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
Because not everyone can shell out a week's worth of rent on the edible art of a hand-tweezed tasting menu, veteran restaurateur Kash Feng (owner of Michelin-starred Omakase) and consulting chef Shin Aoki (formally of Michelin-starred Kaigetsu) bring you Okane — legit Japanese fare for epicures of the 99 percent.
In admitting that "Master" Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman, offering a new twist on the roiling vulnerability Anderson has always highlighted in their collaborations), the figurehead of a growing faith movement in 1950s America, was inspired by L. Ron Hubbard, Paul Thomas Anderson set up expectations of an exposé of the origins of Scientology. Instead, he has delivered a free-form work of expressionism, more room-size painting than biopic, star vehicle, or traditional character study, mirroring Hubbard's story when convenient while strenuously avoiding direct representation. As with Boogie Nights and There Will Be Blood, Anderson takes what he needs from history to recast his own story, yet he has never made a film so coded, so opaque. Dodd teaches a drunk named Freddie (Joaquin Phoenix) not to apologize for who he is--"a scoundrel"--and gets him to submit to the Master's conversion therapy. His teachings are mostly designed to help followers control their emotions by accessing past experiences, either in their current lives or previous ones. In Freddie, he has a man who chewed through every leash ever clipped to his collar, who attempts to seduce adult women by passing notes ("Do you want to fuck?"), who has never encountered a household or industrial chemical that he hasn't tried to drink. In their first "processing" session, Dodd repeatedly asks Freddie, "Do your past failures bother you?" Can he change? Does he want to? Is this all vague enough for you? The film's ambiguity could hardly be unintentional, but more interesting is Anderson's use of sumptuous technique to tell a story defined by withholding. It's a film of breathtaking cinematic romanticism and near-complete denial of conventional catharsis.
Mon., Sept. 24, 2012