When the ancient Polynesians invented surfing, they often used a paddle to help them navigate. Fast-forward a few millennia, and Stand-Up Paddleboarding, or SUP, finds itself trendy again. Part of its increasing popularity is that standing upright allows surfers to spot waves more easily and thus catch more of them, multiplying the fun factor. Paddling back to the wave becomes less of a strain as well. The ability to cruise along on flat inland water, surveying the sights, is another advantage. Finally, its a good core workout. If youre sold on the idea, schedule an intro SUP lesson, free with board and paddle rental, and you may find yourself riding the waves like a Polynesian king.More
Did you know that when the Golden Gate Bridge gets hot, it sits low in the saddle? Course you didnt: You dont have a Bridge Thermometer, which looks like one of those scenic coin-op binoculars crossed with a first-person shooter. Peer into it (no coin needed!) and it shows the temperature of the bridge and, as a result, how low-slung or high-riding it is; if its 100 degrees out, youll find the bridge has dropped a full 12 feet. Only one BT exists, and the Outdoor Exploratorium has it. The Exploratorium folks made it themselves, of course, along with 19 other exhibits that take advantage of the immediate environment: the crazy winds, the roll of the waves, the organisms stuck to the pier pilings, the salinity of the water (which you can sample). All of them sit around Fort Mason. We particularly like the Wave Oscilloscope, which attaches a stylus to a loose piling, imprinting the sway of the waves into a container of sand, as well as the giant Wind Arrows, which confirm your assumptions that our bay winds are all schizophrenics bent on multidirectional anarchy in the low sky. Grab a map either at the Exploratorium or at Fort Mason Center, Building A, (Marina and Buchanan), S.F.More
In popular American literature of the 19th century, Chinese immigrants were often characterized as obeisant, illiterate, and sexless. The truth at once passionate, courageous, beautiful, and heartbreaking could be found scratched into the wooden walls of Angel Island Detention Center. Ellis Island of the West was the first, and sometimes the last, impression hundreds of thousands of Chinese were given of California. On their way to treasure or tragedy, they left behind poetry and songs, some of which were preserved in collections in 1911 and 1915, and recently translated by Marlon K. Hom in his book, Songs of Gold Mountain: I risked a perilous journey to come to the Flowery Flag Nation/ Immigration officers interrogated me/And, just for a slight lapse of memory/I am deported, and imprisoned in this barren mountain. The Center for the Art of Translation marks the 100th anniversary of Angel Islands opening with a special installment of Lit&Lunch. Hom shares Angel Island poetry and Chinatown songs which helped people face the racism, poverty, and promise of the immigrant experience and which today offer us a rare perspective on early San Francisco.
Tue., May 11, 12:30 p.m., 2010
The San Francisco Trans March celebrated its 12th year, along with the Supreme Court's decision on same-sex marriage, which was voted in favor of gay marriages across the nation, on Friday, June 26, 2015. Photographs by Michael Ares.