There are few people who don't get at least a mild aesthetic palpitation when admiring the sleek styling and geometric lines of art deco. Unlike other design movements that have come and gone (fauvism, anyone?), deco continues to dazzle culture vultures all over the world. The Legion of Honor spotlights its current exhibit, "Art Deco, 1910-1939," with "Art Deco Fridays," a three-month series of weekly events so well-planned there's not a clinker in the bunch. Take this Friday's "Deco College Night," for example, which combines lectures from scholarly types (we're mincing and prancing about in anticipation of "The Androgynous Dandy: An Art Deco Icon") with live music from Le Jazz Hot and a minidisplay of works from SFSU students. Or May 28's "Martini Night," a paean to the gin-and-vermouth drink of the '20s, with a demo on how to make the perfect cocktail, a lesson on its origins, and music from the Martini Brothers Band and Mr. Rick's Martini Club.
Equally delicious are the film-themed nights, such as April 30's silent pictures tribute (watch out for era superstars like Busby Berkeley, Betty Boop, and Felix the Cat) and "Harlem Meets Hollywood," a May 21 examination of the Harlem Renaissance's influence on the movies.
Throw on your finest deco duds starting on April 23 (and continuing through July 2) and head to the Legion of Honor, 100 34th Ave. (at Clement), S.F. Events begin each week at 5:30 p.m. and are free with museum admission (free-$8); call 863-3330 or visit www.thinker.org.
-- Joyce Slaton
Homer Simpson says it best: "Mmmmm, beer." At the San Francisco Beer Festival, celebrate the oafish pleasures of the ancient beverage as well as its finer points. With the microbrew explosion has come a sophisticated school of connoisseurship. Anyone who's witnessed the enthusiasm of a home brewer can tell you of the pursuit's ups and downs ("Here, try my garlic-honey-basil stout!"). The festival features many such renegades, but organizers have also invited large companies (Anchor Brewing, Guinness) and medium-size ones (Thirsty Bear, Fat Tire). Drink up at 7 p.m. at the Fort Mason Festival Pavilion, Marina & Buchanan, S.F. Admission is $40-50; call 820-3905 or visit www.sfbeerfest.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Fancy photo equipment is cool and all, but the planners of Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day make a good point: Anyone's creative vision can be realized with a lightproof box, photosensitive material, and a pin. The WPPD's online gallery shows images created last year on the final Sunday in April, using only the abovementioned odds and ends, and the lyrical, low-tech results are amazing -- pictures dreamier and more personal than most folks would take with a regular film or digital camera. At this year's event, pinhole workshops, a camera obscura lesson, and more starts at 10 a.m. at the S.F. Photography Center, 50 Scott (at Lloyd), S.F. Admission is free; call 554-9522 or visit www.pinholeday.org.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Gifted with taut physiques, stunning powers, and groovy costumes, superheroes are the ultimate role models for blah nobodies. Discover your inner Wonder Woman at "The Super Hero Team Up of the Century," a literary event with something special -- makeovers that transform attendees from duds to daredevils. Stick around after your metamorphosis to hear local writer Trina Robbins read from her spooky Tender Murderers: Women Who Kill, as well as anecdotes culled from the wacky-chick anthology Girls Who Bite Back: Witches, Mutants, Slayers and Freaks. Don your cape starting at 7:30 p.m. at Modern Times Bookstore, 888 Valencia (at 20th Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 282-9246 or visit www.mtbs.com.
-- Joyce Slaton