December/January Events

Ready for SantaCon?santaCon

More than a pub crawl, more than a flash mob, it is “Santas only” and a twenty-year San Francisco tradition that started right here in 1994. Initially meant as a protest against holiday consumerism, it has spread to over 300 cities in more than 40 countries, from Adelaide, Australia to Winnipeg, Manitoba. santaCon

13,000 participants in the Guildhall Square in Derry City, Ireland achieved the largest gathering of Santas and a Guinness World Record in 2007.

Inspired by a Mother Jones article about a political group in Denmark that thronged a Copenhagen department store dressed in Santa costumes, the original 1994 SantaCon (“Santarchy”) was sponsored by the SF Cacophony Society, a group of pranksters, artists and adventurers. Santa Chad Mulligan first listed it on Rough Draft. “Red Tide” day is usually held on December 14, however other locations begin as early as December 11 and run through December 22. This year the SF event is scheduled for the 13th. Santas, elves and the occasional lost Easter bunny move from the meeting place at Union Square and begin blocking streets, high five-ing people in cars, jumping on trolleys and hanging off the edges singing Xmas carols. Then the mandatory pub crawl (you don’t have to have a drink in every bar) while tourists have no clue what’s going on. It may carry over into Sunday.

santaconBasic Rules

1) Wear a full-on Santa suit—hats don’t cut it

2) Don’t be a drunken jerk; don’t mess with the police,
bartenders, or kids

3) Don’t drive-take public transportation

4) Bring a toy to donate at Union Square

December 2014

The Art of Underwater Gardening

At the Conservatory of Flowers

November 13, 2014 – April 12, 2015. Closed Mondays

10 am–4 pm Tues-Sun • Conservatory of Flowers, Golden Gate Park

Aqua Forest
Aqua Forest

Dive into the dazzling world of aquatic plants in a new exhibition of tropical underwater gardens at the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. Visitors go ‘below the surface’ as they stroll past lush, living aquascapes, imaginatively crafted to highlight the diversity of the freshwater tropical waterways of Africa, Asia and South America.

Lao Chin Fei Photo
Photo: Lao Chin Fei

Aquascaping, the art of creating stunning underwater landscapes with plants, stones and wood, is a popular international gardening trend. Annual competitions attract hundreds of elaborate entries from around the world. The beautifully planted aquariums can mimic everything from primeval forests to verdant valleys or can become sublime works of underwater abstract art.

Now, visitors to the Conservatory get a chance to marvel at this unique form of water gardening and learn how aquatic plants have adapted to life in the deep.

Timucin Sagel Photo
Photo: Timucin Segal

TICKETS: San Francisco Residents: $5 general; $3 youth 12-17, seniors and students with ID; $1.50 children 5-11; children 4 and under FREE

Non-residents: $8 general, $5 youth 12-17, seniors and students with ID; $2 children 5-11; children 4 and under FREE

INFO:, 415-831-2090

Cloud Forests Bloom at San Francisco Botanical Garden

Fuschia paniculata Photo: James Gaither

Hundreds of rare and endangered plants native to the cloud forests of Mesoamerica

For hundreds of rare and endangered plants native to the world’s misty cloud forests, foggy San Francisco feels like home. San Francisco Botanical Garden (SFBG) is one of the only botanical gardens in the world where the alluring beauties of these high elevation forests thrive outdoors, and fall is the best time to see the Garden’s enchanting cloud forest in bloom October 1 – December 31 from 9 am to 5 pm.

In the Mesoamerican Cloud Forest collection, visitors can stroll through a lush jungle of typical cloud forest plant communities found from southern Mexico to Panama and throughout Central America. Amidst the deep green canopy, delicate and unusual fuchsias dangle gracefully overhead, towering tree daisies hum with the buzzing of bees, vibrant salvias add bursts of color to the forest floor and much more.

Montanoa Photo: James Gaither

At the San Francisco Botanical Garden, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, allSan Francisco residents: are free with proof of residency.

Non-residents: $7 general, $5 youth 12-17, seniors and students with ID; $2 children 5-11; FREE for children 4 and under; families of 2 adults and one or more child pay just $15

The Garden is free daily 7:30-9am and all day on second Tuesdays of the month

INFORMATION: / 661-1316

December/January Events


Farmers Market | Every Sun | 9 am–1 pm | Stonestown back parking lot: at Stonestown Galleria (19th Ave @ Winston).

Every Mon & Tue • Job Seekers Lab

Tue 10 am–1 pm & Thu 2 pm –5 pm | Computers with Internet connection are available for independent work creating or updating your resume, preparing job applications and/or searching online for jobs. Some staff assistance. Bring a flash drive. Main Library, 6th Fl.100 Larkin, 5th Fl.


Every Tue Happy Hour | 4–8 pm | Que Syrah Wine Bar. Take $1 off each glass, 10% off each bottle (consumed on site). 230 West Portal Ave 731-7000

Every Wed • Fear of public speaking?

Every Wed | 7-8 am | Toastmasters helps you become a confidant public speaker. Tennessee Grill, 1128 Taraval. RSVP 564-6069


Thu | 6–10 pm | The Academy of Sciences is transformed with live music, provocative science, mingling and coctails. GG Park $12 ($10 Members).


Fri | 7–11 pm | The Balcony Lounge at the Cliff House hosts jazz performances every Friday night. 1 Seal Rock. Performers:


5–8:45 pm | Music, poetry, films, dance, tours and lectures. Cafe: special dinner, no-host bar. Art-making children/adults. deYoung Museum, GG Park.

Fridays @ Off the Grid/Ft. Mason

Every Fri | DJs 5-7:30 - Live Bands 7:30-10:30 pm |Off the GridOver 32 food trucks and street food carts in a huge circle with a full bar and bands in the middle? Now that’s a party. Ft. Mason Ctr. Marina Blvd.

Every Wed • Free E-Books

Wed | 1:30-2:30 pm |Do you have an eReader? You can check out more than 40,000 electronic books for free. Bring your Kindle, Nook, iPad or other eReader — we will show you how to use it to download books and other materials from the Library website. West Portal Branch Library, 190 Lenox Wy.

Thu-Sun • Golden Girls Dragshow

Thu-Sun Dec 4 - 21 | Hilarity ensues when four drag stars play the characters the world has come to know and love are Heklina (Dorothy), Cookie Dough (Sophia), Matthew Martin (Blanche) and Pollo Del Mar (Rose). Opens Thurs. Dec. 4 - 8:00 pm. Plays Thurs. Fri. & Sat. - 8:00pm / Sun. - 7:00 pm. Performance dates are: Dec. 4. 5, 6. 7 /11. 12. 13. 14 / 18. 19. 20. 21, 2014.

Fri, Sat, Sun • Dickens Christmas

Fri–Sun Nov 22–Dec 21 | 10 am–7 pm | Great Dickens Christmas Fair & Victorian Holiday Party commences Nov22 and continues five weekends from 10am to 7pm, including the Friday after Thanksgiving, through Sunday, December 21, 2014 at San Francisco’s historic Cow Palace, 2600 Geneva Ave.

Sat • Hook

Sat Dec 6 | 2 pm | Hook is presented in memory of Robin Williams, who stars as Peter Pan, with Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook, Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell and Maggie Smith as Granny Wendy. Merced Branch Library, 155 Winston Drive 355-2825.

Tue/Thu • Literature Series

Sat • Cowspiracy

Sat Dec 6 | 10:30 am | Cowspiracy: The Sustainability secret follows Kip Andersen as he uncovers the most destructive industry today, the devastating impact large-scale farming has on our planet and offers a new path. Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin St.

Mon • e-Reader Drop-In

Mon Dec 8 & 15 | 4–5 p.m | Bring your Kindle, Nook, iPad, or other eReader device to the reference desk for help in checking out library eBooks and eAudiobooks.Merced Branch Library,155 Winston Dr. 355-2825

Tue • Author Jared Diamond

Tue Dec 9 | 6:30 pm | Jared Diamond, Professor, UCLA; Author, Pulitzer Prize-winning Guns, Germs and Steel, Collapse and The World Until Yesterday is a scientist known for drawing from a variety of fields, from anthropology to evolutionary biology. A night of intellectual stimulation with one of the world’s most celebrated polymaths. $10. Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St, 7:30 p.m. book signing

Tue, Thu Dec 9,11 | 7 pm | Diane Frankenstein’s Adult Literature Series continues at Bookshop West Portal, 80 West Portal. Texts for the series are 20% off 564-8080

Wed • Frozen

Wed Dec 10 | 6:30 pm | Snow Queen Elsa’s eternal winter spell is broken by her sister Anna, a mountaineer and his raindeer. A Disney animation of Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale. Free at West Portal Branch Library, 190 Lenox Way

Wed • Dylan Thomas nite

Wed Dec 10 | 7 pm | On the centenary birthday of Dylan Thomas, Dulais Rhys’ slideshow of his life is accented with audio examples of the poet’s unique voice, including A Child’s Christmas in Wales. Merced Branch Library, 155 Winston Drive 355-2825.

Thu • A Christmas Carol

Thu Dec 11 | 6 pm | Classic 1938 version with Reginald Owen, Gene Lockhart and Kathleen Lockhart. Free at Ortega Branch Library 3223 Ortega St.

Sun • Winter RUNderland

Sun Dec 14 | 7:30 | Check-in Begins | 5K fun run takes place at Crissy Field in San Francisco! The Winter RUNderland 5K is a flat, short, and incredibly scenic Figure 8 Loop around Crissy Field. The views of the city and Golden Gate Bridge are incredible, and it’s the perfect gentle run for beginners and experts alike. When you register for the Winter RUNderland 5K, Titanium Racing will donate $5 of your registration fee to Edgewood Center for Children. Online registration available through Dec. 13 at Same-day registration also available.

Tue • Community Safety Meeting

Tue Dec 16 | 7 pm | Meet with Captain Curtis Lum. 3rd Tue of the month. Taraval Police Station 2345 24th Ave 759-3100.

Sat • OMI Neighbors in Action

Sat Dec 20 | 1–3 pm | Annual Holiday Toy Give Away the Saturday before Christmas at Minnie & Love Ward Rec Center - Capitol & Montana Streets.

Mon • Sharp

Sun Dec 21 | Noon–2 pm | Winter Solstice Luncheon free to SHARP members; $10 for non-members. Noon to 2 p.m. 1736 9th Ave @ Moraga. RSVP required by Dec 10. ( We welcome your potluck contribution. Be hungry.

Tue • Community Safety Meeting

Tue Jan 20 | 7 pm | Meet with Captain Curtis Lum. 3rd Tue of the month. Minnie & Lovie Ward, Capitol & Montana St Call to confirm: 759-3100.

Mon • Central Council

Mon Jan 26 | 7 pm | West of Twin Peaks Central Council meets to discuss topics of interest to Westside residents. Meets the last Monday each month. (No meeting in December)


Mon Jan 26 | 7 pm | William Hammond Hall transformed 1,000 acres of sand dunes into the world renown pastoral garden and woodland that is our front yard. Meetings last Mon of each month - for details. 1736 9th Ave @ Moraga.

Thu • OMI Neighbors in Action

Thu Jan 29 | 7 pm | Meets last Thu each month. This meeting is at Temple UMC 65 Beverly/Sheilds Street.

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Priority: Westside Events