SF LIFE: Indian Summer, Bluegrass, Litquake, KQED

Bloomingdale's

Well Tomatoes, who doesn’t love October in the Bay?  Indian Summer, we are ready for you! And to that end, I have some trails and parks for you to visit where you can enjoy the clear blue skies. Love Bluegrass? It’s back – the annual and FREE, Hardly, Strictly Bluegrass festival strums it’s way into our city this weekend. For those of you who might enjoy a more literary adventure, The Litquake Festival runs for a week starting today. Hiking and dancing and reading oh my! Have you heard? Live Pop-Up Magazine is presented by KQED at the Paramount in Oakland in a few weeks, a totally new concept you must check out!


Explore our Trails and Parks

Hidden gems abound in this fair city and here are a few you may or may not have visited.

SF LIFE: Indian Summer, Bluegrass, Litquake, KQEDThe William Shakespeare Garden in Golden Gate Park is tucked away next to the de Young and Academy of Sciences. Romantic is the key word. An iron gate opens up to Shakespeare Garden where you can stroll and soak up the sun. Lined with cobblestone with trees on either side you will think you have stepped into a British park. Near the end, iron tablets are inscribed with the namesake’s quotes from famous plays.

SF LIFE: Indian Summer, Bluegrass, Litquake, KQED

Pug Park – otherwise known as Alta Park, turns into the cutest gathering in the bay on the first Sunday of the month. 2:30 p.m. is the time when you can envelope yourself in dog heaven when pug owners bring their dogs to the park for a meetup. What a great way to start your month!

SF LIFE: Indian Summer, Bluegrass, Litquake, KQED

Billy Goat Hill at 30th and Castro is home to San Francisco’s infamous rope swing. A quick, easy and only slightly risky 0.2 mile trail gives you gorgeous views 300 feet about the City at any time of the day.

SF LIFE: Indian Summer, Bluegrass, Litquake, KQED

Strawbery Hill. Believe it or not, in the middle of Golden Gate Park’s artificial Stow Lake and waterfall, wild strawberries used to grow on Strawberry Hill. From its summit of 400 feet, the highest point in Golden Gate Park, be sure not to disturb butterflies as they flit and float.


Oct. 6-8. Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

SF LIFE: Indian Summer, Bluegrass, Litquake, KQED 

Free music – yes you read that correctly! This weekend is the lively one and only free music festival at Hellman Hollow in Golden Gate Park. Hardly Strictly Bluegrass featuring well over 100 musicians and bands that will lift you up and leave you dancing with a smile. With 7 different stages you can wander and get jiggy with it all over the park.

Some of the artists are familiar from Emmylou Harris to Randy Newman, and many are unknowns (at least to me!). There will be tunes that appeal to all, even a silent disco location on Saturday. BYOB as long as it is beer and wine in non-glass containers and you can purchase delicious bites on-site if you don’t want to drag your picnic basket. Get the details.


Now-Oct. 14. Litquake

SF LIFE: Indian Summer, Bluegrass, Litquake, KQED

Calling all literary tomatoes – the 18th year of Litquake is here, with events across the city every day and evening culminating in the final popular Lit Crawl in the mission. From its start as a free one-day reading series in the Park to today’s 9- day celebration, Lit quake’s popularity shows that we still love our books. There are poets reciting in a cathedral, authors discussing science versus religion in a library and novelists reading in a beekeeping supply store.

The goal is to whet a broad range of literary appetites, present the literary fare in a variety of traditional and unlikely venues, and make it vivid, real and entertaining. There are panel discussions unique cross-media events and literally hundreds of readings. Events that fascinate me: Barbary Coast Prostitute Walking Tour, Literary Lunch: Jane Eyre Turns 170 and Woody Allen and She Persisted: Readings by Women Who Refuse to Sit Down. The calendar found here. www.litquake2017.sched.com


Oct. 18. Pop-Up Magazine

SF LIFE: Indian Summer, Bluegrass, Litquake, KQED

It seems that we are such a visual society that magazines are no longer as revered as they once were. Enter Pop-Up Magazine. Appearing in Oakland this month -this live storytelling event is making its way across the country. A live magazine created for a stage, a screen and a live audience features never-before seen or heard multimedia stories performed on stage by a variety of writers, radio producers, photographers, filmmakers and musicians.

The fall “issue” being presented at the Paramount in Oakland on October 18th. Among the presenters are Daniel Alarcon (Radio Ambulate, The New Yorker, Brooke Jarvis (the California Sunday Magazine, The New York Times Magazine), Aparna Nancherla (Crashing, Late Night with Seth Meyers). Get the full scoop here. 

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