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The Best Still-Standing Independent Bookstores

When Borders' death knell rang out across the land and Amazon.com announced that e-Books surpassed the sales of hardcovers and paperbacks combined, it seemed like bookstores might be doomed. Our city's independent book shops are proving that wrong. Here's a roundup of our favorite spots to buy new books.

Books Inc.
The West’s oldest independent bookseller, Books Inc. was born in 1946. The Castro outpost features weekly readings from local authors, as well as big names like David Sedaris. 2275 Market St., 415-864-6777.

Parking Tips: How to Achieve Parking Karma

It's no secret that parking in the city is a bitch. So we've enlisted local parking guru and author of  Finding the Sweet Spot, David LaBua, to dish out weekly tips on navigating the ins and outs of city parking.

Rules and structure are indeed essential for an orderly society to function smoothly–especially if that orderly society needs to find a place for half a million cars to park. But, the greater the number and the more complex the rules, the harder and more frustrating it becomes to follow them. This city of ours is phenomenally unique, and parking in this city of ours is a unique phenomenon. With 2 million parking tickets given out per year, 470,000 vehicles roaming the streets and only 320,000 street parking spots, parking is an act that requires significant concentration and, on some days, can require absolute cunning and nearly transcendental calm.

Sonoma Estate Sale Has Something for Everyone This Weekend

When Susan Gardner called me about this estate sale she couldn't stop gushing about it. It has all the things you like to see in estate sale clients: the couple liked to entertain, they enjoyed traveling and one of them worked as an interior designer. For people who go to these events, that's another way of saying "good stuff found here."

Cycling Napa Valley: 6 Great Rides

Some visitors are mystified that anyone would want to ride a bike in Napa Valley where there are endless amounts of great food, wine, and drivers who have been “tasting responsibly” crowding the limited roads. Others plan their day or weekend around renting bikes and touring the wineries or taking a serious ride through vines, across the valley, and as far as the Sonoma Cost (and back). This blog goes out to all of you who are looking for the best two-wheel tours of Napa Valley from an amateur but competitive cyclist who loves to ride.

Mum on 'Dark Knight Rises,' Joseph Gordon-Levitt Raises Hell as 'Hesher'

He knows what you’re going to ask, but his lips are sealed. Maybe it’s because he has come to L.A.’s Luxe Hotel to talk about Hesher, the moving, wildly unconventional new drama about a belligerent metalhead who, it turns out, just might be Jesus. Or maybe it’s because Joseph Gordon-Levitt is honoring Christopher Nolan’s gag order. Even that he will not say.
 
He smiles. He grimaces. He seems quietly exasperated, but the bat is out of the bag: Gordon-Levitt, 30, will play a yet undisclosed role in The Dark Knight Rises, next year’s hotly anticipated return of the Caped Crusader. But today he’s ready to talk only about his chain-smoking, free-spirited headbanger, known only as Hesher.
 

This Week in Fashion: Shotwell's 80% Off Moving Sale, Black V 2.0, Personal Hair How-To's + Martha Davis Shoe Party

1. Spring Sale at Metier (355 Sutter St.), Now, during store hours. 

The Spring Sale at Metier kicked off this week with 20% off select items. I've had my eye on their Isabel Marant Jordan Jacket -- here's to crossing fingers and hoping it's on sale! P.S. Be sure to keep an eye on Metier's blog for additional markdowns.

 

2. 80% Off Moving & Housewares Sale at Shotwell (320 Grant Ave.), Now - Monday May 23, during store hours. 

Shotwell is packing up their Union Square shop and bringing it on home to the Mission. I'm excited to scope out their new digs, but even more excited for their ginormous Moving Sale. Get up to 80% off their amazing apparel selection, and 50% off all furniture and plants. 

Secret Recipe: Pistachio Meatballs from Zare at Fly Trap

7x7 asks the city's chefs for the recipes to their most loved cocktails, bar snacks, starters, mains, and desserts. If there's a dish you can't stop thinking about and want to make at home, email lauren@7x7.com. Your wish may end up on the blog, along with the actual recipe from the chef.

Makes 5 servings

2 eggs

First Bite: Criolla Kitchen Brings Some Soul to the Castro

Most of my friends in SF are from California or the East Coast. Not many of them are from Louisiana where I grew up. And zero of them are from Baton Rouge. So this morning, when I was interviewing New Orleans-native Randy Lewis of the new Criolla Kitchen and he told me that he used to find himself in Baton Rouge at the Silver Moon—a funky soul food dive that I used to love literally located on the other side of the tracks, giving it a thrilling element of white-girl danger—I wanted to give him a high five over the phone.

Silver Moon's incendiary smothered turkey! Please Randy Lewis, make that at Criolla so I can have it again.

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