Before I sign off for the long weekend (although I've been mentally checked out of this week since, oh, Monday), I thought I'd leave you with a few Memorial Weekend space fillers to close the gaps in your plans. Until next week, wishing you beau temps for your barbecues!
There's a full moon coming up later this week—on Thursday, May 27, to be precise—and, in keeping with traditions that date back to ancient civilizations and cultures, the Bay Area is playing host to a few full-moon events that reinforce the kumbaya connection with the outdoors. Even if you're not influenced by lunar phases, some nighttime nature exploration is bound to alleviate something—a bad mood, a little cabin fever, lower back pain...whatever. Just get out there and let the moon illuminate your adventures.
Because of the impending apocolypse, it's probably a good idea to brush up on your foraging skills since it's likely Bi-Rite or Whole Foods won't be up and running when the big earthquake hits. (Or maybe just until universal healthcare gets fully operational and meds are available to all.) Tellur Fenner of the Blue Wind Botanical Medicinal Clinic in Oakland teaches regular foraging classes in public parks and gardens across the Bay Area (the next classes happen this weekend in Berkeley and Oakland) that combine light hiking with hands-on instruction on California's edible and medicinal plants.
You've got free time? We've got a way to fill it. Jump on a trampoline, fish from a pier, head to Chinatown for a nooner, teach your dog a brand-new trick. Wait no longer: Daylight is burning.
For more must-do city activities, check out our Big To Do: 250 things to do in SF before you die.
Best Reasons to Skip the Gym
Having done my fair share of road travel (about 30 years' worth of car trips around the West), gas prices are always interesting to me. The steady increase brings back memories of a 10-day road trip I took in August 2008 from San Francisco to Jackson Hole, WY that nearly sent my boyfriend and me into bankruptcy. I also remember, with great fondness, a road trip a few months later, in December 2008, to Zion National Park via Tucson and Las Vegas, during which we enjoyed prices as low as $1.46 per gallon (yes, this also coincided with the economy's downward spiral, but we were still happy for the consequential rock-bottom gas prices despite the world's gloomy forecast). Almost brings a tear to my eye.
Everyone knows Halloween is the best holiday of the year, which is why Bay to Breakers makes sense. It's one long party that invades almost the entire city every third Sunday of May, and oh yeah, some people actually run all 12 kilometers of it! The giant, moving costume-party-meets-foot-race has become one of the largest in the world, often with almost all 50 states of the US represented and runners from over 24 countries in attendance.
Granted the bike-to-work concept is a bit, as the Australians say, "like falling off a log," especially for you day-to-day pedalers, but methinks tomorrow's 16th Annual Bike to Work event is meant to inspire commuters of the four-wheel kind (and yes, that includes bus riders—maybe you'll trade the dank recesses of Muni transportation for fresh air and a little invigorating exercise!). If you cycle the well-traveled corridors—along the Panhandle and the Wiggle, for example—you'll hit Energizer Stations that will hand out some pretty good schwag, including water and commemorative canvas bags (I still use mine from past years to haul groceries and gym clothes. Not at the same time, but you get the idea.
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With San Francisco's iconic annual foot race just 10 days away (May 16), I thought I'd deliver this gentle reminder for as-yet unregistered runners, walkers and float maneuverers—costume-clad or not—to sign up. And, not just because I'm a total teetotaler or a stick-in-the-mud (both of which I can be, often), I'd like to bring to light the Bay to Breakers' official stance on booze without incurring a barrage of boos, hisses and lobbed rotten eggs or tomatoes. Don't shoot the messenger, people.
From the website:
Thirty-five of the best amateur skaters in the country descend on Fort Mason Center this Saturday - including Ben Hatchell (by all accounts a bad ass) and locals Aaron Herrington, Tristan Moss, Jerry Gurney, and Jack Given - to compete in the first World Cup skating competition San Francisco has seen in nine years. As a collective, at least. There are perhaps individual San Franciscans who have seen skating competitions in the past decade. The point is, it's been awhile since our fair city hosted this vivid maelstrom of robust youth culture. (Do I sound old? I am old.) (YOU KIDS GET YOUR SAGGING SKINNY JEANS OFF MY STOOP.)