Good day: Nov. 16, 2009

Who’s in town

Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato performs at the Herbst Theatre. [8 p.m., 401 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

Lectures

John Limbert: The Middle East expert and veteran U.S. diplomat shares his assessment of how to engage Iran. [6 p.m., World Affairs Council, 312 Sutter St., S.F.]

‘The Future of Books’: Experts discuss how publishing companies are keeping written media relevant in an overwhelmingly digital market. [6 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Literary events

Lori Ostlund: The local writer discusses “The Bigness of the World,” a story collection. [6 p.m., Books Inc., 601 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

Poetry night: Poets Andrena Zawinski and Rebecca Foust read from their work. An open-mike session follows. [7 p.m., Bird and Beckett Books and Records, 653 Chenery St., S.F.]

At the colleges

Marlene McCarty: The artist and commercial designer discusses her work. [7:30 p.m., San Francisco Art Institute, 800 Chestnut St., S.F.]

At the public library

Computer class: Session, for beginners, covers mouse and keyboard use, opening and closing applications, and basic concepts of the Internet. [6:30 p.m., Mission Branch, 300 Bartlett St., S.F.]

Parents for Public Schools: Parents talk about the elementary school enrollment process and about improving public schools in their communities. [7 p.m., Sunset Branch, 1305 18th Ave., S.F.]

Local activities

Chilean film: “The Maid,” a comedic drama from Chile about a live-in maid who engages in frantic acts to keep her post after extra help is hired, screens at the Embarcadero Center Cinema. [1 Embarcadero Center, S.F.]

Jazzy clarinets: Clarinet Thing — a chamber quartet consisting of jazz clarinetists Sheldon Brown, Beth Custer, Ben Goldberg and Harvey Wainapel — performs at Yoshi’s. [8 p.m., 1330 Fillmore St., S.F.]

Rough waters: “Adventures at Sea,” a guided tour of the ship Balclutha, looks at the lives of 19th-century sailors, with a focus on the treacherous Cape Horn passage. [2:15 p.m., Hyde Street Pier, north end of Hyde Street, S.F.]

Dining out

Midi: Chef Michelle Mah serves adaptations of popular brasserie classics with a California touch. Recommended today is the duck-leg confit. It’s served with caramelized Brussels sprouts, lemon confit, fingerling potatoes and huckleberry port sauce. [185 Sutter St., S.F., (415) 835-6400]
 

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