Top Stories

Top Stories


Our annual Guardian Outstanding Local Discovery Awards celebrate local artists, filmmakers, musicians, and other essential cultural movers and shakers


GOLDIES With Obama's re-election dominating the news, and the 24th annual Guardian Outstanding Local Discovery Awards — or Goldies — dominating this week's issue, I'm reminded of the 2004 Goldies celebration, a muted affair held just days after George W. Bush was re-elected. Way to wreck our shindig, George. Fortunately, the mood is decidedly happier in 2012. In this issue, we honor local musicians, filmmakers, dancers, and theater and visual artists — all of whom are currently making creative, inspiring contributions to the Bay Area's arts scene. Read more »

San Francisco Stories: The literary life

On our 46th anniversary, we tell tales of the city


A few months before I graduated from college, a group of Distinguished Literary Figures came to my Fancy Eastern University and gave a special seminar on careers in literature. At least 150 of my classmates showed up in their $80 Frye boots and their shirts with the alligators on them and the attitudes they'd carefully honed during a life in which things pretty much went their way.Read more »


Best Burrito, Best Drag Queen, Best Dentist, Best Street Fair .... more than 300 winners show the diversity and awesomeness of the Bay Area in our annual celebration.



By Marke B.

Welcome to the Guardian's Best of the Bay 2012!

This is our 38th annual celebration of the people, places, and things that make living here such a great experience. Inside, you'll find a feast of winners in categories like Best Burrito, Best Band, Best Strip Club, Best Shoe Store, Best Place to Watch the Sunset, Best Drag Queen, and beyond.Read more »


Our 38th annual survey of Northern California naked fun in the sun


Editors Note: Below you'll find our annual update on the state of nude beaches in the Bay Area, along with detailed guides and directions to several of our favorites. For details on dozens more, please see our complete Nude Beaches Guide, which we are in the process of updating.  Read more »

The malling of San Francisco

National chain stores are flooding into a city that once led the nation in protecting neighborhood businesses and setting limits on commercial spaces


Shopping malls filled with national chain stores and restaurants are in many respects the antithesis of San Francisco. They're the bane of any metropolis that strives to be unique and authentic. And those just happen to be qualities that make tourism this city's number one industry.Read more »

Bands on the Rise 2012

Moombahton mavens, doom metal masters, post-apocalyptic art wavers: 12 local music acts you need to know this year


MUSIC There's no underlying theme running through the 12 acts profiled here other than geographic: they all reside somewhere in the Bay Area. Well, that and we think they'll break huge this year. Or at least, deserve a larger audience in 2012. It's not based on buzz or hype, I can assure you of that. It's about their artistic output, innovation, and listenability, the grand scheme of the band's lifespan (just how many EPs did they record?), and the current cultural zeitgeist as we see it.Read more »

Summer fairs and festivals

Get ready for the solstice with our guide to summertime fun 



Young At Art Festival de Young Museum, Golden Gate Park, SF. (415) 695-2441, Through May 22, free. The creative achievements of our city's youth are celebrated in this eight day event curated and hosted by the de Young Museum.Read more »

Summer movie madness!

Blockbusters, indie picks, festivals, and more


'Tis the season for big, loud, making-zillions-opening-weekend-then-dropping-off-into-oblivion fare. Summer 2010 was one of the shittiest in years (Iron Man 2, we hardly knew ye). Summer 2011 has the usual array of superhero sequels and remakes, but there are a few seemingly bright spots on the blockbuster schedule. And if giant robots aren't your thing, there's plenty more in store beyond the multiplex. All release dates are subject to change.Read more »

Sounds of summer

Concert and music festival highlights from air guitar to Woodsist this season 


 Live music in the Bay Area this summer is bracketed by festivals, from the lowercase indoor venue indie pop of the San Francisco Pop Fest on Memorial Day weekend to the outdoor mid-August convergence of Outside Lands. The guide below aims to name some highlights from a wide variety of genres, with an emphasis on rare and first-time appearances in the Bay Area. 


MAY 25-29 Read more »

Rolling recreation

Three carfree dog days adventures


SUMMER GUIDE "We definitely try to de-emphasize Iron Man trips," says Justin Eichenlaub, author of Post-Car Adventuring, the eminently usable guide to low carbon camping, hiking, and cruising trips around the Bay Area, Although Eichenlaub and coauthor Kelly Gregory want to include all fitness levels in the fun, make no mistake — they're hardcore.Read more »