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
Living in San Francisco, we get our fill of the various striped-stocking, burlesque, alternacircus genres with their throwback styles and vintage headwear by God do we get our fill. But we have to give a theatrical tip of our threadbare derby (while dosing ourselves with laudanum and thrashing some mewling infants with our cane) to the organizers of the famed Edwardian Ball. Tonight, they've come up with something different. In assembling a lineup, someone must have looked at the typically roguish acts they'd accumulated and mused, "Ah, this again. How about we add some ... beasts?" The result is the Animal Masquerade, a strange hybrid show that combines groups such as Rosin Coven, the Vau de Vire Society, Vagabond Opera, and the Nekyia with a bunch of animal mayhem and hopefully a good number of guests will have the wit to dress up in feathers and skins. Unwilling to confine such a smashing idea to a single night, tomorrow they're bringing us another show called the San Francisco Zoo!, featuring hybrid animal/human acts such as Cookie Mongoloid (Sesame Street speed metal), the Zoopy Show (animal electronic), Kitty Kitty Bang Bang (kitty burlesque), and DJ NeonBunny (a fluorescent hare with a couple of turntables). Many more performers, and surprises, await.