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 most clichéd things you can possibly associate with San Francisco are the Golden Gate Bridge and fog over the bay, but looking out at the bridge in a thick fog from Kirby Cove, with the skyline of the city peeking through, is just as magical as it is stupidly clichéd. Although you have to make your way to the Marin Headlands to experience this view, the Kirby Cove campgrounds are well worth the adventure into that home base of the anti-vaccination movement, just for their gorgeous view of the city.
The terrible legacies of our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq include compounding the terrible legacy of our war in Vietnam. Add to that the disadvantage of the memory loss that comes with a generation gap as if all the souls displaced by that horror hadnt fallen through enough of historys cracks already. But some reassurance may be had from Angie Chau, a young writer still willing to keep collective memories from fading. She was born in Saigon, but now lives in the Bay Area. As you might expect, she has stories. And now theyve been gathered in Quiet as They Come, her first book. The premise is simple and familiar: An extended Vietnamese family, newly arrived in San Francisco after the Vietnam War, endures the varied consequences of compulsory immigration. Happily ever after this is not. Consider the patriarch, formerly a philosophy professor and now a lowly postal clerk: He once heard a co-worker describe him by saying he was as quiet as they come, Chau writes, the quietest of all, practically invisible. For him, it seemed to belittle the human spirit, to always be grateful that things could be worse. Yet she never forecloses the hope of real reconciliation. In one tense moment, just when more violence seems imminent, somebody gets a much-needed hug. How disarming to imagine the legacy of that.
Tue., Sept. 14, 7 p.m., 2010