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
Seventy-five years ago, San Francisco was brought to a standstill after police fired into a crowd of striking longshoremen and their sympathizers. Bloody Thursday turned the once-radical dream of a general strike into a reality: movie theaters and nightclubs shut down, trucks stopped in their tracks, nothing but food came in or out. Panic set in, and a state of emergency was declared. The National Guard patrolled the Embarcadero with machine guns while vigilantes sacked union halls, Reds were kidnapped and beaten, and a noose appeared in downtown Hayward. But the workers held fast, and ultimately all West Coast ports were unionized. In celebration and remembrance, the month-long Laborfest, featuring more than 60 events, explores labor from a variety of angles, from the artistic legacy of the New Deal to the plight of ship dismantlers in Bangladesh.
Today, labor historian Louis Prisco leads the Mission Walk Labor, Art, and the Politics of the Mission District. It begins at the historic San Francisco Labor Temple, the flashpoint of the strike. Vivid murals depict pivotal labor moments such as the 1966 murder of Dow Wilson, the San Francisco Painters Union leader, and the picket line held by the Chinese Ladies Garment Workers Union Local 341. Priscos constitutional is but one of todays events, which also include a bus tour, an ironworker-led bridge walk, a film festival, and a poetry reading.
Sun., July 12, 2 p.m., 2009