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
California is home to about 4 million Irish Americans, roughly a quarter of whom reside in the Bay Area. Today the West Coast’s largest celebration of that heritage -- the San Francisco’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival -- begins at Second and Market, where some 5,000 participants make their way to Civic Center Plaza. There’s live music from Those Manning Bhoys at noon, followed by Bernadette Flynn & Murphy Irish Dancers, and Celtic rock band the BlackEyed Dempseys. Art and craft vendors set up, as well as plenty of spots to grab snacks including corned beef and cabbage sandwiches, chips, sausages, and (if you must) falafel or teriyaki. If you want a pint of Guinness or Harp, there’s no shortage of spots to do that later, but today’s event is alcohol-free. Organizers say they want to keep it family-friendly, and highlight the “past, present, and future” influence of the Irish in San Francisco. Regarding that past, our city’s relationship with the small European island dates to its earliest years. In 1847, an immigrant from County Wexford named Jasper O’Farrell performed the first American land survey of the region. Another named Michael O’Shaughnessy, a native of County Limerick, became the city’s chief engineer in 1912, and oversaw the creation of the Twin Peaks Tunnel and Reservoir as well as the city’s streetcar system, from which five original lines survive. (He got a street name, too.) Those guys won’t be there, but their descendants might, alongside about 100,000 others, rain or shine.
Sat., March 17, 10 a.m., 2012