Sarah and Vinnie regular Scott Capurro headlines the Punch Line, and other Thursday activities 

Who’s in town
Lisa Anderson
, president of the American University in Cairo and a specialist on politics in the Middle East and North Africa, offers her perspective on the “Arab Spring.” [6 p.m., World Affairs Council, 312 Sutter St., S.F.]

Chris Carlsson: The director of Shaping San Francisco tells the story of the Mission Bay neighborhood and the would-be settlers, speculators and visionary planners it has attracted. [7:30 p.m., Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way, S.F.]

Renate Stendhal: The Gertrude Stein scholar and editor of “Gertrude Stein in Words and Pictures” discusses the artistic and personal relationship between Stein and Picasso. [6:30 p.m., SFMOMA, 151 Third St., S.F.]

Literary events
David Goldfield: The author and historian discusses “America Aflame: How the Civil War Created a Nation.” [Book Passage, 1 Ferry Plaza, S.F.]

Two novelists: Boyd Morrison (“Vault”) and April Smith (“White Shotgun”) discuss their books. [7 p.m., “M” is for Mystery, 86 E. Third Ave., San Mateo]

Jody Helfand: The poet talks about “Places Male and Female.” [7 p.m., Modern Times Bookstore, 2919 24th St., S.F.]

David Lindsey: The crime novelist (writing under the pseudonym Paul Harper) discusses “Pacific Heights.” [7 p.m., Books Inc., 3515 California St., S.F.]

Poetry and music: Poet H.D. Moe reads from his work. An open-mic session, featuring poets and musicians, follows. [7 to 10 p.m., Live Worms Gallery, 1345 Grant Ave., S.F.]

At the colleges
Opera concert: Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute presents “Riders to the Sea,” Ralph Vaughn Williams’ one-act opera, along with selected opera scenes. [8 p.m., San Francisco Conservatory of Music, 50 Oak St., S.F.]

At the public library

‘Little Explorers Petting Zoo’: The program offers kids of all ages a hands-on experience with a variety of farm animals. [2:30 to 4:30 p.m., Marina Branch, 1890 Chestnut St., S.F.]


Local activities
Jewish cinema: The 2011 San Francisco Jewish Film Festival begins. The evening includes a screening of “Mabul (The Flood),” a drama about an Israeli family. [6:30 p.m., Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., S.F.]

Urban jazz: San Francisco-based jazz-funk-soul quartet Times 4 performs at the Stanford Shopping Center. The concert is part of SFJazz’s Summerfest. [6 p.m., 180 El Camino Real, Palo Alto]


Dining out
Millennium: Chef Eric Tucker recommends the fried green tomatoes. The tomatoes have a cornmeal crust and are served with lovage remoulade and a bit of spicy nectarine salsa. Salads, main courses and desserts also are available. [580 Geary St., S.F., (415) 345-3900]

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Staff Report

Staff Report

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