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Downtown SF turns into Malibu this weekend when the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour hits the sands of the Embarcadero. What sands? The ones imported to Piers 30 and 32 where you will enjoy a gorgeous view of the Bay Bridge as well as the toned and tanned flying figures of these men and women who have all competed in the Olympics. General admission is free though if you’ve got money to burn you can spend up to $600 on VIP seating.

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have a ball

Alexander Hamilton never hip hopped but if you are curious to see how our founding fathers actually moved around the dance floor, you are cordially invited to an evening in pre-revolutionary New York honoring the engagement of Mr. Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler. It is being held Saturday July 12 at the Elks Lodge in Alameda. You can just watch the musical festivities or join in the classic English country dances. There are lessons at 7pm and the dancing itself starts at 8. Regency costumes encouraged. No-host bar.Period games and conversations. Sponsored by the Period Events & Entertainments Re-Creation Society.$25.

 

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a 1940’s fourth

Remember when the U.S. used to win wars? Relive those victories this July 3rd in the city that built the ships that helped us triumph in World War II – Richmond. Step aboard the SS Red Oak Victory, the last surviving ship build in the shipyards here. Doors open at 6pm on July 3rd. Then there’s drinks and dinner and later, harbor fireworks at 10. $50. Another option here on the same night is nearby at the spectacular all-glass Craneway Pavilion where the Oakland Symphony will be playing a free, rousing concert before you view the fireworks. Food and beverage concessions. Sate you patriotic appetite anytime (including the 4th) at the adjacent Rosie the Riveter Museum.

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get me out of here

Unless you’re afflicted with claustrophobia, you and your pals or family will have a wild time figuring out the clues, the puzzles, the secret locks, hidden doorways, etc. that will help you get out of the brain teasing, frequently quite elaborately themed escape rooms that are proliferating in the Bay Area. Most require 6-12 players (never with strangers) and run around $400.

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the force has landed in petaluma

Despite a major theft two years ago, Rancho Obi-Wan on a former chicken ranch in Petaluma, is still the world’s largest collection of Star Wars memorabilia. Steve Sansweet has amassed an estimated 300,000 pieces – action figures, games, books, even rare German Star Wars toilet paper. Not everything is on display but you can play vintage video games and pinball machines for free. Docent tours of 1-3 hours are $75. Book 6 weeks in advance.

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vive la france

Celebrate May-December romances this Saturday at the Cougar Ball, 8pm at Monroe Lounge in North Beach. Join the cougars and cubs (older women and younger men), dancing, flirting and playing mixer games with a special homage to the couple that is a role model for these relationships, France’s President and First Lady (he’s 39 and she’s 64) M.& Mme Macron. $20.

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happy birthday to us

241 years ago, 240 men, women and children on the Juan Batista de Anza expedition made their uncharted way from New Spain to SF Bay where their first assignment was to establish El Presidio. Every year what remains of those founding families celebrates the occasion at Pershing Square near the Main Post Lawn with horses, music and historical memories. Stop by this Saturday 10:30am to 12noon. Free.

 

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potter ball

Quidditch, the flying broom game in Harry Potter, has been adapted globally as a bona fide sport. Berkeley for example has had a team since 2005. It’s still played with brooms, multiple hooped goals and a rubber ball. Nobody, as far as I know, actually flies. You have a chance to check out the action Saturday June 24 from 12-4 at Blackesto Park in San Jose when the Phoenix Sols match up against the. San Francisco Argonauts. Free.

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take your pick

Botanically speaking strawberries are not berries. The explanation is too complex but the berries themselves aren’t. They’re in their high season this summer brilliantly colored, seductively sweet and for us lucky Californians ready for picking. One U-Pick source is down the coast at the Swanton Berry Farms. Their site in Davenport opens everyday from 8-7. It has its own Farm Stand with fresh berry pies, strawberry shortcakes, strawberry lemonade, etc. The one in Pescadero is weekends only. Both are organic. Picking prices are $4.50 a pound up to 10 pounds. And $3.50 a pound for over 10 pounds. Picking can be muddy. Bring rain boots. Why strawberries? Some people believe the skin looked like it was embedded with bits of straw.

 

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night blooming

Looks like everyone has decided to get in on the 50th anniversary celebration of the Summer of Love. The latest dazzling addition is the glorious glass Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. From now until October 21 Illuminate, the creators of the Bay Bridge Lights have installed a wildly colorful light show on the building’s Victorian façade. Viewable from sundown to midnight. During the day botany fans might want to check out the interior where the rarely blooming, vilely fragrant Corpse flower is briefly buddding.

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