Mayor Ed Lee drops in on the Lower Haight for a bar crawl 


Barroom politics:
Mayor Ed Lee tells a joke to patrons at the Toronado, a popular bar in the Lower Haight, on Thursday. Tired of the political bickering, Lee skipped a mayoral candidate debate to “hang out with people.”


Miss New India

By Bharati Mukherjee ($25)

The Bay Area-based novelist explores how India is one of the world’s fastest-changing regions by placing protagonist Anjali Bose in the middle of the country’s modernizing evolution. The author appears at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at The Booksmith.


San Francisco Recreation and Park Department:
Volunteers are needed to do weeding, mulching and pruning work at Golden Gate Park’s Bunny Cove. [10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; McLaren Lodge, 501 Stanyan St., S.F.; RSVP:]


Opera in the grove
: The San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Opera Orchestra present arias and solos at the Stern Grove festival, the festival’s final concert of the season. [2 p.m., Sloat Boulevard and 19th Avenue, S.F.]

Outdoor theater: The San Francisco Mime Troupe presents its 2011 summer park show, “2012 — The Musical.” The satirical play takes on corporate arts funding. [2 p.m., Yerba Buena Gardens, 770 Mission St., S.F.]

Art sale: Sharon Art Studio hosts its summer sale, a fundraiser for the studio. Fare includes handcrafted ceramic pieces and metal and glass jewelry. [11 a.m. to 5 p.m., adjacent to Sharon Meadow, Golden Gate Park, S.F.]

Park band: The Golden Gate Park Band presents its weekly concert. Today’s program: a St. Stephen’s Day celebration with Hungarian music and dancing. [1 p.m., Music Concourse, Golden Gate Park, S.F.]

Outdoor jazz: Josh Klipp and the Klipptones perform in Union Square. Classic jazz is the group’s specialty. [2 to 4 p.m., Powell and Post streets, S.F.]

Botany class: The San Francisco Botanical Garden hosts “Ethnobotany of Asian Plants,” a class exploring Asian plants in terms of their folklore, history and everyday use. A sale of specimens follows. [10 a.m., SFBG, Golden Gate Park, S.F.]



Tomb sculptures:
“The Mourners” has opened at the Legion of Honor. Thirty-seven sculptures from the tomb of John the Fearless, second duke of Burgundy, are on view. [9:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. 100 34th Ave., S.F.]


AIDS benefit:
“Help Is on the Way XVII,” a star-packed concert and gala, benefits AIDS charities. Shirley Jones, Carole Cook, Paula West and David Burnham are among those on the bill. [5 p.m., Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

Literary arts

Author appearance:
Award-winning South African author Lauren Beukes talks about “Zoo City,” her hardboiled sci-fi thriller. [7 p.m., Borderlands Books, 866 Valencia St., S.F.]


Blues artist:
Grammy-nominated blues guitarist Duke Robillard performs at Biscuits and Blues. “Tales From the Tiki Lounge,” a tribute to guitarist Les Paul, is his latest album. [8 and 10 p.m., 401 Mason St., S.F.]


Botany class:
The San Francisco Botanical Garden hosts “Ethnobotany of Asian Plants,” a class exploring Asian plants in terms of their folklore, history and everyday use. A sale of specimens follows. [10 a.m., SFBG, Golden Gate Park, S.F.]


Local comedians:
It’s “S.F. Comedy Showcase” night at the Punch Line. Local comics take the stage. [8 p.m., Punch Line Comedy Club, 444 Battery St.]


Space is the place:
Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” screens at the Castro Theatre. Also on the bill: “2010: The Year We Make Contact,” director Peter Hyams’ sequel to “2001.” [429 Castro St., S.F.; (415) 621-6120]


Magic Flute:
The LaCavera family’s brunch menu features California and Italian cuisine. Dishes include eggs Benedict (English muffin, poached eggs and hollandaise, served with fruit, potatoes, and choice of ham, Florentine or smoked salmon); cinnamon and sugar beignets with lemon curd and sweetened whipped cream; and Hunters and Presidio scrambles. [10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 3673 Sacramento St., S.F.; (415) 922-1225]



Giants at Astros

11:05 a.m., Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

The Giants close out a long road trip today in Houston before heading back to S.F. for a 12-game homestand.


The San Diego Chargers and Dallas Cowboys square off in preseason action. [5 p.m., Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas, NBC (KNTV, Ch, 11)]

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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