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This weekend: Celebrate SF’s Earth Day roots, Hella Plants and ‘Bawdy Storytelling’

Leo Cooperband

Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson and the “Mark Zuckerberg of the environmental movement” Denis Hayes are often credited as the founders of Earth Day, which was first held on April 22, 1970. But the seed of the idea actually began when peace activist John McConnell proposed a resoultion for a day to honor the Earth to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors back in 1969 as part of a UNESCO conference held in the city that year

From there, the concept went national and international, leading to the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency at the federal level and embraced by the United Nations. 

So it’s only appropriate that San Franciscans should celebrate Earth Day’s roots in the city, and SF has a range of Earth Day activities on offer this weekend. 

On Saturday, Valencia turns into a family-friendly and eco-conscious street fair for Earth Day SF, featuring a showcase of green mobility technology, demos by local vegan celebrity chefs, art workshops for kids and a slate of environmental speakers talking about everything from how to save our soil to green political activism.   

If you’re looking for an out-of-the-ordinary way to commune with nature, on Friday, the San Francisco Public Library holds a performance and “Ecosex Clinic” with Haight-Ashbury couple and ecosex movement leaders Annie Sprinkle, a sex worker turned sexologist/performance artist, and Beth Stephens, a filmmaker and professor of art at UC Santa Cruz. The pair will lead a discussion about exactly what ecosexuality is and be signing and decorating copies of their book Assuming the Ecosexual Position–The Earth as Lover, as well as giving away “ecosexy” swag. 

If you’re looking to get your hands dirty in a different way, Alemany Farm is hosting a family friendly “Green Celebration” on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring potato planting, a farm tour, face painting, live music, a pig roast barbecue, a plant sale and a bike-powered smoothie station.

The Great Highway also hosts a pedal-powered party on Saturday, featuring an art gallery, live music and e-bike demos. Ride to the festivities with the San Francisco Bicycle Coaltion and the SF Department of the Environment starting at 10 a.m. from Golden Gate Park’s McLaren Lodge. The bike tour stops at multiple spots to showcase how San Francisco and its residents are creating a sustainable city and concludes at the Great Highway. (You’ll feel better for having gotten there with a low-carbon footprint.) 

Finally if you’re looking for an old-school cleanup, there are plenty. Together SF (which, full disclosure, shares office space with The Standard) holds community cleanups across the city from the Richmond to the Bayview on Saturday. Visit their site to learn how to sign up for one in your neighborhood. 

 —Christina J. Campodonico

SF Earth Day Activities

Various Locations
Friday & Saturday, April 22-23

Jordan Poole | Garrett Ellwood, NBA via Getty Images

Warriors vs. Nuggets: Game 3

April 21 & April 24, 7 p.m. & 12:30 p.m.
NBC Sports Bay Area & ABC

What a difference a month makes. In the middle of March, the Warriors prospects didn’t look so hot. Steph Curry was out with a foot injury and a Bleacher Report story at the end of March proclaimed that Bay Area’s beloved and long-dominant franchise was “in a bad place,’ before adding a key modifier: “Sort of.” If their last two games against the Denver Nuggets are any indication, they’re back to their league-ruling selves. Then again, the NBA playoffs are no dog and pony show, and staying healthy down the stretch as the competition ratchets up is always a tall order. Games 3 and 4 are to be held at Ball Arena, the Nuggets home court, so be sure to tune in at home or your favorite sports bar to cheer on Curry—who is back on the court—and witness the amazing chemistry that the team’s potent new weapon, rising star Jordan Poole, has with the original Splash Brothers. (NV)

'American Justice on Trial' | Courtesy SFFilm Festival

SFFilm Festival

Various Locations
April 21-May 1 | $10-$18

The SFFilm Festival returns to actual movie theaters starting this Thursday, featuring more than 130 films from 56 different countries. This year’s festival puts a spotlight on female, non-binary and filmmakers of color, with 56% of films helmed by women or non-binrary directors and 52% led by BIPOC filmmakers. The festival also highlights the cinematic contributions of Everything Everywhere All at Once star Michelle Yeoh with a tribute Q&A hosted by Emmy Award-nominated actress Sandra Oh at the Castro Theatre on April 29. Other films of note with Bay Area ties: 

    Lucie Arnez: I Got the Job, Songs from My Musical Past 

    Feinstein’s at The Nikko, 222 Mason St.
    April 22-23, 8 p.m. | $90 

    With Aaron Sorkin’s Being the Ricardos feature narrative and Amy Poehler’s Lucy and Desi documentary, the former First Couple of Comedy emeritus was back in the spotlight late last year. So too was daughter Lucie, who was an executive producer on the former and appears in the latter. The actress, producer, author and singer is returning to the bandstand with this revue, which revisits the many roles she’s performed over the years on stage and in front of the camera. She’s a gifted storyteller, so the anecdotes she tells during this new production will pair nicely with the song selection from the musical theater songbook. (YK)

    Bawdy Storytelling: ‘Fingers Crossed’

    The Verdi Club, 2424 Mariposa St.
    Friday, April 22, 8 p.m. | $20-$65

    Whether you were celibate, coupled up, locked down with a pandemic sex buddy, or somewhere in between during Covid’s worldwide assault on public health, the dawn of spring and the hope of a variant-free hot vax summer may have you looking to expand your sexual horizons. Bawdy Storytelling, “the original sex and storytelling series” (think The Moth but for sexy storytime), may help you get in the mood. “Sexual folklorist” Dixie De La Tour hosts a mix of authors, sex educators, porn stars, comics and more telling their true sexcapade stories spanning everything from illuminatory one-stands to transformational nights in bed. (CJC)

    Maestro Curtis’ “A Song of Triumph”

    Yerba Buena Gardens, 750 Howard St. 
    Saturday, April 23, 1 p.m. | Free

    Maestro Curtis, the patriarch of the local family band sensation known as the The Curtis Family C-Notes, debuts “a symphonic musical opera” dedicated to Black Americans as the descendants of slaves across many chapters of U.S. history—from the Middle Passage to Reconstruction, from the Jim Crow-era to the Civil Rights movement, and through to today’s racial justice movements. “This is a celebration of real American history, love, respect, and the contributions of American Black culture, which has impacted the world and crossed all ethnic and color lines,” said Curtis in an interview with the Community Music Center. “The ‘Song of Triumph’ is the soundtrack of our lives—a conversation of moving the needle towards equality.” (CJC)

    Helgi Tomasson: A Celebration

    War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave.
    Sunday, April 24, 5:30 p.m. | $55+

    San Francisco Ballet honors the legacy of retiring Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson with a selection from the 50-plus ballets he has choreographed during his 37-year tenure leading the ballet troupe and shaping it into an internationally recognized company. The gala-style performance will draw dance luminaries from around the world as well as stars from SF Ballet’s past and features pieces handpicked by Tomasson, including his virtuosic quintet Concerto Grosso, abstract dance drama The Fifth Season, and the outgoing artistic director’s final piece for SF Ballet choreographed during the pandemic, Harmony. (CJC)

    A Conversation with Janelle Monáe

    City Arts & Lectures, 275 Hayes St.
    Sunday, April 24, 7:30 p.m. | $49-$65

    Janelle Monáe is not only a Grammy-nominated artist whose music explores the realms of dystopia, Afrofuturism and the insides of dirty computers. She’s now a sci-fi author with her new debut collection of short fiction, The Memory Librarian. The series of novella-size tales follows a group of social deviants, almost all Black, queer and poor women, on the run from an authoritarian “techno-nationalist” outfit known nebulously as the New Dawn. Monáe discusses the book with her collaborator Yohanca Delgado and host George M. Johnson. (CJC)

    Hella Plants

    San Francisco County Fair Building, 1199 9th Avenue
    Sunday, April 24, 11 a.m | $5+

    Monstera Deliciosa | Getty Images

    If you appreciate plants and want to buy locally, you’re in luck because the San Francisco County Fair Building is going green this Sunday. Organized by Janay Masters, the Hella Plants concept grew out of the pandemic, when Masters realized she could make a little green by flexing her green thumb. As her houseplant side-hustle blossomed into a bona fide business, she realized she needed a larger platform. So she partnered with other local vendors and Hella Plants was born. Now the platform helps other fledgling business owners and artists gain exposure, share their craft and celebrate wellness together. The venue will be filled with dozens of local merchants selling plants at various price points, as well as a few vegan food vendors and artists. (MM)

    SF Eagle Block Party

    SF Eagle, 398 12th St
    Sunday, April 24, 12 p.m. | Free

    After two years of partying virtual, one of San Francisco’s best known and recognizable gay bars in SoMa is bringing their events back to the streets with the ninth Annual SF Eagle Block Party. The leather-bound fun starts at 12 p.m. and runs into the early evening. Come for the drinks, bites, live performances by legendary drag queens like Pollo Del Mar and Suppository Spelling—and, of course, the beefcake. (MM)

    Christina Campodonico, Meaghan Mitchell, Yoshi Kato and Nick Veronin contributed additional reporting for this story.