This week in San Francisco, see structural wonders at the Sandcastle Classic, or rock out to the tunes of artists such as Sigur Ros and James Blake at the Treasure Island Music Festival. Liven up your weekend transit thanks to the SF Trolley Dances, and enjoy high-caliber storytelling thanks to The Moth. Finish the week off with a taste of Elite Cafe’s revamped menu.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.
October 15 | Art festival
Leap’s 34th Annual Sandcastle Classic
Head to the beach this weekend to see the Sandcastle Classic, an event that benefits Leap, a nonprofit that provides art education programs for kids. Check out the sandcastle creations of both local students and sandcastle architects and artists as they compete for glory. Food trucks and live music from the SF Rock Project youth band, hip-hop funk cover band The Pocket SF, and more will make it a day full of entertainment and fun.
11 a.m.–4 p.m. | Ocean Beach, Balboa St., San Francisco | Free (donations suggested) | website
October 15–16 | Music festival
Treasure Island Music Festival
Tickets are still available for this weekend’s Treasure Island Music Festival. It’s the 10-year anniversary and the last edition that will actually take place on Treasure Island (the festival is still searching for its new home for 2017). Expect to see the iconic Ferris wheel, as well as headliners like Ice Cube, Sigur Ros, James Blake, Purity Ring, and local favorite Tycho. Plus, there’s a party in the silent disco area packed with Bay Area DJ talent like Davey D, DJ Dials, and Ren the Vinyl Archaeologist. Colorful people-watching and Burning Man–esque art are X factors that help make this festival one to catch every year.
12 p.m. | Treasure Island | From $105 | website
October 15–16 | Dance
13th Annual SF Trolley Dances
Riding Muni is not always a fun experience, especially when you’ve got a strict time schedule, but this weekend’s SF Trolley Dances are sure to make your journeys through the Castro, Financial District, and SoMa neighborhoods more entertaining, with dance performances from seven local companies and individuals: Chitresh Das Dance Company, James Graham Dance Theatre, Monique Jenkinson, Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, Parangal Dance Company, Laura Elaine Ellis, and Epiphany Productions. Hop on and off or take the whole route for a day of dance. There are 12 performances scheduled (11 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:15 p.m., 2 p.m., and 2:45 p.m.) that all start at the Harvey Milk Memorial Branch Library.
Times vary | Harvey Milk Memorial Branch Library | Free (with $2.25 Muni ticket) | website
October 18 | Storytelling
The Moth GrandSLAM Championship VI: Out on a Limb
Acclaimed spoken word event The Moth was part of the season finale of the HBO series Girls, but the television comedy didn’t do justice to what a seriously amazing event it can be. It’ll all come together beautifully this weekend when The Moth visits San Francisco for the sixth edition of the GrandSLAM Championship. The storytellers will compete for the local championship title, riffing off this year’s theme, “Out on a Limb,” with tales of taking risks and surviving.
8 p.m. | 429 Castro St., San Francisco | From $25 | website
Now open |Restaurant
This week sees the reopening of the renovated San Francisco mainstay Elite Cafe, now under the control of Sidecar Hospitality (the team behind Press Club and Pacific Cocktail Haven). New art deco elements and luxurious materials like marble have given it a slightly new look, but the sexy mahogany private dining booths remain intact. Chef Chris Borges has revamped the menu, offering both classic and creative Creole dishes, such as duck gumbo, shrimp and blue crab remoulade salad, buttermilk-soaked fried chicken, and crawfish étouffée with uni butter. Many dishes come in thoughtful half or whole portions so you can mix it up or eat on the lighter side of indulgence.
2049 Fillmore St., San Francisco | website
Tamara Palmer is a daily news writer, rapper confidante, DJ, and celebrity chef ghostwriter from San Francisco.