The hills are greener. Flowers bloom. Can’t you just hear Simon & Garfunkel singing “April come she will” on the radio? Oh, right. On your iPhone. Whatever you’re listening to, here’s a couple of spring flings:
@Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz
Art lovers have only a few weeks left to see the works of world renowned artist Ai Weiwei at Alcatraz, the notorious prison turned national park in San Francisco Bay. @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz, a site-specific exhibition of works, is on view through April 26, 2015. The Chinese artist is internationally recognized both as a maker of provocative art and as a passionate advocate for human rights and freedom of expression. His art and ideas find a compelling new context in this exhibition of large-scale sculpture, sound and mixed media created specifically for Alcatraz.
A Whale of a Time
Dive deep below the surface of the ocean and explore some of the Earth’s largest and most elusive animals. In “Whales: Giants of the Deep” at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park visitors will discover an immersive and interactive exhibit, learn about the evolution of whales and find out how they are being protected. At the center of the exhibit, two enormous articulated sperm whale skeletons—the largest of which measures more than 58 feet in length—will confirm this species’ place as the largest toothed predator on the planet. Whales will run through Nov. 29, 2015.
Salmon Season is Here
April 4, 2015 is the beginning of the commercial salmon fishing season. Experience salmon season firsthand at Fisherman’s Wharf. Many restaurants will feature delicious salmon entrees on their menus. Visit the historic fishing fleet and watch crews haul in the day’s catch and if you feel like an adventure, reserve a spot on one of the area’s many sport fishing vessels.
Sound Maze at Fort Mason
Sound Maze for Max, a new sound installation that features 10 newly invented musical instruments that have been collaboratively designed and built by Paul Dresher, Alex Vittum and Daniel Schmidt, will be open daily in the Firehouse at Fort Mason Center April 4-May 3, 2015. This remarkable hands-on interactive installation has been designed for audiences of all ages, regardless of musical experience, as well as for people on the autism spectrum. Sound Maze for Max consists of 10 rooms that each house one or more large-scale invented musical instruments or sound sculptures.
“Mad Men” Returns
Don, Peggy, Joan, Roger, Pete and Betty … the “Mad Men” and women return for the final season on April 5, 2015. With Diana Ross’ “Love Hangover” playing on the soundtrack for the first on-air promo and by the look of Roger’s sideburns, “Mad Men” has entered the ‘70s, which was a pretty crazy, hangover-inducing era here in San Francisco. We’ve got a list of legacy bars for you or opt for one of the city’s famed hotel lounges. Top of the Mark is currently celebrating the birth of the Beat generation with special programming every Tuesday night through April 28. Tipple a Bloody Mary, the signature cocktail of The St. Regis Hotel San Francisco or a Golden Gate Mary, their local interpretation which features red and orange ingredients from tequila to chili pepper that give this libation the vermillion hue of a Pacific sunset.
“We are SF We are Giant”
San Francisco Giants fans will have several ways to enjoy the opening of yet another baseball season for the World Champion San Francisco Giants. Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and the Giants invite fans to “Authentic Opening Day,” a free viewing party at AT&T Park on Monday, April 6, 2015; the event is free and gates open at 6 p.m. The 2015 season opens on the road against the Arizona Diamondbacks with World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner on the mound. The home opener is April 13, 2015 against the Rockies. Fans should come early to check out The Yard, a new spot created out of repurposed shipping containers that features local food and beverage as well as several retailers. Located in Lot A near McCovey Cove The Yard will be open daily.
To Market, To Market
There are those who consider San Francisco’s main thoroughfare, Market Street, one of the most interesting streets in the world. Three agencies, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the San Francisco Planning Department and the James L. Knight Foundation believe that there are ways to make it an even more engaging and vibrant destination. Hundreds of organizations and individuals recently responded to an open call for ways to improve Market Street. From April 9-11, 2015, 50 of these ideas will blossom into temporary installations for the Market Street Prototyping Festival.
San Francisco’s colorful Japantown will burst into full bloom on the weekends of April 11-12 and 18-19, 2015 when members of Northern California’s Japanese American community gather to present the 48th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival. Anyone with a yen to experience a bit of Japan won’t want to miss this vivid and varied cultural festival, which celebrates the rich culture and heritage of Japanese Americans. The five-acre Japan Center, at Post and Buchanan streets, and the adjacent blocks of Japantown will be filled with hundreds of performers and reverberate to the sound of taiko drums. Classical and folk dancers will perform both weekends, climaxing with the parade on Sunday, April 19.
A Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On
April 18, 2015 is the 109th anniversary of the 1906 earthquake and fire. If you’re an early riser, head to Lotta’s Fountain. At 5:12 a.m. civic leaders and history buffs will gather at Lotta’s Fountain, corner of Market and Kearny streets, for an annual commemoration. Across town in Golden Gate Park the California Academy of Sciences houses an “Earthquake” exhibit. This immersive experience puts you inside the dining room of a classic Victorian-era home to experience the 6.9- and 7.9-magnitude Loma Prieta (1989) and 1906 earthquakes. On April 19 join Robin Marks with Discovery Street Tours on a special edition of the San Francisco Rocks Walking Tour. The 1 p.m. tour begins in Dolores Park, Church and 20th streets, not far from the fire hydrant that is painted gold every year in honor of its role in supplying water to douse the fires raging through the city. Marks will talk about what geologists learned from the quake and explore the local geology with hands-on edible seismology activities.
It’s Tee Time
Some of the world’s top golfers are converging on the fairways of San Francisco in April. More than 120 players including many from Taiwan will participate in the Swinging Skirts LGPA Classic, April 20-26, 2015 at the Lake Merced Golf Club. Among the players who are expected to compete are 17-year-old teenage sensation Lydia Ko and top-ranked Michelle Wie. TPC Harding Park will host the 2015 World Golf Championship-Cadillac Match Play, April 27-May 3, 2015. This is part of a series of PGA Tour events coming to San Francisco including the 2020 PGA Championship and The Presidents Cup 2025. The 64-player Cadillac Match Play field will be divided into 16 four-player groups and includes the top players in the world.
Richard Gere Film Festival Honoree
The 58th San Francisco International Film Festival runs April 23-May 7, 2015 at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, Castro, Landmark’s Clay and Roxie theaters in San Francisco and the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley. Featuring 200 films and live events, 14 juried awards and nearly $40,000 in cash prizes, the festival draws upwards of 100 participating filmmaker guests and some 65,000 attendees. Among the honorees announced to date are actor Richard Gere, one of America’s screen legends. On Sunday, April 26, 2015 an onstage interview with Gere at the Castro Theatre will be followed by a selection of clips from his notable career and a screening of the film “Time Out of Mind.”
Pop Ups Can Be Habit Forming
Despite their rep for being spontaneous, some pop ups are more predictable than others. On the last Saturday of every month, La Cocina entrepreneurs take over the 18 Reasons space at 3674 18th St. in the Mission District from 6-10 p.m. for a Night Market. Entry is free and we can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday night.
The West Coast’s top designers are busy transforming the Presidio Heights mansion at 3630 Jackson St. for the 2015 San Francisco Decorator Showcase, which will be open to the public from April 25-May 25. Designed by famed architect Julia Morgan and located along the Presidio Wall between Maple and Spruce Streets, 38 California designers are putting the final touches on their interior and exterior spaces of the 1917 Elizabethan manor.
How Weird Could It Be?
The 16th annual How Weird Street Faire is coming up Sunday, April 26, 2015 in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena neighborhood. A celebration of peace and creativity, with many fair goers in costumes, the event melds art with technology. Local artists perform some of the best electronic music in the world and the food spans the spectrum of global cuisine.