As in other coastal cities, San Francisco's watery border provides both a physical boundary and an emotional touchstone. Locals depend on it to provide a sense of place and a rare, restorative slice of natural beauty in an urban setting. Now you can pay tribute to our damp environs at the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival, a weekend of documentaries that run the gamut from the cutesy (Flip Flotsam, about abandoned beach flip-flops) to the serious (Farming the Seas, San Rafael filmmaker Steve Cowan's contemplative take on aquaculture) to the inspirational (Heart of the Sea, a portrait of Hawaiian surfer Rell Sunn's losing battle with breast cancer).
The festival kicks off with a reception at 6 p.m. on Friday at the Maritime Museum, Fisherman's Wharf, Hyde & Bay, S.F.; it continues Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. at the Cowell Theater, Fort Mason, Marina & Buchanan, S.F. Admission is $6-50 (or $100-150 for passes); call 563-2427 or visit www.oceanfilmfest.org.
-- Joyce Slaton
Fast Shiny Toys
Blinded by the Chrome
If hot new "Rat Rods," performance motorcycle trikes, and restored '67 Caddies get your engine revving, then the San Francisco Rod, Custom, and Motorcycle Show is a worthy pit stop. The event includes hundreds of vehicles on display, not the least of which are Jay Leno's '55 Buick Roadmaster and Eric Clapton's custom '32 Ford rod coupe. There's even a swap meet, if you're looking to trade turbos with other coche connoisseurs. Put pedal to metal Friday at 3 p.m. at the Cow Palace, Geneva & Santos, S.F. Tickets are free-$15; visit www.rpprodinc.com.
-- Karen Macklin
Bay Area pro footballers make millions, but fans will tell you they haven't been earning it lately. Thankfully, a few local athletes karmically even the score at the East West Shrine Game. The annual contest, which brings together the best college players in the country, gives seven Northern California players and two Bay Area coaches a chance to shine before a hometown crowd. Proceeds support Shriners Hospitals for Children (which have garnered $14 million since the game's inception in 1925). It's bound to be a more exciting matchup than any the Niners played this season, and it's for a better cause than Terrell Owens' retirement fund. The rivalry kicks off at 11 a.m. at Pacific Bell Park, 24 Willie Mays Plaza (at Third and King streets), S.F. Admission is $15-50; call (510) 762-2277 or visit www.shrinegame.com.
-- Jack Karp