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San Francisco May 19–25: New Ping Pong Bar, YBG Fest & Harvey Milk Celebration

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SPiN Ping Pong Social Club

Courtesy of SPiN Ping Pong Social Club

SPiN Ping Pong Social Club

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

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This week in San Francisco, learn all about icon and activist Harvey Milk, enjoy live Celtic harp music in the park, or try your hand at becoming a ping-pong champ at a new type of social club. Then, finally get a taste of that burger everyone's been talking about, or head to San Mateo for the Bay Area Maker Faire. 

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

May 21 | Music
Patrick Ball: Legends of the Celtic Harp
Only in a world-class city like San Francisco do you have the option to gather together your finest artisanal picnic and bring it to a beautiful and free outdoor concert. That’s exactly the case at the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, which runs seasonally through October 30. This weekend, it’s acclaimed Celtic harp players Patrick Ball, Aryeh Frankfurter, and Lisa Lynn, who will help assist you in a recipe for relaxation.
1 p.m. | Yerba Buena Gardens, 760 Howard St., San Francisco | Free | website

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May 22 | Film and museum
The Times of Harvey Milk Birthday Celebration
It’s a wonderful weekend to really feel the heart and soul of San Francisco’s diverse political and cultural history. The Castro Theatre will honor the birthday of late gay activist and icon Harvey Milk with a screening of The Times of Harvey Milk. If you buy a ticket, you can also get a free docent-led tour of the nearby GLBT History Museum beforehand as part of the admission. There’s also the option of a VIP brunch reception, where you can eat with community leaders and get an even greater sense of where we came from and where we’re going.
3 p.m. | Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., San Francisco | (415) 621-6120 | From $12 | website

May 20–22 | Escape the city
Maker Faire
The technology- and craft-curious head to the Peninsula every year for the annual Maker Faire, which has fun and educational enlightenment for all ages and interests (not to mention it's a great place to find gifts for yourself or others). It’s a three-day affair, but try to go on Saturday and be around at 3 or 4:30 p.m. to watch extraordinary local DJ crew Invisible Skratch Piklz. They're offering an exciting live demonstration of how to use the Intel Edison chip to DJ with digital files without using a laptop—a major innovation in the craft of mixing songs.
Times vary | San Mateo County Event Center, 1346 Saratoga Dr., San Mateo | From $35 | website

Now open | Ping-pong bar
Susan Sarandon’s national chain of ping-pong clubs has landed in San Francisco. Sip on creative cocktails like a Salt Lick Susan (Montelobos, Cosa Nostra shrub, pineapple, lime juice, and smoked bourbon saline) and nibble on a menu of sweet and savory Americana like fried chicken sandwiches and cotton candy—all while enjoying the delicate art of ping-pong.
690 Folsom St., San Francisco | (415)636-5995 | website

Now open | Restaurant
Causwells, a casual restaurant in the Marina, got so many rave reviews for their stunning and hearty hamburger—a refined take on a Big Mac—since opening in July 2014 that they’ve spun it off into its own restaurant called Popsons. You can still get the famous burger at Causwells, but head to the new joint to try variations including a chili cheeseburger and a bacon blue cheeseburger.
998 Market St., San Francisco | (415) 401-0810 | website

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

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