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The Voracious Reader: Omnivore Books' Pick of the Week

Celia Sack, owner of Omnivore Books on FoodSan Francisco's only food book store, specializing in both new and antiquarian cookbooks—knows what's cooking. Find the best of the latest food writing and cookbooks on Bits + Bites every other Monday.

Outside Lands: Best Of Friday

SF’s second annual Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival is just days away. We can hardly wait for the weekend, and we’re especially excited for this year’s OSL night shows (details to come later today) to quench our thirst until Friday. But speaking of Friday, here are our picks for Friday’s must-see acts at Outside Lands. We recommend getting well acquainted with the stage layouts before showing up and running around. It’s going to be a tight schedule, so make sure you plan who you want to see beforehand. Here are our picks for the best of  Friday.

Link Love: Miss Universe, Manties on the Rise, Grace vs. Anna and more...

Good reads from our feeds...

In case you missed it (does anyone actually watch this pageant anymore?), Miss Venezuela Stefania Fernandez was crowned Miss Universe 2009 yesterday, via the Shopping Blog. It was the second win in a row for Venezuela.

First Look: James Cameron Celebrates 'Avatar Day'

By now, the story of Avatar is well known: James Cameron, who, along with George Lucas, has done more to revolutionize the moviegoing experience than any other filmmaker during the past quarter-century, began writing the sci-fi epic in 1994 and has been developing the photo-realistic 3-D technology necessary to realize his ambitious vision since the 1997 release of Titanic. After postponing the $200 million project on several occasions, his much-anticipated tale of human imperialism on an alien moon is due Dec. 18.

Summer Lovin’, Pt. 3: Sophie Middlebrook & Boe Hayward

 

Local couples had a blast this summer (and spring) celebrating their love and commitment with family and friends. From heart-warming tales of romantic triumph to the drama of logistical snafus and allergic reactions ... we’re here to tell you more.

A walnut tree played a supporting (and dramatic) role on June 13 in Calistoga at the outdoor wedding of Sophie Middlebrook and Boe Hayward.

“Meet Us Under the Walnut Tree” trumpeted the couple’s stylish and very creative save-the-date card which arrived in a box with a real walnut.

Taste Catering Gets a Tomato of Their Own

No matter that the farmers markets are brimming right now with heirloom tomatoes of all shapes and sizes, some chefs want a customized tomato that they can call their own. So it was with top-notch local SF catering company, Taste, who dreamed of a tomato that was the ideal flavor—a balance of sweetness and acidity—as well as the perfect shape. 

Solillaquists Of Sound: Hip-Hop On A More Serious Note

Orlando bred quartet, Solillaquists of Sound, have undeniably changed the way we see hip-hop over the last couple years. Releasing just their sophomore album on Anti-, No More Heroes, the second in a trilogy of “conceptually-linked records,” the sound is much more authentic and raw blending elements of dubstep, afrobeat, folk, most obviously hip-hop, but surprisingly more synth-beats infused in a background of beautiful harmonies.

Craigslist Deal of the Week: $1595 Marina Studio

We've seen Marina studios for less, but - those arched ceilings! That crown moulding! This place was just too pretty to pass up. We also love the location, situated in a residential neighborhood across from the Palace of Fine Arts.  It's close to the Presidio, Chrissy Field and Fort Mason - all perfect locations for getting a scenic wak or run in during the week. Chestnut Street shops and restaurants are also a mere few blocks away, yet with enough of a buffer zone that you won't have to deal with all the noise or trouble parking. The apartment is listed as a studio, but with a separate dining area and a walk-in closet, you might be able to finagle a tiny bedroom out of the place with some creative furniture arranging.

It's Friday: Have a Burger and a Beer

So burgers are definitely in the air around here. And while I was not invited to participate in selecting 7x7's 10 Best Burgers in the City, it's not like I don't have my opinions. But I'm not here to raise my hackles about what makes a quality burgers (I will say that I like 'em off a greasy griddle and always with extra pickles), but to celebrate them and what to drink with them. I've tried all manner of so-called "burger wines" (simple, quaffing, fruity reds) and I've had beer with a plethora of cocktails (margaritas, manhattans) and nothing, nothing matches up as well as a good old-fashioned beer. I know that's not exactly breaking news, but it's worth saying.

Born at Berkeley Rep, Stew's Passing Strange Gets the Spike Lee Treatment

I was totally floored when I first saw “Passing Strange” – the rock musical created by the artist currently known as Stew on opening night at its world premiere at Berkeley Rep in 2006. And I -- and all of you – get to see Passing Strange again next week! On TV! In a movie of the Broadway show directed by Spike Lee! Next Wednesday!

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