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
Many San Franciscans associate the gritty downtown neighborhood of the Tenderloin with crime, or Glide Memorial Church, or maybe ethnic restaurants. To documentary theater specialist Annie Elias, it had been a place to get in and out of as quickly as she could, with as little interaction as possible. So when Rob Melrose, artistic director of the Cutting Ball Theater, asked Elias to create a theater piece about the neighborhood called Tenderloin, she was surprised to find the overwhelming response of potential subjects for the play was love for the district and a desire for others to see what an amazing place it is. Tenderloin, previews for which start this weekend, was aimed at bringing the theater into the neighborhood where it’s located, but also to bring the neighborhood into the theater. To do so Elias and the cast members interviewed Tenderloin residents to create composites that form a portrait of the district. One of the people Elias met was longtime resident Mark Ellinger, photographer and historian of the neighborhood, whose photos on his blog, Up From the Deep, show a surprising beauty. He gave Elias a list of possible subjects for the actors to interview and create the play. Subjects include activists, police officers, artists, immigrants, former junkies, kids, and people who are active in the politics of the neighborhood and the city, giving a wide range of perspectives on life in the Tenderloin and what home means.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: April 27. Continues through June 24, 2012