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
The immortal moment came decades ago: a long-suffering fan already, at 8 years old, slumped against a rail at the ballpark for what could be the last time, defeated on the field and off of it, where the Giants were planning to possibly decamp from Candlestick Park to Florida.
Willa Cather's novel My Ántonia is a dark portrait of a romance between an American boy named Jim and the daughter of an immigrant family. The Burdens are odd, broken-English-speaking Bohemians, lured to the Nebraska plain by a mail-order scheme offering land and a spacious house. What they find is dry prairie, a dilapidated shack, and prejudice from their pioneer neighbors. The whiff of realism in Cather's book has unfortunately been leached out of Scott Schwartz's play by a conspiracy of sentimental writing and overly sweet music. Without Jessica Meyers as Ántonia the show would be unendurable; she's eager, ardent, quick-eyed, and engaging. Louis Parnell is also hilarious in his various roles -- Charlie Krajiek, the man who duped the Burdens; Pavel, a Russian; and Wick Cutter, an overdressed town man who hires Ántonia as a servant and tries to rape her. But I'm afraid none of it would win over Cather herself. She resented seeing her books turned into movies and plays because of productions like this one. The effect Schwartz has achieved here -- with incidental music by his father, Stephen -- is less like a dark, wistful novel and more like an After School Special, with sprinkles of "touching" piano and cheesy tinkling chimes.