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Chris Anderson
Chris Anderson

If anyone knows how to captivate an audience, it's Chris Anderson who, for the past 15 years as the curator of TED, has ushered some of the world’s best and brightest minds onto a stage set to send their insights into an online viral frenzy.

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Pink Martini and the SF symphony
Pink Martini and the SF symphony

It's common knowledge that Ari Shapiro, host of the NPR program All Things Considered, is a rock star reporter with an iconic radio voice, but for two nights this month, Shapiro will put his vocal prowess on display when he joins the San Francisco symphony and "little orchestra" Pink Martini for a two-night run at Davies Symphony Hall.

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Josephine
Josephine

On a grey afternoon in Oakland, I'm headed toward Stanford Avenue in Emeryville to pick up a dinner I had ordered online. Rather than using Caviar or Munchery, or one of the many on-demand meal service apps meant to have your dinner ordered, delivered, and eaten within an hour, I opted for a home-cooked meal (Cá Kho Tộ, a traditional Southern Vietnamese dish, to be exact) that must literally be picked up from someone else's home.

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East Bay Top Tea
East Bay Top Tea

A cup of tea is more than dried leaves and hot water. It is a social experience, an afternoon escape, a ceremonial ritual, a reason to take a break. For centuries cultures across the world have been cultivating and consuming herbal remedies, spicy chais, delicate infusions and sacred simmered brews.

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Drink Your Heroin
Drink Your Heroin

If you set out on a quest to find San Francisco's Barbary Coast, the chances that you'll end up sipping a barrel-aged cocktail beneath a fig tree in North Beach are good, but not great.

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Port of Mokha
Port of Mokha

"It's rare for a cup of coffee to taste like its story," said Blue Bottle coffee buyer Charlie Habegger—and yet a story is exactly what Blue Bottle is selling with every cup of its new partnership with Port of Mokha. And considering that story costs $16 a pop, rest assured it's a damn good one.

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Sightglass Coffee
Sightglass Coffee

Whether it’s the cool Pacific breeze, an unexpected bout of summer fog, or that morning-after haze that follows a night of one too many craft cocktails, there are plentiful reasons to search for coffee in San Francisco, the epicurean capital of the country and home to some of the nation’s top artisan coffee roasters.

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1951 Coffee
1951 Coffee

What goes into a good cup of coffee? Ground beans, hot water and maybe a little cream or sugar? For Doug Hewitt and Rachel Taber it’s a lot more than that. Friends and former employees of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a humanitarian organization that responds to worldwide crises, Hewitt and Taber see coffee as a venue for social justice.

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Female Butchers
Female Butchers

“I always tell people, ‘When I was a little girl all I wanted to do was grow up and be a butcher. Didn’t you?’” says Monica Rocchino, co-owner of The Local Butcher Shop in Berkeley.

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SF Top Toast
SF Top Toast

When local coffee shops began charging $4 for a slice of grilled bread, the nation rolled its eyes at San Francisco's hipster-approved toast trend — but leave it to SF to put the "art" in artisanal.

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Melo Melo Kava Bar
Melo Melo Kava Bar

I walk through the single glass door of Berkeley’s MeloMelo Kava Bar in the middle of a rainy Friday afternoon. There’s a man in a plaid shirt reading a book on a bright orange couch in the back corner and a woman perched on a bar stool, gazing into an empty coconut shell.

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The Lion
The Lion

As the sole performer in the one-man musical The Lion, a 2015 Drama Desk Award-winner that will be running on the stage of A.C.T.’s Strand Theater April 19-May 1, songwriter and story teller Benjamin Scheuer appears to be a show unto himself.

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If God Taught Spin
If God Taught Spin

At the start of Sunday’s spin class, my path seems easy, almost effortless. There are a few changes in resistance and a challenge to up my RPMs, but for the most part I feel strong.

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Alameda Kitchen
Alameda Kitchen

Food Shift launches a test kitchen for a better food system.

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Still Life: Woman of Whiskey
Still Life: Woman of Whiskey

This year — Henley's second as George Dickel Whiskey's master distiller — she is giving up the fright fest of Halloween for WhiskyFest in San Francisco.

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Teleferic Barcelona
Teleferic Barcelona

Walnut Creek may seem a world away to a San Franciscan, but consider this: a 35-minute BART trip is significantly shorter than a flight to Spain for foodies seeking delicious Barcelona-style tapas.

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Farley's East
Farley's East

In Search of a Local Coffee Shop That Doesn't Smack of Hipsterdom

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Real Good Fish
Real Good Fish

“Here, fishy fishy” — these three words mark a promotional post card I pick up at a mercantile. It was designed for Real Good Fish, a community-supported fishery that is the fisherman’s equivalent of a farmer’s CSA.

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Dust off those Spats
Dust off those Spats

I pass through the door of Spats Restaurant and Saloon and take a seat at the long wooden bar. Classic rock pours from the speakers. The World Series plays above the bar. Snatches of conversation fill the rest of the space weeks after its Oct. 21 grand reopening.

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Oakland Spirits
Oakland Spirits

"Come up with something that you’re passionate about and we’ll help you do it." It’s not the sort of offer you usually hear from someone in the world of spirits, an industry in which secret recipes and undisclosed methods abound. Then again, Nelson isn’t your typical distiller.

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Window: An essay
Window: An essay

I am sitting in a Starbucks at the intersection of Battery and Clay on a hazy Monday morning. I’ve claimed a coveted seat beside the window, a station from which I feel safe. It is my second week at a new job. It isn’t going poorly, but it isn’t going well.

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Behind the Nutcracker
Behind the Nutcracker

In 1944, the San Francisco Ballet debuted the first-ever American production of The Nutcracker, which has enchanted children and dazzled audiences every year since. While we focus on the spritely spirits waltzing across the stage, there is more to the holiday tradition than those dancers.

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Nippon Gochiso Select
Nippon Gochiso Select

Japanese cuisine is widely spread across cultures, but has yet to reach the kitchens of American home cooks like me. Something about those unfamiliar terms and mysterious ingredients leaves even adventurous eaters wary of Japanese home cooking. It was this quandary that inspired recipe developer and food educator Ema Koeda to create Nippon Gochiso Select (NGS), a premium line of artisanal Japanese products specifically curated for Western markets.

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Randall Munroe Explains Things
Randall Munroe Explains Things

Randall Munroe doesn’t think you’re stupid. Though you might get that impression when you open the cover of Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words. Larger than a laptop and loaded with pictures, arrows, and Munroe’s telltale stick figures, it may not strike you as a book for grown ups.

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IBM’s Watson Proves Robot Chefs Can
IBM’s Watson Proves Robot Chefs Can

What does a meal designed by artificial intelligence taste like? Last Thursday, about two dozen curious eaters gathered at Cookhouse in North Beach to find out how Watson, IBM’s famed cognitive system (and Jeopardy! champ), would do at devising a menu.

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Bulleit Proof
Bulleit Proof

"I love this city," says whiskey king Tom Bulleit, gazing out the window of a Market Street café. His bright brown eyes track pedestrians and take in traffic before resting on a steaming cup of black coffee — the sixth that he has had. Ever.

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Manos Nouveau: A Handcrafted Experie
Manos Nouveau: A Handcrafted Experie

Roughly translated as “new and inventive hands,” Manos Nouveau is a restaurant that lives up to its name. An upscale space with black-clothed tables, a candle-lit ambiance and an intimate feel, it isn’t a location for dinner on the go. Think of it as more of a gallery for the senses...

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Myth of Mezcal
Myth of Mezcal

"The dark eras are for transforming, no?" Santiago Suarez says. We're in a third-floor room of Anchor Brewing, comparing San Francisco's boom with Mexico City's struggles.

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Artistic Adaptation
Artistic Adaptation

When she went to the hospital with split vision in 2004, medics told artist Michael-Che Swisher that there was a possibility of multiple sclerosis, a disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and body. "I didn't even know how to spell it," Swisher recalls.

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A Profile of Simplicity
A Profile of Simplicity

Char Orina is a thinker and an artist. She likes Tudor houses and big fat fish. She is fascinated with jewelry and collects bracelets and lipstick, though she rarely wears either. She takes her coffee black and in large quantities. She doesn't like gossip. She does like scary movies.

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All About the Game
All About the Game

For a man in his 70s, Alan Cupples is impressively active. "I get kidded by people who ask me 'What are you doing at your age playing ball?' And I say, 'What do you mean, I'm one of the young ones.'"

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The Cobra Experience
The Cobra Experience

As someone who doesn’t know the difference between a piston and a spark plug, I wasn’t sure what to expect at The Cobra Experience museum in Martinez. I was familiar with Mustangs and Jaguars, but not the Shelby Cobra, a rare sports car produced by Ford and Shelby American in the ’60s.

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Being Miss Chinatown
Being Miss Chinatown

Since 1958, San Francisco has played host to the Miss Chinatown U.S.A. pageant, which draws dozens of young women from Chinatowns across the country. Here, 2010 winner Crystal Lee (who was then earning a bachelor’s degree from Stanford and now works for Google) describes how it feels to win the competition.

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Wine Country Cocktails
Wine Country Cocktails

In one of the world’s premier wine regions, why might you order a cocktail? Well, a carefully crafted concoction rejuvenates a weary palate after a long day of wine tasting; a sexy twist on a classic provides the perfect vacation nightcap; and an interesting mix of the two can jump-start an evening out in the area’s growing nightlife scene.

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Technology and Intimacy
Technology and Intimacy

Smartphones and their apps follow us everywhere - to grocery stores, soccer games, school, the movie theater. We use them in our cars and at restaurants, for work and on vacation. With the ability to find friends online and take the Internet just about anywhere, is it possible that we are missing out on real connection with each other? Maybe even with ourselves?

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The Incredibles
The Incredibles

Smarter than the SAT and more powerful than a PH.D., these superpowered Philanthropists, athletes, and achievers are ready to conquer the world.

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Technology and Education
Technology and Education

Recent innovations in educational technology are changing the face of traditional classrooms. "In the last decade, especially in the last five years, I've seen more and more technology used," said Raina León, assistant professor in the Kalmanovitz School of Education at Saint Mary's College. "I'm a huge proponent of using a lot of resources."

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The No Guilt Book Club
The No Guilt Book Club

The No Guilt Book Club began with a seed of hope planted back in 2004. In time the group grew, and today what started as a monthly book discussion has transformed into a loving community

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Pixar's Inside Out
Pixar's Inside Out

Seven signs that the local animation studio hasn't forgotten where it comes from.

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Lamorinda Nurseries Bring In Bees
Lamorinda Nurseries Bring In Bees

The buzz about bees is spreading through Lamorinda, most recently to local nurseries, resulting in a partnership that is beyond symbiotic.

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Oakland's Best Eats
Oakland's Best Eats

From expert: Dominica Rice-Cisneros, chef-owner of Cosecha.

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BART tour to Berkeley
BART tour to Berkeley
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Berry Bowls Come to Lafayette
Berry Bowls Come to Lafayette

It all started with one bitter little berry. Actually, with 200 bitter little berries that together form the base of an acai berry bowl - one of the latest trends in health food and the premier product of Vitality Bowls, a San Ramon-based chain of superfood cafés that will open over 30 new stores by the end of the year.

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Lafayette's Rancho Cantina
Lafayette's Rancho Cantina

Rancho Cantina takes Lamorindans back to the culinary roots of the region, blending the traditions, culture and recipes of Spanish conquistadors and Mexican rancheros, the original Californios, for an eating experience that is truly "autentico."

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Lafayette's Hideout Cafe
Lafayette's Hideout Cafe

"You know that space you walked into as a kid? The place you took all your favorite things and made into your own?" J.B. Balingit asks as he gestures over a plate of bright orange sweet potato fries. He sits across from me at a patio table outside of the Hideout Kitchen & Cafe on a Wednesday afternoon, the sun scarcely slipping through tree branches and umbrellas. "That's the sort of place I had in mind."

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The Happiest Hour Forge
The Happiest Hour Forge

There’s a beer for every moment and a bite for every palate during happy hour at Forge.

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The Happiest Hour A16
The Happiest Hour A16

With the introduction of a Napoli-inspired “aperitivo hour," this Oakland hotspot is spreading the amor all over the East Bay.

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East Bay Hike RoundUp
East Bay Hike RoundUp

Too much time minding monitors, swiping screens, and making calls? Need to get away without going very far? The East Bay offers more than cheaper apartments, pop-up breweries, and hella crowded commutes.

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Berkeley Hosts Lacuna
Berkeley Hosts Lacuna

What do you do with 50,000 books? Make a sculpture, of course.

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Tourist in Alameda
Tourist in Alameda

The island just off of Oakland can be easy to overlook—or dismiss. Sure, Alameda might have a different pace of life than Soma—but that's not a bad thing. Here, five ways to take it easy this weekend on the Bay Area's best approximation of Hawaii.

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