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.
A docu-fiction hybrid, Pedro González-Rubio's film Alamar records, as it partakes of, a 5-year-old boy's dream vacation. Natan, born of a brief romantic liaison between Italian tourist Roberta and Yucatán tour guide Jorge, leaves Rome to stay with his father in a visit so timeless that it might be an entire summer or a single day. Jorge, a lithe, longhaired child of nature, takes his son to Banco Chinchorro, to stay on a mangrove-covered barrier island off the southernmost coast of Quintana Roo, Mexico. There, in the company of a grizzled old fisherman, they dive for langostas, doze in hamacas, feast on fresh-caught barracuda, and live in a shack on stilts. Natan learns how to snorkel and catch a fish, coping with crocodiles as well as the camera. González-Rubio shot the movie himself. Although his presence is occasionally acknowledged by young Natan's glance, the natural world is neither blatantly anthropomorphized nor unduly dramatized. Underwater reef exploration aside, the big thrill is the little egret that several times appears at the shack. Before the boy returns home to Rome, Jorge promises Natan that no matter where he is, his father will be looking after him. However blunt, this sudden introduction of primal faith is wholly appropriate. As much home movie as neorealist non-narrative, Alamar provides a nearly hypnotic immersion in the brilliantly aqua, impossibly tranquil Caribbean a Paradise Regained not just for Natan but for everyone.
July 30-Aug. 5, 2:15, 4:45, 7:45 & 9:35 p.m., 2010