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What's New in San Francisco? - March/April

The official travel and visitors guide for San Francisco. Only In San Francisco can you find San Francisco hotel reservations, tours, flights, maps, popular shopping destinations, one-of-a-kinds sights and attractions and the best selection of Bay Area and San Francisco restaurants.



San Francisco Debuts Interactive Urban Food and Wine Weekend Aug. 6-9, 2009: ‘SF Chefs. Food. Wine.’
The Golden Gate Restaurant Association is producing a new four-day interactive urban food and wine weekend, Aug. 6-9, 2009 in San Francisco’s Union Square. “SF Chefs. Food. Wine.” will highlight the local talent, regional ingredients and Northern Californian flair during four days of tastings, classes, dinners and events. During the weekend, a tented tasting pavilion will be housed on historic Union Square, with culinary, wine and cocktail classes and events held at The Westin St. Francis, 335 Powell St. For information visit
Media contacts: Laiko Bahrs, 415-781-7766, or Caroline Rowe, 415-371-0243.


Two Years in the Making: New Outdoor Exploratorium Opened March 13, 2009
The new Outdoor Exploratorium that opened on March 13, 2009 features a collection of 20 brand-new outdoor interactive science exhibits and artworks at Fort Mason, along San Francisco’s breathtaking shoreline between Aquatic Park and the Marina District, not far from the Exploratorium’s home in the Palace of Fine Arts, 3601 Lyon St. Among the exhibits is Bridge Thermometer, in which the Golden Gate Bridge is transformed into an instrument that lets visitors measure changing temperature patterns. At the Tasting the Tides site, special low-flow drinking fountains emulate the salinity typical of water flowing from the Delta through San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean, and at Wind Arrows flags waving atop surrounding architecture translate into a giant wind observatory. The Outdoor Exploratorium project, forged through an Exploratorium partnership with Fort Mason Center and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, has been under development since September 2006. For information visit or call 415-EXP-LORE (397-5673).
Media contact: Leslie Patterson, 415-561-0377 .

‘Georgia O'Keeffe and Ansel Adams: Natural Affinities’: SFMOMA Unites Two Celebrated Artists May 30-Sept. 7, 2009
From May 30-Sept. 7, 2009, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) will present Georgia O'Keeffe and Ansel Adams: Natural Affinities,” an exhibition examining the relationship between the work of two of America's most celebrated artists, as well as the momentous period of American Modernism to which they both contributed. “Georgia O'Keeffe and Ansel Adams: Natural Affinitiesconsists of some 100 works by O'Keeffe and Adams and focuses on the parallels between their work. Among the O'Keeffe works on view will beBlack Mesa Landscape, New Mexico/Out Back of Marie's II (1930) and Ranchos Church No. 1 (1929), paintings that pair quite naturally with Adams' well-known landscape Winter Sunrise, the Sierra Nevada from Lone Pine, California (1944) and his Saint Francis Church, Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico (c. 1929). For information or call 415-357-4000.
Media contact: Libby Garrison, 415-357-4177.

Cartoon Art Museum ‘Watchmen’ Exhibit Offers In-Depth Look at Film Through July 19
The Cartoon Art Museum, 655 Mission St., is offering an in-depth look at one of the most critically acclaimed films of 2009 and the graphic novel that inspired it in its latest exhibition, “Watchmen.” The exhibition features dozens of concept illustrations, preparatory sketches and original comic book pages illustrated by Dave Gibbons, the co-creator and illustrator of the “Watchmen” graphic novel. Viewers are able to follow the creation of the “Watchmen” universe from Gibbons’ conceptual sketches through his completed artwork to the actual props used in the creation of the “Watchmen” motion picture, courtesy of the Warner Bros. Corporate Archives. A complex, multi-layered mystery adventure, “Watchmen is set in an alternate 1985 America in which costumed superheroes are part of the fabric of everyday society, and the “Doomsday Clock” – which charts the United States tension with the Soviet Union – moves closer to midnight. For information visit www.cartoonart.orgor call 415-CAR-TOON (227-8666).
Media contact: Andrew Farago, 415-227-8666, ext. 314 .


Academy Award-Winner Patty Duke Joins Cast of “Wicked” on March 24, 2009
Beginning March 24, 2009 Academy Award-winning actress Patty Duke will play the role of “Madame Morrible,” replacing Carol Kane who had always been scheduled for a limited engagement for the opening eight weeks of “Wicked’s” return home to San Francisco. Duke won an Oscar when she reprised her stage portrayal of Helen Keller in the 1962 film, “The Miracle Worker.” She starred in the hit “The Patty Duke Show” and also won three Emmys (10 nominations), two Golden Globes and a People's Choice Award. Tickets for “Wicked” are on sale for this open-ended engagement and range in price from $30 to $99. Tickets can be purchased online at and, through Ticketmaster Charge-By-Phone at 415-512-7770 and 800-982-2787, at all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers and at the Orpheum Theatre box office, 1192 Market St. Premium packages available. For more information, visit or
Media contact: Jennifer McVey, 415-551-2075, .

Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet Includes Return of ‘Signs and Wonders’ April 17-26, 2009
San Francisco-based Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet home season, April 17-26, 2009 will feature a world premiere work set to the music of Arcangelo Corelli and the return of King’s acclaimed work, “Signs and Wonders.” The season takes place at the Novellus Theater at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 700 Howard St. King’s celebrated “Signs and Wonders,” originally commissioned by Dance Theatre of Harlem, has since toured around the world to critical acclaim. In addition to the eight performances slated for this spring, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet’s home season also includes a free Family Day on Sunday, April 19, with activities for visitors of all ages prior to the matinee performance. For information visit Tickets are available at or call 415-978-2787.
Media contact: Mona Baroudi, 415-615-2735.

Yerba Buena Arts & Events Announces Line-Up for Free Yerba Buena Gardens Festival May 2-Oct. 31, 2009
More than 100 free events are cued up for the annual Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, May 2-Oct. 31, 2009. The festival kicks off on Saturday, May 2 with the thrilling Na Lei Hulu I Ka Wekiu, directed by Patrick Makuakane, in the Hawaiian dance company’s only full-length San Francisco appearance this year. The festival embraces a spectrum of cultural programming: music, theater, circus, dance and poetry. “In the light of our economic climate, I expect Yerba Buena Gardens Festival to be the very first stop for Bay Area audiences looking for top-quality cultural programs, all absolutely free of charge,” noted Linda Lucero, executive/artistic director. The festival will introduce a new series this season: Let’s Go Dance@Jessie!, a monthly open-air dance party in Jessie Square in front of the Contemporary Jewish Museum. Music In The Gardens 101; an expanded Children’s Garden, and Thursday Lunchtime Concert series are also scheduled. The festival also presents numerous Bay Area theater performances including the San Francisco Theater Festival on July 26 and the Tony Award-winning San Francisco Mime Troupe on Aug. 16. The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival hosts several annual cultural celebrations including Israel in the Gardens, June 7; Native Contemporary Arts Festival, June 21; Pistahan: Filipino American Arts Exposition, Aug. 8-9; Family Festival, Oct. 17, and Target Family Day, Oct. 18. Yerba Buena Gardens is located between Mission and Howard streets and Third and Fourth streets in downtown San Francisco. For information and details on all events visit or call 415-543-1718.
Media contact: Marshall Lamm, 510-928-1410.

San Francisco in September 2009

SHN will present the all-new production of the Lincoln Center Theater prize-winning musical classic Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific” at the Golden Gate Theatre, One Taylor St., in September 2009. “South Pacific” swept the 2007-2008 theater awards winning seven Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival as well as the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Award for Best Musical Revival. Directed by Bay Area native Bartlett She, this production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's “South Pacific” will begin its national tour following the San Francisco engagement. Based on James Michener's Pulitzer Prize winning book Tales of the South Pacific,” the play has music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and a book by Oscar Hammerstein II and Joshua Logan. Set on a tropical island during World War II, the musical features such classic songs as “Some Enchanted Evening” and “Younger Than Springtime.” “South Pacific” premiered at the Majestic Theatre on April 7, 1949 and went on to enjoy a five-year Broadway run winning countless awards.Tickets are currently only available by subscribing to the 2008-2009 Best of Broadway season by calling 415-551-2050 or visiting
Media contact: Jennifer McVey, 415-551-2075.


Register Now for Triple Crown of Bay Area Races
Registration is open for three of San Francisco’s major summer running events: the ING Bay to Breakers on May 17; the 29th annual Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon on June 14 (select categories only) and the San Francisco Marathon on July 26.

San Francisco will celebrate the 98th running of one of the most famous footraces in the world: ING Bay to Breakers 12K on May 17, 2009.The ING Bay to Breakers 12K is one of the world’s largest and oldest footraces. The name reflects the traditional course which takes tens of thousands of participants beginning at 8 a.m. from the starting point near The Embarcadero (the “Bay” side of the city) to the west end of the city and the “breakers” of Ocean Beach. The 7.46-mile race features world-class athletes in addition to costumed runners and “fun-loving” folks out for a great day of running and walking through San Francisco. Festivities begin on May 15 and 16 with the ING Greater Body Expo at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, 99 Grove St. For more information, visit or call 415-359-2800. Immediately following the race, the annual ING Footstock festival in the Golden Gate Park Polo Fields will feature entertainment, an awards ceremony and food marketplace.
Media contact: Eva Wong, 415-486-3235.

Hundreds of top athletes from around the world will take over the streets and bay waters of San Francisco for the 29th annual Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon on June 14 at 8 a.m. Featuring an icy cold 1.5-mile swim from Alcatraz Island to the San Francisco shoreline, an 18-mile hilly bike ride through the Presidio and an eight-mile trail run through the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, this triathlon is limited to only 2,000 triathletes/relay teams. Fans will not want to miss this world-class sporting event at the Marina Green where they can see the swim start and end, the athlete transition areas and the finish line. Spectators also are invited to enjoy the free Fitness Festival & Expo on the weekend of June 13-14 with dozens of vendors, product demos, refreshments and more. For information visit or call 831-373-0678.
Media contact: DeeDee Taft, 415-380-8390.

On July 26 upwards of 17,000 runners from all over the world will flock to the City by the Bay for the San Francisco Marathon™, the coolest mid-summer marathon in the United States. The average starting line temperature for the race is a perfect (for marathoners) 56 degrees Fahrenheit. The course through America's number one rated running city and across the famed Golden Gate Bridge offers several options: full marathon, two half-marathons (choose a half), 5K or progressive marathon. The race benefits Youth Run4Fun, a youth running program in San Francisco benefiting underserved schools; runners have the option of earning free race registration by fundraising for Youth Run4Fun. For more information or to register online, visit or call 888-958-6668.
Media contact: Press Coordinator, 888-958-6668, ext.3.


Personality Hotels Opens Hotel Frank and Hotel Vertigo
Personality Hotels, San Francisco’s largest privately-owned boutique hotel operator, recently opened two boutique hotels: Hotel Vertigo (February 2009) and Hotel Frank (March 2009). The 102-room Hotel Vertigo, 940 Sutter St., has undergone a $5 million renovation that includes a complete redesign of all guest rooms, meeting space, corridors and lobby. In addition, one of America’s hottest culinary stars, Tyler Florence, is opening his first-ever restaurant, Bar Florence, in summer 2009. Hotel Vertigo is named after Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 classic thriller starring James Stewart and Kim Novak (Novak’s character lived in the hotel during the last half of the film).Constructed in 1908, Hotel Frank, 386 Geary St., underwent an extensive $10 million transformation that includes all 153 guest rooms, new bathrooms, hallways, lobby and meeting space. Hotel Frank’s uptown-city guest rooms exude a tailored look with eye-catching houndstooth-patterned custom carpet, elongated leather crocodile-patterned headboards in emerald green and white couches, complemented by vintage 1930s artwork. All guest rooms feature amenities such as signature robes, in-room safes, honor bars, 32-inch flat screen televisions and iPod docking stations. For information visit or call 800-553-1900.
Media contact: Kelly Chamberlin, 415-336-4332.

Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco Completes a Multi-Million Dollar Renovation
In March 2009 the Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco, 757 Market St., completed a $7 million renovation of its 277 guest rooms and suites led by the property’s original interior designer, Frank Nicholson. Boasting floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase stunning views of the San Francisco cityscape, all guest rooms now include among other amenities: custom sofas and chairs; plush new carpet; armless Herman Miller Eames desk chairs; window bench pillows and 42-inch LG LCD televisions. Located on the 17th floor, the famed Presidential Suite has also been completely transformed to include upgraded furnishings and amenities. With 180-degree views of San Francisco, it towers over the city and is reminiscent of a luxuriously chic apartment. In addition, all of the corridors have been refurbished to complement the renovations with plush carpet and wall coverings in shades of mocha and teal. For information visit or call 800-332-3442.
Media contact: Defne Altan, 415-392-2232.


Bay Treks Offers Full-Service Nature Hikes to Muir Woods and Mt. Tamalpais
Bay Treks invites visitors to “hike where the locals hike,” and employs the expertise of Bay Area natives for specialized nature hikes to Mt. Tamalpais and Muir Woods. Departing at 10 a.m. the six-hour hike in Muir Woods National Monument, the legendary stand of old-growth coast redwoods just 15 miles north of San Francisco, is offered year round on Saturday and Wednesday and also includes Mt. Tamalpais trails. A six-hour hike tour to the summit of Mt. Tamalpais, Marin County’s highest mountain, is offered year round Sunday and Thursday at 10 a.m. In September through May a six-hour Steep Ravine hike tour is available on Monday and Friday at noon and includes a stop at Stinson Beach. All tours include transportation and picnic lunch. Customized and charter group tours are offered on request; advance reservations are required. Fees range from $60 to $75 per person. For information visit or call 415-602-7433.
Media contact: Brendan Bolles, 415-602-7433.


George Takei Tapped for Grand Marshal Honors for Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival April 11-12 and 18-19
Actor and activist George Takei, best known for his portrayal of “Mr. Sulu” in the acclaimed television and film series, “Star Trek,” will be the grand marshal at the 42nd annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival parade on April 19, 2009. One of California’s most distinguished celebrations of Asian traditions, the festival spans two weekends: April 11-12 and 18-19. The parade begins at Civic Center at 1 p.m., proceeding up Polk to Post street and ending in Japantown at Post and Fillmore streets. Entertainment stages feature Japanese dancers, martial artists and taiko drummers. Leave time to explore the oldest Japantown in the United States, roam the food bazaar and traditional arts and crafts fair. This year Hello Kitty and her entourage are also making a visit from Japan's Puroland; they will transform the Children's Village to Hello Kitty Land on the weekend of April 11-12, and perform at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas on Saturday, April 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. A complete schedule of events will be posted at or call 415-563-2313.
Media contact: Lorin Kagehiro, 510-915-4574.

52nd San Francisco International Film Festival Runs April 23-May 7, 2009
The 52nd San Francisco International Film Festival (SFIFF52) runs April 23-May 7, 2009 at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, the Castro Theatre and Landmark's Clay Theatre in San Francisco; and the Pacific Film Archive Theater in Berkeley. Held each spring for 15 days, the SFIFF52 features 25 juried awards, 170 films and live events with upwards of 100 participating filmmakers and diverse audiences of 75,000+ people. This year among the honored guests are Gena Rowlands and Robert Redford. The festival opens with Peter Bratt’s “La Mission,” set in the predominately Latino Mission district where Bratt and his brother, actor Benjamin Bratt, grew up. Co-presented with Litquake, San Francisco’s annual October literary festival, SFIFF52 will also present the world premiere of Christopher Felver’s latest documentary “Ferlinghetti ” an intimate portrait of the literary and counterculture icon Lawrence Ferlinghetti. The film is part of the festival's popular Cinema by the Bay section. Robert Redford will be the recipient of this year’s Peter J. Owens Award and will be feted in an onstage tribute at the Castro Theatre Wednesday, April 29, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. The program will feature career retrospective film clips and an onstage interview with Phil Bronstein, editor-at-large of the “San Francisco Chronicle,” followed by a screening of one of Redford’s most beloved films, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” On Sunday, April 26 at the Castro Theatre, Gena Rowlands is expected to attend one of the first screenings of the UCLA Film & Television Archive restoration of John Cassavetes’ astonishing marital drama, “A Woman Under the Influence.” For tickets and information visit or call 925-866-9559.
Media contact: Hilary Hart, 415-561-5022.

Pacific Heights Mansion Site for San Francisco Decorator Showcase April 25-May 25, 2009
The West Coast’s most prominent and emerging interior and landscape designers will soon converge on 2830 Pacific Ave. in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights to transform a stately four-story Georgian mansion into the 2009 San Francisco Decorator Showcase. Now in its 32nd year, the San Francisco Decorator Showcase will run from April 25 through Memorial Day, May 25, 2009. The elegant and formal Georgian mansion was originally designed and built in 1910 by San Francisco architect Nathaniel Blaisdell. The main level’s spacious public areas include a parlor, living room, large family kitchen and a formal dining room leading out to a landscaped garden terrace. The second level includes five bedrooms and a formal library. The penthouse level features a stunning wrap-around terrace with panoramic bay views. The home is open to the public Tuesdays through Sundays, and closed on Mondays (except for Memorial Day). Tickets are available at the door and are $30 for general admission and $25 for seniors. Group rates are available and must be arranged in advance by calling 415- 447-3115. For information visit
Media contacts: Grier Mathews, 415-246-4054, or Denise Lamott, 415-381-8793.

Carnaval, California’s Largest Annual Multi-Cultural Event, Slated for May 23-24, 2009
Themed “Roots of Revival: Seeds of Change,” Carnaval San Francisco 2009 is a vibrant multi-cultural event. With something for everyone who loves Latin American and Caribbean cultures, Carnaval San Francisco 2009 is California’s largest multi-cultural celebration. Carnaval showcases the very best of Latin American and Caribbean cultures with a dynamic array of food, music, drumming, dancing, live music and artistry, including works created by Mission District residents and Bay Area artists. The Carnaval San Francisco Festival runs Saturday and Sunday, May 23- 24, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Located on Harrison Street, between 16th and 22nd streets, the festival will offer food, music, dance, art, crafts and other fun activities and events on several stages for the entire family to enjoy. The world famous Carnaval Grand Parade on Sunday, May 24 starts at 9:30 a.m. at the corner of 24th and Bryant streets where it will proceed west to Mission street. From there, the parade heads north on Mission down to 17th street, where it will turn east and flow into the festival area. For information or call 415-651-1811.
Media contact: Denise Lamott, 415-381-8793.


Down to the Last Chug: Conservatory of Flowers — Golden Gate Express Makes Last Stop on April 19, 2009
This winter the Conservatory of Flowers debuted its first garden railway exhibition. April 19 is the last date to visit the Golden Gate Express until it returns in the winter for the holidays. A celebration of the city of San Francisco, the model G-gauge trains wind their way through a lush landscape of dwarf plants and steam past mini versions of the city’s landmark buildings. From Mission Dolores to the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower to Chinatown’s dragon gate, replicas of San Francisco’s famous icons are surrounded by miniature gardens and parks. The designers of the exhibit, San Francisco-based Figureplant, were challenged to make the landmarks out of recycled materials. If visitors look closely, they will see that the Ghirardelli clock tower is tiled with old chocolate brown light switch plates and Coit Tower features a combination of used plumbing supplies, tape measures and mini-blinds. Visitors will also enjoy a vintage train station seating area, appearances by costumed conductors and interpretive materials about the development of San Francisco and its railways. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; closed Mondays. Admission is $5 general; $3 youth 12-17, seniors and students with ID; $1.50 children 5-11; children 4 and under free. For information, visit or call 415-831-2090.
Media contact: Nina Sazevich, 415-752-2483.


Piazza Market
627 Vallejo St., 415-981-9881,
Neighborhood: North Beach
Media contact: Cheryl McDonald, 415-981-9881, ext. 109
Located in the heart of North Beach, Piazza Market offers a daily menu of gourmet, freshly prepared items, sold by the pound to take home or enjoy at Piazza Market. Fountains, Italian tile, trompe l’oeil ceiling and village facades evoke the feeling of dining al fresco in an Italian piazza. Sip a glass of wine or share a bottle with friends while sitting by the indoor fountain. The wine store offers more than 450 wines from Italy and California. Extensive catering menu and wine delivery service available. Lunch and dinner daily. Opened December 2008.

Sellers Markets Restaurant
721 Market St. (between Third and Fourth streets) 415-615-0341,
Neighborhood: Union Square
Media contact: Christopher Prouty, 415-227-1150 ext. 111
Award-winning Sellers Markets Restaurant, San Francisco's popular fast-casual dining innovator has opened its third location at 721 Market St., just steps from Union Square. With ingredients provided by award-winning California artisanal partners, Sellers Markets blends the burgeoning sustainable artisan food revolution with a relaxed ambiance and the convenience of modern fast-casual dining. Sellers Markets was recently awarded a "four-star rating" for its green business practices, where 90 percent or more of its food and beverages served are locally grown, sustainable or organic, becoming a nationally-acclaimed "green" fine dining restaurant. Open for breakfast and lunch Monday-Friday; happy hour Fridays 4-7 p.m.; online ordering, corporate catering and delivery, and takeout is available. Opened March 2009.

For more updates on the latest on San Francisco’s food scene, check out the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau’s food blog.


Readers of ‘Inside Flyer’ Rate SFO’s Restaurants the Best
Restaurants at San Francisco International Airport were rated the best in the United States by readers of “Inside Flyer” in a poll commissioned by “Airport Revenue News.” The readers were polled on their favorite food and beverage, retail, and news and gift stores, as well as their favorite airports for retail and food and beverage. The readers of the magazine are frequent fliers who average 33 domestic flights a year. "San Francisco International Airport is extremely proud of its food and beverage program," said Airport Director John L. Martin. "The airport and its vendors have worked extremely hard to ensure that our travelers have the highest quality of food that reflects the eclectic cuisine of the greater Bay Area, as well as excellent customer service.” For information visit
Media contact: Michael C. McCarron, 650-821-4000.

Arrivals and Departures: Upcoming New Airlines and Routes at SFO
The following new airlines and routes will be added at San Francisco International Airport in the upcoming months:

  • April 30, 2009 — Virgin America will start low-cost carrier route with five daily flights to Orange County
  • May 1, 2009 — Emirates will increase frequency to daily nonstop service to Dubai
  • May 1, 2009 — JetBlue resumes one daily nonstop flight to Boston
  • May 1, 2009 — JetBlue will add a daytime daily flight in addition to late evening departure to New York/JFK
  • May 5, 2009 — AirTran resumes seasonal one daily nonstop service to Milwaukee, WI
  • May 5, 2009 — AirTran increases frequency to three daily flights to Atlanta
  • May 9, 2009 — Southwest will start new low-cost carrier service with five daily flights to Orange County
  • May 17, 2009 — Alaska resumes seasonal one daily nonstop service to Anchorage
  • June 1, 2009 — AirTran increases frequency to four daily flights to Atlanta
  • June 1, 2009 —SunCountry increases frequency to daily nonstop service to Minneapolis
  • June 2, 2009 — WestJet returns to SFO with three daily flights through the end of October to Calgary
  • June 2, 2009 — United starts two daily nonstop flights to Spokane, WA, a new destination for United from SFO
  • June 4, 2009 — United starts one daily flight to Minneapolis, a new destination for United from SFO
  • June 4, 2009 — United reinstates one daily nonstop flight to Toronto
  • June 7, 2009 — Alaska resumes seasonal one daily nonstop service to Anchorage

For information visit Media contact: Michael C. McCarron, 650-821-4000.

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