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
Bracket the fact that its an adaptation of Monica Alis great big treat of a 2003 novel about displacement and feminine emancipation, and British director Sarah Gavrons tale of a young Bangladeshi woman unwillingly transplanted to Londons East End is absorbing enough, moving enough, and visually attractive enough to provide a perfectly acceptable night out at the movies. Schooled in silent endurance, Nazneen is estranged from her rural home, beloved sister, and much older bear of a husband. As the rapidly changing post-9/11 racial politics of England take shape around her dingy housing estate, Nazneen tries to accept her fateuntil she meets a handsome young convert to radical Islam (Christopher Simpson) who rocks her world at every level. With a limited budget, Gavron had no choice but to prune Alis huge cast of Dickensian supporting characters; in the process, shes also replaced the novels teeming vitality and tragicomic drive with a prettified lyricism that drags the story down. As Nazneen, the exquisite Indian actress Tannishtha Chatterjee is too inert to express the untapped reserves of strength, passion, and defiance that will transform this quiescent village girlwhich leaves the excellent Indian actor Satish Kaushik, as her Micawberish husband, to carry the weight of the difficult balance between tradition and modernity that lies at the heart of every great migrant journey of the soul.
June 27-July 3, 2008