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
In the past 30 years, light artists have reimagined an art form that has always had the ability to turn the night sky, or a simple window, into luminescence. Last fall, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts turned its southern glass wall into a parade of sound-sensing lights, Lightswarm, that changes with the movements of nearby people and things. Future Cities Lab, the San Francisco design company behind Lightswarm, has originated another notable light sculpture. Located by the YBCA's steps at 701 Mission, Murmur Wall will light up in arresting ways as it incorporates local trending search engine results and social media postings. Onlookers can offer their own contributions, which will feed into the Murmur Wall's data stream and light up the sculpture. What's trending in San Francisco? If you're walking by the YBCA, you can see firsthand — at least through light patterns that reflect the city's volatile internet habits.
Murmur Wall debuts Thursday at 6 p.m. and continues through May 31, 2017, at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St., S.F. Free; 415-978-2700 or ybca.org. More
Anyone who can walk around the Old Mint and not be swept into the romance of city history needs to go back to their rathole in the Mission, eat a final burrito, pack the duffel, and move two BART stops south. Most residents crave local history like a drug: Its prettier than all other cities' history, no question, and it dozes in the foothills rather than vomiting itself all over HBO and the big screen like New York's worn-out past. Did you know that the S.F. Seals' baseball stadium used to be where the Potrero Safeway horror mall now sits? If you answered, "Yes, and third base is next to the frozen Hot Pockets" and not, "Seals? What?" congratulations. Treat yourself to an It's-It, a screening of A Trip Down Market Street, and a Hamm's beer. The rest of you can visit the San Francisco History Expo, where more than 20 neighborhood historical associations haul out memorabilia for mini-museums of their own slices of the city, including photos, videos, and storytelling events. Groups such as the Prelinger Library and Archives, the GLBT Historical Society, and the Coil Library and Museum of Freemasonry attend. So does Frank Alan Zimmerman, who paints large-scale works of S.F. as it was in the 1850s, with a throwback style reminiscent of landscape masters and dusty history books. Zimmerman is just 32, by the way. He knows the poetry of the city. You should, too.
Feb. 12-13, 11 a.m., 2011