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
The hottest current thing in the world of tapioca drinks, a.k.a. boba tea (or, as Hillary Clinton recently called them when she tried one in New York, "chewy tea") isn't a crazy new flavor or new way to marinate the root starch balls — it's cotton candy!
Tom Waits introduced Paradise, Calif.-based Danny Cohen to the Anti- label, and there's no denying the similarities between the two artists. But Cohen is no Waits wannabe; if anything, the veteran songwriters both drink from the same inspirational trough. On Gunna Die, Cohen evokes Waits, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, and Bob Dylan with gravelly tales that ooze tragic beauty and seedy film noir. The album's central theme is death in all its forms (two band members were reportedly battling cancer during the recordings, with violinist Jimmy Borsdorf succumbing in January). But the minor-key melancholy of these 16 songs isn't nearly the downer you'd expect. Instead, a darkly droll, bittersweet appreciation of life in all its pleasure and pain unspools. Cohen's narrative is filled with observational gems, from the out-of-body experiences of "As I Look Down" to ill-fated "Cousin Guy" working at Disneyland, living on a kibbutz, and losing his mind, among other things. And there's no shortage of eccentric non sequiturs like "iridescent rectums that resemble marine life." At least that's what I think he said. Your results may vary.