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
In case you've been TaskRabbiting your way through life and haven't had the chance to leave the micro-loft to stroll the alleys and streets of central San Francisco, the number of homeless tent encampments in town is approaching epic levels — as in Hooverville and Great Depression levels.
Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Battle of Puebla, in which Mexican troops beat French troops in a most French-troop-humiliating way, back in 1862. We think the holiday could be updated to just celebrate Puebla, which is currently one of the awesomest towns in central Mexico. Not only is it beautiful, with plazas full of graceful trees, but it has the only bookstore by day/rock venue by night we've ever seen, Café Teorema. Then there's the nun/food connection: Sisters in Puebla invented the famous sugar skulls of Dia de los Muertos and also one of the world's most delicious sauces: Mole Poblano. There are 20-some universities, and amazing ruins in Puebla, too. Let's review: Cinco de Mayo celebrations could use beautiful communal spaces, live music, creative nuns, and good food. Actually, most of that is already done, year after year, at the Mission Neighborhood Centers' Cinco de Mayo Festival. (San Francisco could really stand to have a bookstore that transforms into a bar at night, though. Could someone get on that?) So attend the party in the park in the spirit of Puebla: with historical chutzpah, plenty of candy, and a strong compulsion to dance. The entertainment is perfect: Several outstanding mariachi bands (including Nueva Generacion and Berta Olivia), a youth jazz getup, the roots-folk of Los Cenzontles, and the Mission District's own proud and dramatic Xiuhcoatl Danza Azteca.
Sat., May 3, 11 a.m., 2008