Good day for Oct. 29, 2009

Who’s in town

Sitar master Ravi Shankar, appearing with upcoming sitar star Anoushka Shankar, performs at the San Francisco Jazz Festival. [7:30 p.m., Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]
 
 
Lectures

Esther Brimmer:
The U.S. assistant secretary of state for international organizations discusses the Obama administration’s approach to revitalizing multilateral diplomacy. [6 p.m., World Affairs Council, 312 Sutter St., S.F.]

Alternative families:
The San Francisco Human Rights Commission hosts “Beyond Marriage,” a public forum exploring how to recognize alternative-family kinships. [6 p.m., LGBT Community Center, 1800 Market St., S.F.]
 

Literary events

Michael Chabon: The Pulitzer Prize–winning author talks about “Manhood for Amateurs.” [7:30 p.m., Kepler’s Books and Magazines, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park]

Ying Chang Compestine: The fiction writer and cookbook author talks about “A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts.” [7 p.m., Books Inc., 601 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

At the colleges

Ned Sublette:
The musician and writer reads from “The Year Before the Flood” and performs songs. [3:30 p.m., SFSU, Poetry Center, Humanities 512, 1600 Holloway Ave., S.F.]
 

At the public library

Centennial celebration:
Park Branch festivities include live music and a slide show. [6 to 8 p.m., 1833 Page St., S.F.]

‘Halloween Preschool Storytime’: Program features stories and songs for ages 3 to 5. [10:30 a.m., Sunset Branch, 1305 18th Ave., S.F.]
 

Local activities

French film series: French Cinema Now, a series presented by the San Francisco Film Society, opens. Director Riad Sattouf’s debut film, “The French Kissers,” leads things off. [7 p.m., Clay Theatre, 2261 Fillmore St., S.F.]
 
Spooky science: The Academy of Sciences hosts “Nightlife.” This week’s gathering features musician-DJ Carmen Rizzo and “Scary Specimens” — skulls, spiders, scorpions, and more. [6 to 10 p.m., Golden Gate Park, S.F.]
 
Human spirits: Traditional altars and contemporary installations are on view in “Altars for the Spirits — Offerings for the Living,” SOMArts Cultural Center’s 2009 Day of the Dead exhibit. [Noon to 7 p.m., 934 Brannan St., S.F.]

Dining out

RNM: Chef Justine Miner’s special of the day is duck confit. It is served on butternut squash risotto with pomegranate gastrique and brussels sprout leaves. [598 Haight St., S.F.; (415) 551-7900]

 

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