San Francisco International Film Festival
Through May 8
Some 200 films and events, including centerpiece film Palo Alto by director Gia Coppola and closing night’s Alex of Venice. Richard Linklater is among the film industry honorees; the director will be interviewed, followed by a screening of his upcoming Boyhood.
At various venues in San Francisco and Berkeley. Ticket prices vary.
San Francisco Decorator Showcase
Through May 26
A 9,000-square-foot Presidio Heights mansion built in 1907 for Alfred Sutro gets a make-over from two dozen interior and landscape designers. Oooh and aahhh over the furnishings, décor, garden, House Beautiful magazine’s Kitchen of the Year and the views. Benefits the financial aid program of the private San Francisco University High School.
At 3660 Jackson, San Francisco. Tickets $30, 35.
Cinco de Mayo Festival
May 3, at 10 am-6 pm
A day of Mexican and Latin American cultures, with mariachi music, ballet folklorico, Latin jazz, salsa bands, food and a kids' area.
On Valencia Street between 21st and 24th streets. Free.
Striving for Affordable Housing
May 7, at 5:30-8:30 pm
Mayor Ed Lee is to speak at this evening that centers on affordable housing. Includes displays of projects like Mission Creek Senior Community, Mosaica and Valencia Gardens, drinks and food. Hosted by Friends of City Planning, a nonprofit that funds staff training, technology upgrades and other planning department needs not covered by the city budget.
At Merchant’s Exchange, 465 California St. San Francisco. Tickets $60, 200.
Bike to Work Day
Ditch the car. Join a morning convoy to pedal from your ‘hood to City Hall or even Sunnyvale, organized by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. During the morning and evening commutes, 26 pit stops around town are stocked with free snacks and beverages.
May 10, at 11:30am
At this ultra-foodie luncheon, Food Gal Carolyn Jung talks about San Francisco Chef’s Table: City By The Bay, her cookbook of recipes from dozens of top Bay Area restaurants, such as Baker & Banker. A multi-course lunch includes wine and pastry chef Lori Baker's roasted white chocolate cheesecake with cardamom shortbread crust. Baker and husband-chef Jeff Banker will sign books, too.
At Baker & Banker, 1701 Octavia St., San Francisco 94109. Tickets $65 (includes lunch and cookbook). Reservations: (415) 351-2500.
Oakland Internet Cat Video Festival
May 10, at 3-10 pm
Apparently it's not enough that cat videos go viral. Nope, we need a festival to collectively revel in them. The Internet's best cat videos will be shown on a 100-foot tall wall. Feline fans can also meet Dusty the Klepto Kitty and Lil BUB, work on "cativities" (cat-themed art and crafts activities), adopt a kitten and shop for cat-related products. Entertainment includes live bands, comedians and aerial dancers. Proceeds benefit the East Bay SPCA.
At the Great Wall of Oakland, Broadway and West Grand Ave., Oakland 94612. Tickets: $5, 10, 15, 75.
Family Soup: Children’s After School Arts Spring Musical & Benefit
May 10, at 6 pm; May 11 at 2 pm
Nearly 200 kindergarteners through 5th graders present a musical about the “perfect“ family in the year 2046, which involves a dictator, a sprawling multi-racial and multi-ethnic clan and time travel. The show is a production of and a fundraiser for Children’s After School Arts, a nonprofit program at San Francisco’s Rooftop Alternative School.
At Lowell High School, 1101 Eucalyptus Dr., San Francisco 94132. Tickets free-$25.
Small Business Week
San Francisco (and other U.S. cities) focus on the little businesspeople this week, offering networking mixers, leads and advice. Free workshops on May 13-15 cover branding, financing, management, food ventures and other topics. Various neighborhoods host sidewalk sales on May 10 and 17.
At various venues in San Francisco. Most events free.
Wines of Portugal Grand Tasting
May 13, at 6-8 pm
At this annual mega-tasting that showcases the range of Portugal's wines, the challenge is to sip more than 100 wines from dozens of wineries--accompanied by Portuguese-inspired appetizers.
At the Merchant Exchange Building, 465 California St., San Francisco 94104. Tickets $85.
Art Market San Francisco
Seventy galleries from around the country gather under one roof to display contemporary art. The fair also includes installations, an online and live charity auction and discussions about art and technology, Keith Haring and women artists. The May 15 opening night preview benefits the de Young and Legion of Honor.
At Fort Mason Center, Festival Pavilion, Marina Blvd., San Francisco 94123. Tickets: $25, 35, 150.
Asian Heritage Street Celebration
May 17, at 11 am-6 pm
This festival to mark Asian Pacific American heritage month includes bands, DJs and taiko drumming; a parade; health screenings; a kids’ area; community and nonprofit groups, arts and crafts and food at booths; and Asian cooking demos by chefs from E&O Asian Kitchen, Spice Kit and other restaurants. Free admission to the Asian Art Museum, where food-related short films will be shown.
At Civic Center and on Larkin between Grove and Ellis streets. Free.
May 17 & 18
Paradise for tinkerers and DIYers. Ogle and test home-made musical instruments, rockets, mutant vehicles, drones, flying machines and all sorts of robots. Learn about Raspberry Pi, recycling computers, neurosciene, home-brewing and how to make everything from chocolate to far-flying paper airplanes.
At San Mateo County Event Center, 1346 Saratoga Dr., San Mateo 94403. Ticket prices vary.
Bay to Breakers
May 18, at 8 am-12 pm
A truly only-in-San-Francisco event, this 102-year-old tradition is a 12K fun run dressed up as a zany costume contest and block party. (To the seeded few, it’s a serious road race). As in previous years, floats, anything with wheels other than wheelchairs (e.g., shopping carts, strollers, roller blades, skateboards, bikes), alcohol, pets and unregistered runners are not allowed on the race course. Bags, backpacks and containers are also banned from the race course unless they are see-through and no larger than than a ream of paper (8.5”x11”x4”)
Starts at Howard at Beale streets; ends in Golden Gate Park. Good viewing is usually on Howard between 1st and 9th, at Patricia's Green in Hayes Valley, the top of the infamous Hayes Street hill, along the Panhandle, at Golden Gate Park’s Conservatory of Flowers, and at the finish line. Check the race course map. Don’t even think of driving. Registration $29.50, 54, 59.
San Francisco Carnaval
May 24 & 25, at 10 am-6 pm
With the theme “Celebration of the World Cup,” this two-day explosion of Latin American and Caribbean cultures includes dancing galore (samba, tango, salsa and cumbia, to name just a few varieties), drumming, music, food, arts and crafts and children’s activities. On May 25, the popular Carnaval Grand Parade takes off at 9:30 am from 24th and Bryant and prances west to Mission Street, then to 17th Street to South Van Ness.
On Harrison between 16th and 24th streets. Free.
San Francisco Ballet School Student Showcase
May 28 & 30 at 7:30 pm; May 29 at 6 pm
See a full range of dancers in training, from beginning to advanced students, perform repertory pieces and ballets.
At Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 700 Howard St., San Francisco.
San Francisco Silent Film Festival
May 29-June 1
Films from a bygone era (the 1910s and ‘20s) from the US, Soviet Union, Britain, Japan, Germany and elsewhere, starring such icons as Rudolph Valentino (The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse), Douglas Fairbanks (The Good Bad Man) and Buster Keaton (The Navigator).
At the Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., San Francisco 941114.
San Francisco Green Film Festival
May 29-June 4
Sixty films from 21 countries about environmental crises and activists who are doing something about them, “to inspire, inform, and motivate your green core.”
At the Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St., and other venues in San Francisco.Tickets: $15.
Chocolate & Chalk Art Festival
May 31, at 10 am-5 pm
Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto turns into a chalk and chocolate hub. Draw in chalk on the sidewalk (cash and gift certificates go to the best drawings) and taste chocolate in myriad forms, like Caribbean chocolate soup, chocolate chicken tikka kabobs and habañero chocolate gelato. Pony rides, games, kids’ entertainment and live music, too.
On North Shattuck Ave. between Rose and Vine, Berkeley. Free; tasting ticket package $20.