Photo by Chris Chabot

Resolutions can be so … well, last week. Let’s just resolve to make the most of every minute of 2013. 

Go Giants!

Spring training isn’t far away and fans have April 5 circled on their calendar when the San Francisco Giants meet the Cardinals for opening day of the 2013 season. In the meantime take a behind the scenes tour of AT&T Park, or head to the ballpark on Feb. 9 for the annual KNBR/Giants Winter Fanfest. And wait, wait there’s more. The World Championship Trophy will be visiting 80 West Coast communities between now and opening day, April 5. The 2012 trophy will also make stops in New York City, returning to the team’s roots, and Scottsdale, Arizona, the club’s spring training home.

Dine About Town

San Francisco reputedly has more restaurants per capita than any major U.S. city (Durango, CO with a population of 17,069 claims to have more restaurants per capita than any city). Still nobody holds a fork to San Francisco’s culinary scene. For starters Durango probably doesn’t have 20 Michelin starred restaurants. So it’s with great delight that diners greet the return of Dine About Town when more than 100 of the city’s top restaurants offer two-course lunches and three-course dinners at a significant savings. The popular dining promotion returns Jan. 15-31.

Happy Birthday, Jack!

If you walk down Third Street towards AT&T Park, there’s a small plaque at 615 Third St. denoting the birthplace of the famous author Jack London. London was born on Jan. 12, 1876. His actual home was destroyed by fire in the 1906 earthquake. One of America’s first “working class” writers, London wrote more than two books a year at the height of his career, many of them based on his experiences in Alaska panning for gold. London’s legacy lives on in Oakland’s Jack London Square (catch a ferry at the Ferry Building) and a state park north of San Francisco in Glen Ellen (Sonoma County). Not far from Benziger Family Winery, Jack London State Historic Park is home to London’s Beauty Ranch. 

Penguin Awareness Date

Can’t wait for the Black and White Ball? Maybe Penguin Awareness Day on Jan. 20 suits your color palette.  Thanks to our friends at Hallmark (who probably even printed a Happy Penguin Awareness Day card), we learn that penguin means “fat winged” one in Portuguese and they mate for life. Learn more about these dapper birds so well suited for the life aquatic at the California Academy of Sciences and the San Francisco Zoo. You can watch the Academy’s African penguins on a webcam or see the birds dip and dive at feeding times which are daily at 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. The San Francisco Zoo offers an early bird tour (now there’s a double entredre) on weekends only and feeding times for the colony of Magellanic penguins on Penguin Island near the Lion House are 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

America, What is Your Dream?

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” address, Dr. King will be honored at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) and a full day of events on Monday, Jan. 21, in Yerba Buena Gardens and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The annual MLK march and parade will include commemorative programs, music and wellness festivals in the Gardens, children’s programs and film screenings. Admission to MoAD will be free and festivities will extend from the sidewalk in front of MoAD to the interior of the Museum where Historically Black Colleges and Universities will have an information fair; in addition special films and art projects will be offered.

All That Jazz

Opening on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, Jan. 21, 2013, the $60 million, SFJAZZ Center, 201 Franklin St., will be launched with an open house of free events including tours highlighting the center’s special features (sign up now) and architecture. On Jan. 23 The First Concert (sold out), a one-time-only musical bonanza, will feature McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea, Esperanza Spalding, Joe Lovano, Joshua Redman, SFJAZZ Beacon Award winners Bobby Hutcherson, Mary Stallings, Rebecca Mauleon, SFJAZZ Collective, SFJAZZ Resident Artistic Directors, Master of Ceremonies Bill Cosby and many others. The celebration will continue with many of the same artists Jan. 23-26. The complete schedule for season one is posted on the website.

Pop-Ups, Pinnipeds and Pooches

Alliteration can be too much of a good thing, don’t you agree? But such fun. While the Exploratorium prepares to open at Pier 15 on April 17, they’re staffing pop-up stations all over town from Ghirardelli Square to the Ferry Plaza; explainers will tweet locations all through January at http://twitter.com/theexplainers. Pinnipeds, which most of us just call seals, will get their fish wishes fulfilled when Pier 39 marks the 23rd anniversary of their first haul-in Jan. 18-21. Free walking tours start from the sea lion statue, complimentary refreshments (following tour) and special discounts will be available for tour takers. Pooch is an affectionate word for canines of which there will be plenty at the Golden Gate Kennel Club All-Breed Dog Show Jan. 26-27 at the Cow Palace.  From Afghan Hounds to Yorkshire Terriers, more than 130 breeds are eligible for the show.

Oh, Those Magnificent Magnolias

From now through March Golden Gate Park’s San Francisco Botanical Garden will be home to one of the city’s most breathtaking flora spectacles as more than 100 rare and historic magnolias erupt in a fragrant riot of pink and white. Tours, moonlight walks, special programs and family activities celebrate the garden’s magnificent collection, considered the most significant for conservation purposes outside of China. There’s even a winter magnolia mixology class offered on Jan. 31 by Master Mixologist H. Joseph Ehrmann.

Oh, Drat!

Just a reminder drivers. Sunday meter enforcement started Sunday, Jan. 6. All parking meters will operate on a seven-day-a-week basis.  Sunday meters will operate from noon to 6 p.m. throughout the city, except at Fisherman’s Wharf. Meters at the Fisherman’s Wharf will continue to operate Monday to Sunday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. All meters will have at least four-hour time limits on Sunday. Hint: it may be easier and more cost-effective to park in public garages.