San Francisco Events

POSTPONED: Brad Balukjian - The Wax Pack: On the Open Road in Search of Baseball's Afterlife (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Sunday, April 5, 2020 - 3:00pm

Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. For updates on this event and for additional event information, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

Is there life after baseball? Starting from this simple question, The Wax Pack ends up with something much bigger and unexpected—a meditation on the loss of innocence and the gift of impermanence, for both Brad Balukjian and the former ballplayers he tracked down. To get a truly random sample of players, Balukjian followed this wildly absurd but fun-as-hell premise: he took a single pack of baseball cards from 1986 (the first year he collected cards), opened it, chewed the nearly thirty-year-old gum inside, gagged, and then embarked on a quest to find all the players in the pack. Absurd, maybe, but true. He took this trip solo in the summer of 2015, spanning 11,341 miles through thirty states in forty-eight days.

Balukjian actively engaged with his subjects—taking a hitting lesson from Rance Mulliniks, watching kung fu movies with Garry Templeton, and going to the zoo with Don Carman. In the process of finding all the players but one, he discovered an astonishing range of experiences and untold stories in their post-baseball lives, and he realized that we all have more in common with ballplayers than we think. While crisscrossing the country, Balukjian retraced his own past, reconnecting with lost loves and coming to terms with his lifelong battle with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Alternately elegiac and uplifting, The Wax Pack is part baseball nostalgia, part road trip travelogue, and all heart, a reminder that greatness is not found in the stats on the backs of baseball cards but in the personal stories of the men on the front of them.

Brad Balukjian is director of the Natural History and Sustainability Program and teaches biology at Merritt College in Oakland, California. He is also a freelance writer and has published articles in Rolling Stone, the Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, Slate, Discover, Smithsonian, Natural History, NOVA Next, and Islands.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

POSTPONED: Alka Joshi with Tom Barbash - The Henna Artist (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Wednesday, April 8, 2020 - 6:00pm

Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. For updates on this event and for additional event information, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

In conversation with Tom Barbash

Escaping from an arranged and abusive marriage, seventeen-year-old Lakshmi makes her way alone from her 1950s rural village to the vibrant pink city of Jaipur. There she becomes the henna artist—and confidante—most in demand to the wealthy women of the upper class. But trusted with the secrets of the wealthy, she can never reveal her own...

Known for her original designs and sage advice, Lakshmi must tread carefully to avoid the jealous gossips who could ruin her reputation and her livelihood. As she pursues her dream of an independent life, she is startled one day when she is confronted by her husband, who has tracked her down these many years later with a high-spirited young girl in tow—a sister Lakshmi never knew she had. Suddenly the caution that she has carefully cultivated as protection is threatened. Still she perseveres, applying her talents and lifting up those that surround her as she does.

Vivid and compelling in its portrait of one woman's struggle for fulfillment in a society pivoting between the traditional and the modern, The Henna Artist opens a door into a world that is at once lush and fascinating, stark and cruel.

Alka Joshi is a graduate of Stanford University and received her M.F.A. from the California College of the Arts. She has worked as an advertising copywriter, a marketing consultant, and an illustrator. Alka was born in India, in the state of Rajasthan. Her family came to the United States when she was nine, and she now lives on California's Monterey Peninsula with her husband and two misbehaving pups. The Henna Artist is her first novel. Visit her website and blog at thehennaartist.com.

Tom Barbash is the author of three books as well as numerous reviews, stories, essays, and articles for publications. His short story collection, Stay Up With Me, was nominated for the Folio Prize, and was picked as a Best Book of the Year by NPR and the San Francisco Chronicle, and was a San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller and a New York Times Editor’s Choice. His novel, The Last Good Chance, was awarded The California Book Award, was a Publishers Weekly and Anniston Star Best Book of the Year, and was short listed for the Great Lakes Book Prize and the Saroyan International Prize. His most recent book is The Dakota Winters.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

POSTPONED: Breanne Fahs with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz - Burn It Down! (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Friday, April 10, 2020 - 12:30pm

Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. For updates on this event and for additional event information, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

In coversation with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

In this landmark collection spanning three centuries and four waves of feminist activism and writing, Burn It Down! is a testament to what is possible when women are driven to the edge. The manifesto—raging and wanting, quarreling and provoking—has always played a central role in feminism, and it’s the angry, brash feminism we need now.

Collecting over seventy-five manifestos from around the world, Burn It Down! is a rallying cry and a call to action. Among this confrontational sisterhood, you’ll find

  • “Dyke Manifesto” by the Lesbian Avengers
  • “The Ax Tampax Poem Feministo” by the Bloodsisters Project
  • “The Manifesto of Apocalyptic Witchcraft” by Peter Grey
  • Simone de Beauvoir’s pro-abortion Manifesto of the 343
  • “Double Jeopardy: To Be Black and Female” by Frances M. Beal
  • “The Futurist Manifesto of Lust” by Valentine de Saint-Point
  • “Zapatista Women’s Revolutionary Laws”
  • “Riot Grrrl Manifesto” by Bikini Kill
  • “Anarchy and the Sex Question” by Emma Goldman

Breanne Fahs argues that we need manifestos in all their urgent rawness—their insistence that we have to act now, that we must face this, that the bleeding edge of rage and defiance ignites new and revolutionary possibilities is where new ideas are born.

Breanne Fahs is Professor of Women and Gender Studies at Arizona State University. She is the author of Performing Sex, Valerie Solanas, Out for Blood, and Firebrand Feminism, and co-editor of The Moral Panics of Sexuality and Transforming Contagion. She is the founder and director of the Feminist Research on Gender and Sexuality Group at Arizona State University, and also works as a clinical psychologist.

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is a historian, writer, and professor emeritus in Ethic Studies at California State University. She is the author or editor of fifteen books, including Roots of Resistance: A History of Land Tenure in New Mexico and the literary memoir trilogy: Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie; Outlaw Woman: A Memoir of the War Years, 1960-1975; and Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War, and her award winning 2014 book, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States. Her most recent book is Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment. Forthcoming is a book on the US claim to be “a nation of immigrants.”

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

POSTPONED: David G. Marwell - Mengele: Unmasking the "Angel of Death" (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Friday, April 10, 2020 - 6:00pm

Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. For updates on this event and for additional event information, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

Perhaps the most notorious war criminal of all time, Josef Mengele was the embodiment of bloodless efficiency and passionate devotion to a grotesque worldview. Aided by the role he has assumed in works of popular culture, Mengele has come to symbolize the Holocaust itself as well as the failure of justice that allowed countless Nazi murderers and their accomplices to escape justice. Whether as the demonic doctor who directed mass killings, or as the elusive fugitive who escaped capture, Mengele has loomed so large that even with conclusive proof, many refused to believe that he had died.

As chief of investigative research at the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations in the 1980s, David G. Marwell worked on the Mengele case, interviewing his victims, visiting the scenes of his crimes, and ultimately holding his bones in his hands. Drawing on his own experience as well as new scholarship and sources, Marwell examines in scrupulous detail Mengele’s life and career. He chronicles Mengele’s university studies, which led to two PhDs and a promising career as a scientist; his wartime service both in frontline combat and at Auschwitz, where his “selections” sent innumerable innocents to their deaths and his “scientific” pursuits—including his studies of twins and eye color—traumatized or killed countless more; and his postwar flight from Europe and refuge in South America.

Mengele describes the international search for the Nazi doctor in 1985 that ended in a cemetery in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and the dogged forensic investigation that produced overwhelming evidence that Mengele had died—but failed to convince those who, arguably, most wanted him dead. This is the riveting story of science without limits, escape without freedom, and resolution without justice.

David G. Marwell, former director of the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City, worked on the Mengele case at the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations in the 1980s. A historian who has served and led a number of government and nonprofit institutions, he lives in University Park, Maryland, with his wife.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

POSTPONED: Kazu Haga - Healing Resistance (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Tuesday, April 14, 2020 - 6:00pm

Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. For updates on this event and for additional event information, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

Nonviolence was once considered the highest form of activism and radical change. And yet its basic truth, its restorative power, has been forgotten. In Healing Resistance, leading trainer Kazu Haga blazingly reclaims the energy and assertiveness of nonviolent practice and shows that a principled approach to nonviolence is the way to transform not only unjust systems but broken relationships. With over 20 years of experience practicing and teaching Kingian Nonviolence, Haga offers us a practical approach to societal conflict first begun by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement, which has been developed into a fully workable, step-by-step training and deeply transformative philosophy (as utilized by the Women's March and Black Lives Matter movements). Kingian Nonviolence takes on the timely issues of endless protest and activist burnout, and presents tried-and-tested strategies for staying resilient, creating equity, and restoring peace.

Kazu Haga is the founder of East Point Peace Academy and one of the most experienced trainers in Kingian Nonviolence, a philosophy that comes out of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A leading voice nationally in various approaches to nonviolence, organizing and restorative justice, he works to empower incarcerated communities, youth, and activists to work for Beloved Community. Kazu Haga lives in Oakland, California.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

POSTPONED: Vish Chatterji - The Business Casual Yogi (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Wednesday, April 15, 2020 - 6:00pm

Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. For updates on this event and for additional event information, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

The Business Casual Yogi makes the practice and philosophy of yoga accessible to the modern professional. Yoga has long been embraced by the Western world for its physical, mental, and spiritual benefits—combining lifestyle philosophy with rewarding physical exercise for internal and external strength, focus, and calm. As yoga pervades mainstream society, its philosophies, frameworks, and techniques are proving increasingly relevant to the modern business world’s obsession with personal leadership development.

This practical guidebook provides accessible methods to leverage the yoga tradition as a tool to unlock one’s fullest creativity, leadership potential, and overall well-being. Filled with physical and mental exercises, personalized guides for diet and lifestyle, and tools such as meditation and breathing exercises, The Business Casual Yogi’s simple framework will help you attain greater happiness, balance, and success.

Vish Chatterji is an accomplished business leader turned executive coach with a twenty-year business track record spanning multiple industries. In parallel, he has studied and practiced yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda (mind-body medicine). Vish coaches business leaders, enabling them to cultivate more of their greatness at work. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Northwestern University and a master’s of business administration from the University of Michigan. Vish is a certified executive coach, yoga teacher, meditation instructor, and Vedic counselor and is a publicly elected board director for the Beach Cities Health District in California. He is a married father of three and loves to garden, bicycle, and fix things around the house!

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

POSTPONED: Ethan Sherwood Strauss - The Victory Machine (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Thursday, April 16, 2020 - 6:00pm

Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. For updates on this event and for additional event information, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

The Golden State Warriors are the envy of the modern NBA. Chasing their third consecutive championship, they have assembled an incredible wealth of athletic talent, lead the league in merchandise sales, and are planning to move into a glitzy new arena next season. Their owner, Joe Lacob, regularly hosts the top CEOs and influencers of Silicon Valley in his box, fashioning himself into one of the most powerful men in the world.

Yet inside the organization, there is considerably more strife. In this breakthrough work of reportage, star NBA reporter Ethan Sherwood Strauss investigates the team's culture, its financial ambitions and struggles, and the toll that being a super-team can take. In so doing, he not only rewrites the story of the Warriors, but reveals how the Darwinian business of NBA basketball really works.

Reconstructing the deals that lured Steph Curry away from Nike and Kevin Durant away from Oklahoma City, Strauss shows how the smallest mistakes can define success or failure for years. And, as he looks ahead to the 2020 season, Strauss ponders whether this organization can survive its own ambitions.

Written with great personality and remarkable breadth, The Victory Machine shows what it takes to win when you are constantly under siege.

Ethan Sherwood Strauss is a Golden State Warriors beat reporter for The Athletic. Before that, he held the same role for ESPN. He hosts a podcast, House of Strauss, and is a frequent guest on Slate's Hang Up and Listen sports podcast. His articles have appeared in numerous outlets including Slate, Salon, FiveThirtyEight, Huffington Post, and more. He has 97,700 twitter followers and counting.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

POSTPONED: Pamela Newkirk - Diversity, Inc. (San Francisco Ferry Building Store/Shack 15)

Thursday, April 16, 2020 - 6:30pm

Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. For updates on this event and for additional event information, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

Doors open at 6:30pm, event begins at 7:00pm • This event is being held in partnership with Shack 15. Please visit Book Passage's Ferry Building store to receive a free pass for the event and directions to Shack 15's location on the second floor of the Ferry Building.

Diversity has become the new buzzword, championed by elite institutions from academia to Hollywood to corporate America. In an effort to ensure their organizations represent the racial and ethnic makeup of the country, industry and foundation leaders have pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to commission studies, launch training sessions, and hire consultants and diversity czars. But is it working?

In Diversity, Inc., award-winning journalist Pamela Newkirk shines a bright light on the diversity industry, asking the tough questions about what has been effective—and why progress has been so slow. Newkirk highlights the rare success stories, sharing valuable lessons about how other industries can match those gains. But as she argues, despite decades of handwringing, costly initiatives, and uncomfortable conversations, organizations have, apart from a few exceptions, fallen far short of their goals.

Diversity, Inc. incisively shows the vast gap between the rhetoric of inclusivity and real achievements. If we are to deliver on the promise of true equality, we need to abandon ineffective, costly measures and commit ourselves to combatting enduring racial attitudes

Pamela Newkirk is an award-winning journalist and a professor of journalism at New York University who has written extensively about diversity in the news media and art world. She is the author of Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga, which won the NAACP Image Award, and Within the Veil: Black Journalists, White Media, which won the National Press Club Award for media criticism, as well as the editor of Letters from Black America. Newkirk's articles and reviews are regularly published in major media, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Guardian, The Nation, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. She lives in New York City.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

POSTPONED: Anne Evers Hitz - Lost Department Stores of San Francisco (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 3:00pm

Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. For updates on this event and for additional event information, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

In the late nineteenth century, San Francisco's merchant princes built grand stores for a booming city, each with its own niche. For the eager clientele, a trip downtown meant dressing up—hats, gloves and stockings required—and going to Blum's for Coffee Crunch cake or Townsend's for creamed spinach. The I. Magnin empire catered to a selective upper-class clientele, while middle-class shoppers loved the Emporium department store with its Bargain Basement and Santa for the kids. Gump's defined good taste, the City of Paris satisfied desires for anything French and edgy, youth-oriented Joseph Magnin ensnared the younger shoppers with the latest trends. Lost Department Stores of San Francisco looks back at the colorful personalities that created six major stores and defined shopping in San Francisco.

Anne Evers Hitz is a fifth-generation San Franciscan and a great-great-granddaughter of one of the Emporium department store's founders, F.W. Dohrmann. She is the author of Emporium Department Store and San Francisco's Ferry Building. A graduate of UC-Berkeley, Hitz is a writer, editor and project manager who has had her own communications consulting firm in San Francisco for more than twenty-five years. She is a guide for SF City Guides, a group of local volunteers who give free walking tours of San Francisco.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

POSTPONED: Emily Gould - Perfect Tunes (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 3:00pm

Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. For updates on this event and for additional event information, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

It’s the early days of the new millennium, and Laura has arrived in New York City’s East Village with the hopes of recording her first album. A songwriter with a one-of-a-kind talent, she’s just beginning to book gigs when she falls hard for Dylan, a troubled but magnetic musician whose star is on the rise. Their time together is stormy and short-lived—Dylan dies a few months into their relationship—but will reverberate for the rest of Laura’s life.

Flash forward fourteen years: Laura’s daughter, Marie, is asking ques­tions about the father she never knew, questions that Laura does not want to answer. Laura has built a quiet life that bears little resemblance to the one she envisioned when she left Ohio all those years ago, and she’s taken pains to close the door on what was and what might have been. But Marie won’t let her, and when she attempts to track down Dylan’s family, both mother and daughter are forced to confront the heartbreak at the root of their relationship.

Funny, wise, and utterly immersive, Perfect Tunes explores the fault lines between parents and children, and asks whether dreams deferred can ever be reclaimed.

Emily Gould is the author of the novel Friendship and the essay collection And the Heart Says Whatever. With Ruth Curry, she runs Emily Books, which publishes books by women as an imprint of Coffee House Press. She has written for the New York TimesNew YorkThe New YorkerBookforum, and many other publications. She lives in New York City with her family.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

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