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Dear Everybuggy 

Cricket's big 3-0

WED 11/5

In 1973, Marianne Carus was deep into the world of editing children's books when she had a hunch. Some research proved her speculation correct: No children's magazines offered original stories, not a single one. Realizing that she was in the right place at the right time, she resolved to start a smart, funny, ad-free publication for tykes, and Cricket was born.

At "Celebrate Cricket: 30 Years of Stories and Art," Carus and friends discuss, through the book of the same name, the magazine's growth and the obstacles it has overcome: distributors who called the logo "black and ugly" and New Yorkers who wondered whether a serious publication could emanate from (the cornfields of) Illinois. But the staff's optimism and commitment to turning out quality reading for young people produced a smashing success. With respected contributors like T.S. Eliot, Nikki Giovanni, and Isaac Bashevis Singer, Cricket remains a dependable way to divert and stretch a growing mind. The discussion begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin (at Grove), S.F. Admission is free; call 557-4200 or visit
-- Hiya Swanhuyser

Sugar at Your Service

SUN 11/9

Sugar's more than a sweet tooth's best friend. Plain old granulated sucrose (and its close relative, honey) has been used since Roman times to disinfect and help heal wounds. Seems sugar, mixed with a sticky ingredient such as grease or a liquid antiseptic, draws out bacteria to help cuts, scrapes, bedsores, and other traumas get better faster. If you find this obscure fact fascinating, hotfoot it over to the Sweet Health Fair to learn about sugar's practical uses and related health issues. Through hands-on activities and demonstrations, candy-lovin' kids and adults can become versed in the way the body handles sugar, from the first taste of sweetness to digestion. One tip: After a long look into Bob's Mouth, that chocolate bar may not seem as appealing. The fair starts at 3 p.m. at the Lawrence Hall of Science, Centennial & Grizzly Peak, Berkeley. Admission is free-$8.50; call (510) 642-5132 or visit
-- Joyce Slaton

Very Illuminating
Join a Glowing Parade

SUN 11/9

With homelessness taking center stage in city politics, now is a perfect time for the San Francisco German School's Lanternfest. The century-old Teutonic tradition commemorates St. Martin, who gave his cape to a beggar on a bitter winter night, cementing his reputation as a bringer of loving warmth and light. The good Samaritan is celebrated each year by children who walk the streets carrying colored lanterns, singing songs, and enjoying refreshments. Get in on the brilliant holiday starting at 6 p.m. at West Portal Playground, 131 Lenox (at Taraval), S.F. Admission is free; call 586-9060 or visit
-- Jack Karp


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  • Nevada City and the South Yuba River: A gold country getaway

    Nestled in the green pine-covered hills of the Northern Sierra Nevada is the Gold Rush town of Nevada City. Beautiful Victorian houses line the streets, keeping the old-time charm alive, and a vibrant downtown is home to world-class art, theater and music. The nearby South Yuba River State Park is known for its emerald swimming holes during the summer and radiant leaf colors during autumn. These days the gold panning is more for tourists than prospectors, but the gold miner spirit is still in the air.

    South Yuba River State Park and Swimming Holes:
    The park runs along and below 20 miles of the South Yuba River, offering hiking, mountain biking, gold panning and swimming. The Highway 49 bridge swimming hole is seven-miles northwest of Nevada City where Highway 49 crosses the South Yuba River. Parking is readily available and it is a short, steep hike to a stunning swimming hole beneath a footbridge. For the more intrepid, trails extend along the river with access to secluded swim spots. The Bridgeport swimming hole has calm waters and a sandy beach -- good for families and cookouts -- and is located 14 miles northwest of Nevada City. Be sure to write down directions before heading out, GPS may not be available. Most swimming holes on the South Yuba River are best from July to September, while winter and spring can bring dangerous rapids. Always know the current before jumping in!

    Downtown Nevada City
    The welcoming, walkable downtown of Nevada City is laid back, yet full of life. Start your day at the cozy South Pine Cafe (110 S Pine St.) with a lobster benedict or a spicy Jamaican tofu scramble. Then stroll the streets and stop into the shop Kitkitdizzi (423 Broad St.) for handcrafted goods unique to the region, vintage wears and local art “all with California gold rush swagger,” as stated by owners Carrie Hawthorne and Kira Westly. Surrounded by Gold Rush history, modern gold jewelry is made from locally found nuggets and is found at Utopian Stone Custom Jewelers (301 Broad St.). For a coffee shop with Victorian charm try The Curly Wolf (217 Broad St.), an espresso house and music venue with German pastries and light fare. A perfect way to cool down during the hot summer months can be found at Treats (110 York St.) , an artisan ice cream shop with flavors like pear ginger sorbet or vegan chai coconut. Nightlife is aplenty with music halls, alehouses or dive bars like the Mine Shaft Saloon (222 Broad St.).

    The Willo Steakhouse (16898 State Hwy 49, Nevada City)
    Along Highway 49, just west of Nevada City, is The Willo, a classic roadhouse and bar where you’re welcomed by the smell of steak and a dining room full of locals. In 1947 a Quonset hut (a semi-cylindrical building) was purchased from the US Army and transported to its current location, and opened as a bar, which became popular with lumberjacks and miners. The bar was passed down through the decades and a covered structure was added to enlarge the bar and create a dining area. The original Quonset beams are still visible in the bar and current owners Mike Byrne and Nancy Wilson keep the roadhouse tradition going with carefully aged New York steaks and house made ingredients. Pair your steak or fish with a local wine, such as the Rough and Ready Red, or bring your own for a small corkage fee. Check the website for specials, such as rib-eye on Fridays.

    Outside Inn (575 E Broad St.)
    A 16-room motel a short walk from downtown, each room features a unique décor, such as the Paddlers’ Suite or the Wildflower Room. A friendly staff and an office full of information about local trails, swimming and biking gets you started on your outdoor exploration. Amenities include an outdoor shower, a summer swimming pool and picnic tables and barbeques. Don’t miss the free vegetable cart just outside the motel in the mornings.

    Written and photographed by Beth LaBerge for the SF Weekly.

  • Arcade Fire at Shoreline
    Arcade Fire opened their US tour at Shoreline Amphitheater to a full house who was there in support of their album "Reflector," which was released last fall. Dan Deacon opened the show to a happily surprised early audience and got the crowd actively dancing and warmed up. DEVO was originally on the bill to support Arcade Fire but a kayak accident last week had sidelined lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh and the duration of the west coast leg of the tour. Win Butler did a homage to DEVO by performing Uncontrollable Urge.

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