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
August Wilson's first play, written during the Carter administration but revised in 1996, is about gypsy cabdrivers who serve a black part of Pittsburgh called the Hill District, which licensed Yellow cabdrivers ignore. Because Wilson has since turned the Hill District into a legendary American neighborhood (in his decade-by-decade cycle of plays about African-Americans in the 20th century), watching him explore this territory for the first time is part of the thrill of Jitney. The other part -- in this Broadway production -- is the sheer pleasure Anthony Chisholm, Willis Burks II, Roger Robinson, Keith Randolph Smith, and Stephen McKinley Henderson take in their roles. The head of the jitney station, Becker (Robinson), has built a modest life for himself in the District, but when his son Booster (Smith) gets out of jail, he questions that life in fierce, quasi-revolutionary language. Pittsburgh City Hall has also announced plans to "revive" the jitney station's block by tearing it down. David Gallo's set beautifully evokes the old station, with a ruined couch and ancient stamped-tin walls, hollow storefronts across the street, and huge Cadillacs going to seed by the curb. This play can be slack in the hands of weaker performers, but under Marion McClinton's direction the cast builds an emotional tension that becomes almost too much to bear.