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 title of Bouli Lannerss modest yet surprisingly affecting road-trip/buddy movie, which refers to an imaginary place of great wealth and opportunity, isnt necessarily ironic: The writer-director-actor has a profound love for the flat expanses of the films southern Belgium and its gas stations, snack shops, and RV parks. Eldorado is a tale of two guys, fat and thin: Stroppy vintage-car dealer Yvan (Lanners, dressed like a Walloon Kevin Smith) comes home one night to find smack-scrawny Elie (Fabrice Adde) robbing him. Instead of calling the cops, Yvan becomes oddly protective of the pathetic felon and offers to drive him to his parents house near the French border. The voyage provides both lovely shots of low-country landscapeswhich suggest not the starker palette of Dardenne Brothers territory, but magic-hour prairie heartlandand genuinely funny encounters with weirdos (a car-accident fetishist, a nudist named Alain Delon). When the traveling companions reveal their backstories, the monologues avoid mawkishness, further upending all low expectations of this frequently trite genre. In its final act, Lannerss film is smart and confident enough to acknowledge that certain lives are dead ends while others get tired of just spinning their wheels.
July 3-9, 2009