May 1: Eating Cultures and other SF events 

Who’s in town

Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Jo Becker discusses “Forcing the Spring,” her new book about California’s struggle to overturn the ban on same-sex marriage. [7:30 p.m., Books Inc., 2275 Market St., S.F.]

Lectures

Michael Pollan: The author, journalist and activist gives a lecture titled “The Omnivore’s Solution: In Defense of Food.” [7:30 p.m., Nourse Theater, 275 Hayes St., S.F.]

Ecological intelligence: Speakers discuss whether the neuroscience of change and the role of emotion could be the missing links to reducing carbon pollution. [6 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Tony Berlant: The artist and collector of Navajo textiles discusses his experience with Native American art, offering insight into objects from the Thomas Weisel family collection. [1 p.m., de Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, Golden Gate Park, S.F.]

Literary events

Natalie Baszile: The debut novelist reads from “Queen Sugar.” [7 p.m., St. James Episcopal Church, 4620 California St., S.F.]

Poetry night: The “Thursdays at Readers” series holds a poetry reading with Carol Denney and Jack Hirschman. [6:30 p.m., Readers Bookstore, Building C, Fort Mason Center, Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street, S.F.]

At the colleges

Rose Troche: The film and TV director, whose credits include “Go Fish” and “The L Word,” gives a talk titled “20 Years a Gay.” [7 p.m., California College of the Arts, 1111 Eighth St., S.F.]

Treating cataracts: Artis Montague, an ophthalmologist, lectures on the diagnosis and treatment of cataracts. [3 p.m., Stanford Hospital Health Library, Hoover Pavilion, Suite 201, 211 Quarry Road, Palo Alto; RSVP: (650) 498-7826]

At the public library

Award nominees: Lambda Literary Award finalists read from their nominated work. The awards honor LGBT literature. [5 to 8 p.m., Main Library, Latino/Hispanic Room B, 100 Larkin St., S.F.]

Travel by foot: “One Step at a Time,” an exhibit of book covers about long- and short-distance walks, continues through May 31. [9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Main Library, General Collections, 100 Larkin St., S.F.]

Art reception

“Eating Cultures,” presented by Asian American Women Artists Association, opens with a reception. The exhibit contains art inspired by Asian-American food. [6 to 9 p.m. SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan S.F.]

Local activities

Bach night: The San Francisco Symphony presents “Bach — for the Soul,” a concert in which conductor Ton Koopman celebrates the music of two generations of Bach. [2 p.m., Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

Neighborhood fair: The NOW Panhandle Festival, in the Upper Haight neighborhood, runs through May 3. Games, agriculture workshops and a May Day dinner are on the slate. [11 a.m. onward, Ashbury and Fell streets, S.F.; www.nowsf.org]

Singer-songwriter: Pop and folk musician Eric Hutchinson performs to promote his latest album “Pure Fiction.” [8 p.m., Fillmore, 1805 Geary Blvd., S.F.]

The Plant Cafe Organic: For the month of May, the restaurant, partnering with natural food chef and author Pooja Mottl, features a kumquat and arugula salad, with walnuts and radicchio, topped with miso dressing. [Pier 3, #108, S.F., (415) 984-0437]

Films

Super Duper Alice Cooper: Vincent Furnier, the preacher’s son who struck fear into the hearts of parents when he appeared as bizarre rocker Alice Cooper, is profiled in this combination of documentary and rock opera. [7 and 9:30 p.m., Balboa Theatre, 3630 Balboa St., S.F.]

Playground Film Festival: Short films adapted from plays make up the two-program evening, which spotlights local filmmakers and writers. [6:45 and 8:15 p.m., Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St., S.F.]

Synesthesia Film Festival: Short films from around the world are featured in the monthly program, which aims to bring an eclectic mix of filmmakers together to share ideas and collaborate on projects. [7 p.m., Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St., S.F.]

Comedy

Stand-up show: Comedian Al Madrigal, whose TV credits include “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “About a Boy,” appears. [8 p.m., Cobb’s Comedy Club, 915 Columbus Ave., S.F.]

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