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We live in a great city for art and culture, but it’s hard to keep up. So much to do, so little time. That’s why we’ve whittled this fall’s happenings down to a list of the 26 things you shouldn’t miss. Get your ticket-clicking fingers ready.

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1. Listen up, film fans: You have only got a few more weeks to process the 900-plus-piece collection from Stanley Kubrick?s London estate. Go deep into the director?s mind-set by poring over handwritten notes on The Shining?s original script and marveling over props like the Korova Milk Bar statues from A Clockwork Orange. (Through October 30 at the Contemporary Jewish Museum.)

2. See which celebs show up on the red carpet at this year?s Mill Valley Film Festival (through October 16). Ewan McGregor, we?ve got our eyes on you.

3. Abbi Jacobson of Broad City fame takes on San Francisco at this City Arts & Lectures conversation on October 29. Cross your fingers for day-of cancellations to score yourself a ticket.

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Eric Madeja/California Academy of Sciences

4. Check out jaw-dropping nature photography by Cal Academy’s BigPicture winners through October 30.

5. Be part of the conversation at “Oakland, I want you to know…”, a timely exhibit that takes a visual approach to what’s happening throughout the Bay Area. (Through October 30 at the Oakland Museum of California.)

6. Starting November 5, New York icon Frank Stella will get his much-deserved retrospective at the De Young. We bet his trademark colored shapes will take center stage.

7. Bookworms can geek out over Emma Cline, Pulitzer Prize-winning Jane Smiley and Michael Krasny (swoon) at this year’s Litquake festival (through October 15).

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Cowboys and Boots

8. Dust off your cowboy boots and get your taste buds ready for tri-tip sandwiches in time for the Grand National Rodeo at Cow Palace (October 14 to 22).

9. Not all street fairs are created equal (ahem, skip Haight Street’s). But the Potrero Hill Festival—with live music, street food and plenty of fun for the kids—on October 15 is one we get excited about.

10. This is the last year for the Treasure Island Music Festival (October 15 and 16) as we know it (RIP), so get your butt out there for Ice Cube and Sigur Rós.

Jewish Community Center

11. The Jewish Community Center gets hip this fall with the exhibit Skin Deep: The Art of Tattoo, which spans everything from the origins of this ancient tradition to the obsession today’s chefs have with their ink. (November 2 through January 20.)

12. Local artist Karii Rurup-Coleman wants you to create your own narrative for each drawing in her collection A Thousand Tiny Pieces, on view at 611 Hyde Gallery on October 22. Think of it like a Choose Your Own Adventure based on what you see.


13. Two words: Amy Schumer. She’ll be at Oracle Arena on October 20.

14. Hippie, punk, realist, surrealist—artist Bruce Conner fits right in here. Check out his breadth of work, from experimental film to conceptual works, at SFMOMA starting October 29.

15. We were on to something with pretty wine labels. Beyond the Pour II: The Creative Process at the Museum of Craft and Design (through January 22) looks at the artists (including Sol LeWitt) who have created labels for Imagery Estate Winery for the past 30 years.

San Francisco BBQ Festival

16. Get out the bibs and wet wipes. The second annual San Francisco BBQ Festival is coming to town on October 22.

17. Local artists all over the city invite you behind the scenes during this year?s Open Studios. That gives you four weekends to scoop up some new pieces for your burgeoning collection (October 15 to November 6).

18. Choreographer Alonzo King always has something spectacular up his sleeve for the LINES Ballet. We hear there?s a water backdrop that?s somehow synchronized to dance and music. You?ve got six chances (November 2 to 6) to see it for yourself before the troupe starts touring.

19. Eat your face off at the James Beard Foundation?s Taste America event on November 4 and 5.


20. Darren Criss (yes, of Glee fame) is killing it in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Get $40 rush tickets through the TodayTix app before the show ends on October 30.

21. Sixteen artists address the implications of government surveillance, forced migration and war in Home Land Security, a multi-venue exhibit in the Presidio by the FOR-SITE Foundation (through December 18).

22. We know Anthony Bourdain loves to visit San Francisco’s dives and fine-dining spots, but this time he takes the stage at the War Memorial Opera House on November 16 for The Hunger tour. You can still score tix on StubHub.

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23. He may be 68, but we still swoon over anything Mikhail Baryshnikov does. See him in a haunting performance in Letter to a Man (November 10 to 13).

24. Need to gear up for ski season? Then don’t miss this year’s SnowBomb (November 5 and 6) at Fort Mason Center, where they’ll even be giving away free lift tickets.

25. All the men in your life will thank you for inviting them to the San Francisco International Auto Show (November 19 to 27), but here’s what’s in it for you: The chance to find out what those self-driving cars are all about.

26. Earn your Thanksgiving feast by signing up for a morning Turkey Trot through Golden Gate Park on November 24. (We’ll take a second slice of pumpkin pie, thank you very much.)

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