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Fun, Free, Cheap: What to Do in San Francisco This Week

By Johnny Funcheap

Special for examiner

The Cliff House Moving Image Gallery

After the 157-year-old Cliff House closed in 2020, the historic restaurant’s gift shop was transformed into a pop-up museum featuring vintage photographs, memorabilia and artifacts telling the story of the building and its surroundings. Now the story continues after the museum closes for the day. Every sunset, the exterior windows of the Cliff House transform into a canvas featuring a montage of historic photos (including amateur snapshots), home movies and commercial B-rolls of the Cliff House, Sutro Baths and Playland at the Beach. Screenings change monthly with the next set of images and films beginning March 12. Museum open Thursday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. until mid-April. Free. Screenings nightly through April 8, 5-10 p.m., The Cliff House, 1090 Point Lobos Ave., SF Free.

(Courtesy of Portsmouth Square Garage)

2 hours of free parking in Chinatown

When the pandemic hit, businesses in Chinatown were hit hard, with many tourists and locals staying away. Two years later, the city of San Francisco aims to bring more people back and uses free parking as a lure. To that end, the Portsmouth Square Garage, a short walk from many shops, bars and restaurants, is offering two hours of free parking during the rest of February with virtually no restrictions other than the garage opening at 5 a.m. morning hours and closes at midnight. . Until February 28, 2022, Portsmouth Square Garage, 733 Kearny St., SF First two hours of parking free (regular rates apply after two hours).

(Courtesy of Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival)

(Courtesy of Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival)

Free concerts Happy Hour Noise Pop

The curators of San Francisco’s annual Noise Pop Music & Arts Festival have quite a track record in selecting bands that are on the verge of becoming stars. In the past, San Franciscans have seen The White Stripes, Death Cab for Cutie and The Shins on small Noise Pop stages before breaking through. This year, you can check out some of the latest hopeful bands from “I Saw Them Before They Got Huge” at a series of free happy hour gigs at Bender’s in the Mission every Tuesday-Saturday nights this week, plus a special SF Beer Week/Noise Pop mashup kicking off Beer Garden Concert on Sunday, February 20 at 2 p.m. at The Zeitgeist. Sunday, Feb. 20, 2 p.m., Zeitgeist, 199 Valencia St., SF, Free with RSVP. Tuesday-Saturday, Feb. 22-26, 5:00 p.m., Bender’s Bar and Grill, 806 S. Van Ness Ave., SF, free with RSVP.

(Courtesy of Union Square Alliance)

(Courtesy of Union Square Alliance)

Ding! Ding! A cable car appreciation event

Tourism spending may not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2025, according to the San Francisco Travel Association. So while visitors are away, locals are encouraged to “play tourist for the day” and support locals. bars and restaurants. along the cable car route who generally rely heavily on outsiders for their survival. On February 26, start at John’s Grill, Union Square’s legacy restaurant, for music, drinks and bites. Then flash your RSVP to skip the line and hop on the next available cable car over the hill to meet at the Buena Vista for a band ‘cheers’ with Irish coffee. Just note that there are no freebies here. It’s all about spending money! — food, drinks and cable car rides. Saturday, Feb. 26, 3-5 p.m., meet at John’s Grill, 63 Ellis, SF, food, beverages, and cable car tickets ($8) for purchase but RSVP for priority access to the cable car and drink specials from food/drinks.

(Courtesy of MoAD)

(Courtesy of MoAD)

SFJAZZ Black History Month Celebration Concert with Martin Luther McCoy

Celebrating both Black History Month and the closing of two exhibitions, the Museum of African Diaspora (MoAD) is hosting a special SFJAZZ multimedia presentation and performance with Martin Luther McCoy, who has achieved international acclaim for his extensive work with The Roots. At this contemporary art museum that celebrates black cultures, it’s your last weekend to see art exhibits”Amoako Boafo: the soul of black people” and “Billie Zangewa: Thread for a Web Begins.” The evening’s soundtrack is provided by McCoy, who will pair his blues-infused R&B and storytelling with reused found film footage as the backdrop. Saturday, Feb. 26, 4-5 p.m., MoAD, 685 Mission St., SF, Free with museum admission ($12 general, $6 student/senior, Up to four people free with EBT card),

To visit for a handpicked list of fun, free, and cheap things to do in San Francisco.