When I traveled in Southeast Asia, even the smallest village had a night market. Natives and tourists strolled around, fondling plump mangos and ripe pineapples when not taking bites of local delicacies like stir-fried morning glory. But now I live in San Francisco, and besides not being able to find a decent Thai restaurant, by the time I roll out of bed to get to the farmers' market all the best fruits and vegetables are gone. Luckily, Ferry Plaza's Night Market starts today (and continues every Thursday) all summer long. Now I can ogle heirloom tomatoes, flirt with the cheese guys, and get to the buffalo burgers and chocolate-dipped strawberries before the other food geeks. Do a little night shopping from 4 to 8 at Market & Embarcadero, S.F. Admission is free; call 291-3276 or visit www.cuesa.org.
-- Jane Tunks
In high school I spent many an evening gazing up at the sky while listening to Pink Floyd's The Wall and Led Zeppelin IV. Any heavenly explosions I saw were just figments of a vivid imagination (or mind-altering substances). Now KFOG and its pyrotechnic choreographers make my teenage dreams come true with their annual KaBoom! show, a fireworks display set to classic rock. A live concert with the Wallflowers and the John Butler Trio starts at 4:30 p.m., and the rockets go off at 9 p.m. at Pier 30/32, Embarcadero & Brannan, S.F. Admission is free; call 817-5364 or visit www.kfog.com.
-- Jane Tunks
Happy hour for the saddle sore
Bike to Work Day is so wholesome. Apple-cheeked volunteers with the S.F. Bike Coalition offer participants healthy treats on every corner, and the camaraderie is off the charts.
Which is great, if you like that sort of thing. For some of us, though, riding a bicycle on the streets of San Francisco takes out more than a granola bar can replace: We're going to need a drink after this one. Proving that even the helmet-loving do-gooders of the SFBC accept our weakness, the group offers the Bike-Away-From-Work Cocktail Party. Snacks, gifts, and music soothe crankiness and sore muscles; maybe after a few libations we'll be ready to do it all again. The bike valet parking and the party start at 6 p.m. at 111 Minna Gallery, 111 Minna (at Second St.), S.F. Admission is free; call 431-2453 or visit www.sfbike.org.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser