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 an attempt to make the morning commute to work more palatable, we sometimes think of it as a video game. Race out the door before the timer counts down to zero; Frogger our way across the street to avoid rogue drivers; grab a coffee and bagel for a power-up. San Francisco’s compact size and diverse neighborhoods make it a perfect setting not only for our 8-bit fantasies but for some genuine, real life game-play in the form of Journey to the End of the Night. First concocted by a trio of friends in 2006, every year the competition sets a thousand or so players loose on the night-time streets as they race to six different checkpoints throughout the city and try to be the first to make it to the giant party at the end. Stay ahead of the other participants if you want to win, but watch out for the game’s “chasers” as well. They like to grab as many players as possible and turn them zombie-style into yet more chasers. Use of public transportation is encouraged, as you can’t be tagged if you’re on Muni, but otherwise you have to rely on your own two feet to make your way around the city. Journey to the End of the Night has proven so popular that it has spread to dozens of other cities around the world (Gothenburg and Budapest are playing their own versions on the same night as ours), but San Francisco is the landscape the game was originally envisioned for. Leave your Xbox and your PS3 at home for one evening, and hit the streets instead.
Sat., Nov. 10, 7 p.m., 2012