For years, people on the west side of town have resisted any increased density, meaning all the new housing has to get crammed into the eastern neighborhoods. And increased density, on some level, is going to have to be part of the future in San Francisco.Read more »

American Idol, Motown edition

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So Simon Cowell seems to think that the judges are too nice this year and there's too much sappy drama. I'm with him on the second point, but a big difference this time around is that the talent is so consistently good, so much better than in the past, that there's less reason to be harsh. That said, it is a bit of a lovefest and I do miss Simon.

On to the round of 11:Read more »

Tax-break sponsor denies review of Twitter's promises

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The Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Subcommittee today sent the controversial Twitter/Tenderloin tax exemption zone to the full board, scheduling it for April 5 and denying the requests of community groups and Sup. Ross Mirkarimi that the public be allowed to comment on Twitter's community benefits agreement (CBA), which city officials are still negotiating.Read more »

Appetite: Cynar buzz... the next Fernet?

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Not sure if you’ve noticed, but Cynar, a classic Italian bitter (that works as both aperitif and digestif), is taking over your local cocktail bars. Otherwise remembered as the artichoke liqueur (among the 13 total herbs and plants that go into it), its label stands out with a green artichoke over a red background. Read more »