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Picks of the week: Getting weird

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JUNE 21, 2016

Weird: interesting, unique, out of the ordinary

Oh, Berkeley: a haven for the weird and wonderful. Whether you like A$AP Ferg or Alabama Shakes, Dickens or David Foster Wallace, “Pulp Fiction” or “Pan’s Labyrinth” — you can find a home here. Berkeley is not a school for cookie-cutter students: We’re individuals, and we’re proud of it (no wonder Bay Area denizens affectionately refer to our city as “Berzerkeley”). Embrace the weirdness that brought you to the Bay with a week of celebrating individuality in every form. Let your freak flag fly!

Tuesday: Stinky Cheese Club at Bender’s Bar and Grill

Gourmands, humble foodies and hipsters alike will drool at the prospect of tasty cheese and free brews. The Stinky Cheese Club meets at this neighborhood bar on the third Tuesday of every month to share good company and even greater food. Bring a nice cheese with you (“something impressive, not just the cheapest thing you got at Safeway,” the website asks) and receive a free PBR or well drink. Just don’t forget to pack some breath mints in your bag.

Anytime: Camera Obscura and Holograph Collection, The Cliff House

Grab your selfie stick and head out to Camera Obscura, a museum that features a huge working camera. Built in the 1940s, this structure makes use of the ancient technique of camera obscura photography, projecting a 360-degree image of the surrounding area (including the famous Seal Rocks) onto a 6-foot focusing table. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2001, the museum also contains a small collection of holograms. Make the most of your adventure and go about sunset — the views will be phenomenal.

Anytime: “WILD Flowers” Collection at the San Francisco Botanical Garden

Take a cue from Missy Elliott and get your freak on with the WILD Flowers exhibit at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Between April and August, the Botanical Garden — home to more than 8,000 varieties of plants — experiences its largest bloom, attracting pollinators (and the populace!) to bask in the beauty of its rolling fields of flowers. The garden benefited from what little rain the Bay Area received this past winter, and flowers from California and around the globe are flourishing. Admission is free to San Francisco residents!

Sunday: SF Pride in downtown San Francisco

In June 2015, San Francisco was awash with rainbows after the United States Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in the landmark case Obergefell v. Hodges. This year, the city has again raised its pride flags, but for a radically different reason — in mourning for the 49 lives lost in the Orlando nightclub shooting. Join San Francisco in what will likely be a bittersweet (but still joyous) celebration of the 46th annual SF Pride on Sunday. The parade, which runs down Market Street from the Financial District to the Civic Center, starts at 10:30 a.m. Keep your eyes peeled for some of the more famous parade contingents, including Dykes on Bikes and the leather pride contingent. After the parade, make your way to Civic Center Plaza to spend an afternoon or night with one of the largest celebrations of LGBTQ+ pride in the nation. Pride welcomes everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity; stop by and bask in the love!

Contact Sarah Coduto at [email protected].

JUNE 21, 2016