Photo courtesy of Margaret Tilden
Cucuchucho Cemetery, Mexico
Cucuchucho Cemetery, Mexico

Not all those who wander are lost.”

(J.R.R. Tolkien)

10.29 – 11.3

This week is positively undead. Kids reclaim the streets in boo-ya style. Día de los Muertos altars are ready to glow. Spaces are haunted by imagination. Courage! Peer in what rustles below…

Lead-n-chocolate is NOT a Humphry Slocombe ice cream flavor. But it may be a toxic Halloween treat innocuously handed out. The San Francisco Department of Public Health makes push to curb lead-laced candy sales in the Mission and Outer-Mission neighborhoods. On a grassroots level, Las Chikas scout the Mission and Excelsior districts regularly, searching for candies and soda pops contaminated with lead, marketed overwhelmingly to low-income Spanish speaking consumers. Las Chikas is comprised of women leaders from environmental justice organization PODER, in project with the Center for Environmental Health. When harmful sweets are found, they take note of the vendors and have the products tested.

Wouldn’t it be nice to say this at your next meeting?

We’re not asking for your expertise. We’re asking for your participation. As in a democracy, expressing opinions are not based on expertise but on human desires, programs, attitudes and intentions.”

(Lawrence Halprin, landscape architect, educator and designer of splash-friendly fountains.  1916– 2009)

Also this weekend:  Free admission for Mission and Bernal Heights residents to California Academy of Sciences on Oct. 30, 31 and Nov. 1.  Check out the Día de los Muertos exhibit at Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts.  Young students in the GLO afterschool program created a poignant altar for angelitos and victims of abuse,  highlighting children’s rights.

(Events are subject to shape-shifting. Confirm time before attending.)

Nursery University Film Screening

Thurs., Oct. 29. 7pm. $5-$9.75. Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St. (at Valencia St.)

SF DocFest presents a scary movie for people hooked on The SF K Files.

And you thought getting into college was hard! In post-9/11 New York City, a baby boom has turned the preschool admissions process into a blood sport. With more than 20 applications for every available spot, $4,000 consultants are hired and teams are recruited just to acquire application forms. Cue the tears, hysterics and breakdowns and that’s just the parents! Enjoy the insanity in this sweeter look at the social issues and the little darlings at the centre of all the fuss.” (Myrocia Watamanuik, HotDocs) Directed by Marc Simon, 2008, 90 min.

Children’s Halloween: Monster Mash

Fri., Oct. 30. 2:30pm-4pm. Free. Eureka Valley Recreation Center Auditorium, 100 Collingwood St. (at 18th St.)

Bring the kids and join the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence for Children’s Halloween. Face painting, games, performances and dance party from 2:30pm to 3:45pm with costume contest starting at 3:45pm. The annual Halloween Parade through the Castro will take place after the contest, around 4pm. Goodies and treats graciously provided by Cliff’s Variety and Walgreens Pharmacy.

Día de los Muertos Celebration at Library

Fri., Oct. 30. 3pm-5pm. Free. Mission Branch Library, 300 Bartlett St. (at 24th St.)

Celebrate Day of the Dead! Build an altar in our workshop. For children of all ages.

Under 21 Open Mic: Write. Speak. Live. Repeat.

Fri., Oct. 30. 7pm. Free. 826 Valencia Writing Center (at 19th St.)

Youth Speaks presents the Under 21 Open Mic Series. The mic is yours! Claim it! Get free every second and final Friday of the month. Come to inspire and be inspired by young folks across the Bay Area performing poetry, music and more! No charge. List opens at 6pm. Show gets poppin’ at 7pm. Check the website for info on special guest artists!

Hallow’s Eve-Eve Poe Party at the Poppy

Fri., Oct. 30. Doors open 7:30pm, show 8pm. $15. Red Poppy Art House, 2698 Folsom St. (at 23rd St.)

The works of horror writer Edgar Allan Poe are hacked and reanimated by San Francisco bassist, bandleader and curator Liza Mezzacappa and friends, in an eclectic pre-Halloween evening of words, image and music in celebration of Poe’s 200th birthday.

Mural Raising at 24th St. Mini-Park

Sat., Oct. 31. 11am-5pm. Free. Mini-Park at 24th and York St.

Precita Eyes and community members worked on the painted tile mural project last Saturday. Join us this Saturday. Fun for the family!

Sugar Skull Decorating

Sat., Oct. 31 and Sun. Nov. 1.  1pm-4pm.  $15.  Encantada Gallery, 904 Valencia St. (at 20th St.)

Learn how to make sugar skulls for Day of the Dead!  You will be able to decorate skulls in a traditional manner or get really creative.  All materials provided.  Taught by artist Michele Simon, founder of the Sugar Skull Gallery.

Fall Fun Fest

Sat., Oct. 31. 2pm-5pm. Free. Dolores Park Church, Anderson Building, 65 Dorland St. (between 17th and 18th)

Looking for a safe, family-friendly option for Halloween? Dolores Park Church is hosting a fall harvest party for children of all ages. There will be crafts, games, and indoor trick-or-treating. All are welcome! Costumes are encouraged!

Harvest Fair

Sat., Oct. 31. 4pm-7pm. Free. Bethel Christian Church, 1325 Valencia St. (at 24th St.)

Harvest fair for children ages 3-11 and their families. We want to keep kids safe for Halloween. We will have games, prizes, candy, face painting, popcorn, cotton candy, snacks and more. All activities and snacks are free.

Photography Basics for Parents

Sat., Oct. 31. 2pm-3:30pm. Free  class. Natural Resources, 1367 Valencia St. (at 25th St.)

Bring your baby in costume and you’ll get 10% off select purchases.  Stop by between 1pm and 2pm, and get you child’s picture taken in their costume by professional photographer Susannah Bothe.  At 2:30pm she will be teaching a class, focusing on photographing especially for the holidays.   Topics include basic camera settings, basic lighting techniques, composition, and post-processing/ organization of images.  For beginning-level photographers; please bring in manual/ SLR or point-and-shoot digital cameras.

Shinichi Iova-Koga in "Haunted"
Shinichi Iova-Koga in “Haunted”

Haunted – A Performance/ Installation for Halloween

Sat., Oct. 31. 7pm-10pm, drop-in. Free. 108A Fair Oaks St. (Near 22nd and Guerrero)

Directed and conceived by Ernie Lafky. Live and video performance by Shinichi Iova-Koga. Live vocalizations by Sara Kraft. Kids are welcome! Fair Oaks is a family-friendly and safe trick-or-treating neighborhood. Our house will be one of many with elaborate Halloween theming. Come on by and check it out!

Halloween Hullabaloo! Opening Party for Zambaleta World Music and Dance School

Sat., Oct. 31. 6pm-12am. $12 advance, $15 door. Zambaleta World Music and Dance School, 2929 19th St. (between Alabama and Florida Sts.)

Put on your costume and come attend the opening party of Zambaleta: San Francisco’s New Community World Music and Dance School! Top-notch musicians from the Bay area will be playing music from Serbia, Zorlock, Brazil, Athens, Istanbul, Oakland.  Plus aerial dancers, clowns, dance installations, interactive musical inventions, and more!

Zambaleta offers World Music Classes geared specifically for toddlers, preschoolers and kids.  Four-week sessions begin in November. Dance classes begin in January. Visit their website for info and registration

KindaBoo! Halloween

Oct. 31. 9pm-11:45pm. $8. The Dark Room, 2263 Mission St. (between 18th and 19th St.)

Calling all boos and ghouls: dust off that dirt, shake out that shroud, and get ready to rattle them bones. Join us for HALLOWEEN 2009. Peein’ in The Dark with Don (o’ the dead) Shearer and the Zombie Daddies present an evening of original dance music, murder ballads, torch songs, Halloween tunes, second rate magic, gallows humor, kitchen doggerel, and a host of diversions destined to channel your Halloween sugar rush into a fantastically frenzied finale to All Hallows Eve. All ages– sample the music and get more info:

Día de los Muertos / Day of the Dead

Mon., Nov. 2. 7pm-11:30pm. Free. Corner of 24th and Bryant St.; Garfield Park (26th and Harrison St.)

Please join us for the annual procession lead by Rescue Culture Collective at 7pm at 24th and Bryant Streets. The procession will end in Garfield Park at the Festival of Altars at 8:30pm. Día de los Muertos is a traditional Meso-American holiday dedicated to the ancestors; it honors both death and the cycle of life. In Mexico, neighbors gather in local cemeteries to share food, music, and fun with their extended community, both living and departed. The celebration acknowledges that we still have a relationship with our ancestors and loved ones that have passed away. In San Francisco, Day of the Dead has been celebrated since the early 70’s with art, music, performances and a walking procession, which help us contemplate our existence and mortality– a moment to remember deceased friends and family, and our connections beyond our immediate concerns. We encourage people to bring mementos and candles to celebrate their loved ones. Please bring candles that are in glass containers, we cannot have any open flame votives or candles in the park.

Bring Back the Dead Gala Reception

Mon., Nov. 2. 6pm-10:30pm. $5, children free. Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, 2868 Mission St. (at 25th St.)

Celebrate Día de los Muertos in a “grand cemetery” illuminated with colorful festivities! Gala night activities include Danza Azteca, Arts and crafts: Felipe Horta, Mask demonstration from Michoácan, Mexico; Sugar Skulls, by Miguel Quintana from Pueblo, Mexico– Pan de Muertos y Chocolate– Day of the Dead limited edition prints on view, and Posada and Manilla’s merchandise available for sale from the private collection of New World Prints and more.

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