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San Francisco August 4–10: Outside Lands & Nihonmachi Street Fair

The best of what to do in and around San Francisco this week

This week in San Francisco, head to Japantown for one the city’s favorite street fairs, or snag a last-minute ticket to a bigger shindig, Outside Lands. Go to the Castro Theatre for a sing-along, then finish the night with drinks, eats, and music at the new Black Cat restaurant and bar in the Tenderloin.

AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.  

August 6–7 | Festival
43rd Annual Nihonmachi Street Fair
San Francisco’s Japantown, where the Nihonmachi Street Fair has been centered for 43 years, is celebrating 110 years of art, food, and music this year. A diverse festival, in terms of both culture and activities, Nihonmachi Street Fair includes a coed basketball tournament and, with the annual Doggie World parade, has even become known as a place for canine lovers. Whether snacking, sipping, or sporting, you’ll find things to enjoy here.
11 a.m.–5 p.m. | Fillmore and Geary Streets, San Francisco | Free | website

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August 5–7 | Music and food festival
Outside Lands
The ninth edition of Outside Lands—the epic annual music and food festival that takes place inside Golden Gate Park and has raised more than $10 million for the city’s Recreation and Park Department—attracts over 65,000 revelers each of its three days. This year’s edition is especially notable for the return of Radiohead (one of the headliners at the very first event), the reunion of New York ragers LCD Soundsystem, and the first live concert experience for Muppets’ house band Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. There are also new culinary options to consider among the already staggering choices, including “Forest Feast,” a four-course high-end meal in a secluded lounge in the trees. It’s been sold out for a while, but tickets on the secondary market abound if you need to conquer your FOMO. Be warned that fake tickets also proliferate in the days leading up to the event, so if you do decide to buy, consider a secure source like StubHub over someone you meet on the street.
Times vary | Golden Gate Park, San Francisco | website

August 5 and 7 | Film and sing-along
Sing-Along Mary Poppins
Mary Poppins is the latest film to get the Castro Theatre’s sing-along treatment. As with all of the Castro’s great sing-along events, lyrics are on the screen so you won’t ever feel left out, everyone receives a goodie bag, and you can up the ante by coming in costume as your favorite character. Pro tip: Most people will want to be Mary, but you might just have an edge thinking outside the umbrella.
Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., San Francisco | From $16 | website

Black Cat
Now open | Museum exhibit
Dalí 17
Escape the city and head south to Dalí 17 at the Museum of Monterey, which is now open daily for your surrealist adventures on the coast. Fun fact: Salvador Dalí actually lived in Monterey for seven nonconsecutive years in the 1940s after fleeing Nazi occupation in Europe. He never lived anywhere else in the States, but he developed a special connection with Monterey, making the city an ideal home for this collection of more than 300 works. The exhibit is even named for his fondness for the area’s 17 Mile Drive. It’s also close to the Monterey Bay Aquarium if you want to combine visits into one or two days of fun.
Times vary | Museum of Monterey, 5 Custom House Plaza, Monterey | From $20 | website

Now open | Restaurant
Black Cat
This new venture aims to rekindle the noir jazz spirit of the Tenderloin’s heyday while contributing to the current music and dining scenes in the neighborhood. Black Cat is a restaurant, bar, and self-described “entertainment salon” featuring music from live DJs as well as jazz and cabaret performances. Chef Ryan Cantwell, whose kitchen resume includes stints at Chez Panisse and Zuni Cafe, has created a menu of comfort food with contemporary twists, such as the Black Cat Pot Pie, which has oysters and pork tongue instead of chicken, and seasonally changing latkes, the Jewish pancakes typically made from shredded potatoes. It’s a sexy new place where you can get a drink (including low-alcohol punch bowls to share) until 2 a.m. nightly.
400 Eddy Street, San Francisco | website

Tamara Palmer is a daily news writer, rapper confidante, DJ, and celebrity chef ghostwriter from San Francisco.

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