Is there a vegetarian in the whole wide world who doesn't own stained and splattered copies of Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook and The Enchanted Broccoli Forest? Back in 1977, when most Americans regarded meat-shunners as anemic nibblers of lettuce and granola, Katzen revolutionized flesh-free cooking with the hearty and epicurean recipes in the Moosewood Cookbook. If you were around to compare her mouthwatering chili or eggplant curry with the salt-free, brown-rice-laden swill that passed for vegetarian grub at the time, you'd be among the many herbivores singing her praises, too.
While other faddish cookbooks have come and gone, Katzen's classics remain in print, now looking sweetly retro thanks to the author's line drawings and handwritten recipes. Tell her you still use 'em this week as the chef dishes on her life in the kitchen at the monthly "Wild Writing Women Literary Salon," starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Monticello Inn, 127 Ellis (at Powell), S.F. Admission is free; call 392-8800 or visit www.wildwritingwomen.com. -- Joyce Slaton
You know how reality TV isn't real? Each shot appears exactly as the producers want it to, as they use common images to illustrate their particular visions. Well, representational painting works the same way. For the landscapes in "San Francisco Cityscapes" this is especially true. These artists present the most mundane things -- streets, houses, skyscrapers, cars -- but the results are slightly warped, somehow changed, or rendered so hyperrealistically that the viewer sees something new in otherwise familiar scenery. All of it looks like intelligent, gorgeous, high-grade stuff, too -- unlike reality TV, which has yet to make a worthwhile contribution, for all its manipulation. See "Cityscapes" through Sept. 24 at the Newmark Gallery, 251 Post, No. 412, S.F. Admission is free; call 392-3692 or visit www.newmarkgallery.com. -- Hiya Swanhuyser
Card Sharks Gaming Carnage
Let Athens have its Olympics. Because this year our town is home to an international competition that's every bit as nail-bitingly intense. I'm speaking, of course, of Magic: The Gathering World Championship, the annual blitzkrieg featuring the spellbinding spectacle of great warriors from 55 countries fighting pretend battles with playing cards. Hey, it beats Celebrity Poker Showdown, right? The warfare begins at 9 a.m. on Wednesday (and runs through Sunday) at Fort Mason's Festival Pavilion, Marina & Buchanan, S.F. Watching is free, and competing costs $20-25 per match; call (425) 254-2941 or visit www.magicthegathering.com. -- Joyce Slaton