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
A literary agent at an author's birthday party not too long ago told us we were living in Paris in the '20s. All cultural expression in our corner of San Francisco, he said -- art, writing, music, film, cuisine, philosophy, dance, theater, style, undefinables -- is at an unprecedented level of quality and innovation. We tenatively agree, since walking around the Mission District is so fucking delightful and has been for years. (Those of you who complain of gunshots and sidewalk vomit are irrelevant and missing the point.) At the clumsily titled but brilliantly conceived Sex-Music-Comedy Night with Jill Sobule, an embarrassment of riches struts and frets its time upon the stage, but organizer Stephen Elliott doesn't really do embarrassment. Literary contributions by Zak Smith, Kirk Read, Michelle Tea, and Madison Young join comedy by Los Angeles comedian Kyle Kinane, Mariel a la Mode's burlesque, music by Sig Hafstrom and a performance by famous songbird Jill Sobule. The evening is presented by Rumpus online magazine (along with Kink.com), whose stated purpose is to "introduce readers to things they might not have heard of yet." Is it Hemingway and Stein and Josephine Baker? Decide for yourself.
Tue., July 7, 7 p.m., 2009