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
We were just over in North Beach (to see Beach Blanket Babylon, which embarrassed us in front of a bunch of tourists more on that later) and we didn't see any space at Columbus and Broadway that looked like a "new public plaza." The intersection seemed as crowded as usual, complete with a manly moron standing in the middle of the long crosswalk on Broadway, screaming "Rita!" over and over again. He nearly lost his baseball cap. But we hear a park-type space is indeed opening right there, and not only are Mayor Newsom, Supervisor Peskin, and other importantos scheduled to talk about it today, but the plaza also comes with art. Public art around here tends toward awful; need we mention what's on the Embarcadero? But Brian Goggin and Dorka Keehn's Language of the Birds looks pretty good. It consists of solar-powered, lit-up plastic books suspended by wire above the intersection, and words that appear to have fallen out of them and onto the ground. The words are taken from local literary lights, of course: Gary Snyder, Jade Snow Wong, Armistead Maupin.
Sun., Nov. 23, 4 p.m., 2008