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Obscura Day 2011

Celebrate all that is weird and wonderful about San Francisco on April 9th, an annual day of discovering oddities
By - posted 4/4/2011 No Comment

Celebrating all that is weird and wonderful, Obscura Day on April 9, 2011, is an international day in 103 cities during which unusual places full of local hidden lore open their doors including several in San Francisco and the Bay Area.

Find out about the wonderful books in the private Prelinger Library or hear the history of Mount Olympus, the geographical center of The City and more in a series of mostly free (or cheap) once-a-year events.

Obscura Day is sponsored by Atlas Obscura, a guide to the world’s wonders, curiosities, and esoterica created by an inquisitive team of travelers with a serious case of wanderlust.

Obscura Day 2011: Bay Area Highlights

Cocktails and Steampower at the Kinetic Steam Works
4 pm to 7 pm
Kinetic Steam Works, a Bay Area collective dedicated to steam powered machines, will be firing up their Victorian-era contraptions and talking about what makes steam power work, followed by a complimentary cocktail mixer provided by Hendrick’s Gin. Tickets are FREE but limited; get yours here.
– Kinetic Steam Works at 2525 Mandela Parkway in Oakland

Midday Trek to Mount Olympus, Geographic & History Center of SF
11 am to 1 pm
Once upon a time, Adolf Sutro’s grand statue “The Triumph of Light” stood at the Victorian geographic center of San Francisco known as Mout Olympus. The statue, like most of Sutro’s collection, has long since disappeared,but on Obscura Day, her memory will be celebrated with snacks and stories. FREE to come; no need to RSVP.
– Stairs leading up to Mt Olympus just East of 17th & Clayton Streets in Ashbury Heights

Private Tour of the Prelinger Library
10 am to 12 pm
Prelinger Library, a private library in San Francisco’s South of Market district, holds a large collection of visually rich, historically significant and amusingly outdated books, periodicals, maps, and print ephemera. Co-Founders Megan and Rick Prelinger will introduce the library and conduct a tour customized to Obscura Day visitors’ interests, and show some of the Library’s special collections not normally on public display. Tickets are FREE but limited; register here.
– Prelinger Library at 301 8th Street & Folsom in SoMa.

Missing City Cocktails at the Warfield Speakeasy
6 pm to 9 pm
To celebrate San Francisco’s Vaudeville history, we will be gathering for complimetary Hendrick’s cocktails, a little prohibition-era music, and sharing photos, maps, and stories highlighting San Francisco’s other missing wonders, from world’s fairs to racetracks and cemeteries to earthquake shacks. Event is FREE and right now there’s a waitlist to get it; click here to get on it.
– GAFFTA at the Warfield Theatre at 998 Market Street in Downtown SF.

Victorian Era By Candlelight
2:30 pm to 5 pm
Rancho San Antonio once covered 7 modern day cities, including all of Oakland and Berkeley. Today what’s left is the Peralta Hacienda Historical Park. Come for 45-min candlelit tours (one at 2:30 and one at 4 pm) and see things like the spot where a bull ring once stood—where bulls were made to fight bears. Plus tamales and sangria. FREE (the obscura website says tickets are $2 but the promoters of the Peralta told us it was actually free)
– Peralta Hacienda Historical Park at Coolidge Avenue & Hyde Street in Oakland.

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