SF LIFE: Restaurant Week, MLK Festival, Sketchfest, Movement Arts

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Happy, Happy 2017 tomatoes! I hope your holidays were filled with feasting, fun, laughter and relaxation.  If you are ready to jump into the New Year and try a few of our fabulous restaurants you may have missed, restaurant week is coming. Let’s not forget the reason for our holiday in January, Martin Luther King – the festival SF hosts is not to be missed.  Up for some laughs? Sketchfest arrives this weekend, one of the largest events in January featuring comedy galore. If you need motivation to get moving this January, visit the SF Movement arts festival at Grace Cathedral. You will want to flow and glow like these beautiful dancers.

Jan. 18-29. Restaurant Week

restaurant week

If you have never taken part in this wildly popular week of feasting, get on the phone and make reservations now. Celebrate San Francisco’s world-class dining community. Nearly 130 local restaurants offer special prix-fixe menus to showcase their passion for sharing great food with diners.  Most restaurants don’t offer prix-fixe menus all the time. During restaurant week, restaurants create prix-fixe menus that highlight their best-known dishes, or feature a new menu item they are testing, or just showcase a sample of the food they love to cook.

Many feature a discount or special offer. For lunch, there are $15 – $25 menus and dinner is $40 – $65. Simply head to the website to see all the participating restaurants. Believe me, you will not be disappointed. Ok, here are a few I’ve been to and love – PLOUF, in the financial district, BELCAMPO, Russian Hill, STEM, Protrero, The Classic WATERBAR, Embarcadero and SERPENTINE in Dogpatch.  More restaurants found here: www.sfrestaurantweek.com

Now-Monday. MLK Jr. Festival

MLK JRInstead of hitting the malls on January 16th, you can always attend the annual MLK Hr. Festival and Parade. Every year the Northern California Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Foundation puts on a weekend-long festival to celebrate the life and work of MKL. This year’s event runs from today – Monday.

If golf is your game, you can participate in the NORCALMKL Golf Classic at TPC Harding Park.  Rather get your laugh on? The Black Comix Arts Festival takes place this weekend at the Main San Francisco Library. Film Fanatic? The 6th annual Liberation Film Festival offers free screenings at the Yerba Buena Center and the Museum of African Diaspora.

The culmination is the Parade March on Monday. Beginning near AT &T Park at the Lefty O’Doul Bridge, it stops in Willie Mays Plaza commemorating the crossing of the famous Selma march.  Main program is a panel with a leading activist, actor, athlete and artist and that leads into a music and health and wellness festival. A cornucopia of information and celebration for everyone. For more information: www.sfmlkday.org

Now-Jan. 29. Sketchfest

imgresAlready underway, but by no means over, is the 16th annual SF Sketchfest. This nationally recognized comedy festival mixes national headliners, local favorites and up and coming groups. It is a month of sketch, improv, stand-up and alternative comedy. Laughter, tributes, panel discussions and more have audience members rolling in the aisles.

Highlights include a tribute to Aisha Tyler, in conversation with John Hodgman and a screening of “The Kentucky Fried Movie” featuring Q & A with John Landis, Jim Abrahams, David and Jerry Zucker. There are way too many events to tell you about, but there are workshops, performances by the well known “Groundlings” as well as our own BATS improvisers, and really who can’t use a laugh right about now? For more information about where to laugh: www.sfsketchfest.com

Jan. 20. Movement Arts


Over 150 local artists come together on January 20th at Grace Cathedral to celebrate the past year and the beginning of 2017! The Cathedral will be turned into a stage as performances in dance, theater, music and the visual arts light up all of the spaces. The main church floors, the hallways, stairways, entryways and attached chapels will be filled with simultaneous, engaging, creative forces.

Attendees will stroll around in similar fashion to visiting a farmer’s market – instead of picking through produce you get to enjoy performances.  A number of stations will have multiple groups performing short pieces and the groups will keep rotating. Each presentation is only 4 minutes or less, allowing the audience to see as many pieces as possible. Tickets are $25 – $45. For more information: www.sfmaf.org

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