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
In case you've been TaskRabbiting your way through life and haven't had the chance to leave the micro-loft to stroll the alleys and streets of central San Francisco, the number of homeless tent encampments in town is approaching epic levels — as in Hooverville and Great Depression levels.
For a while there, Dale Peck was nobody's friend. In 2002, he opened his review of Rick Moody's The Black Veil in The New Republic with this charmer: "Rick Moody is the worst writer of his generation." Then he spent the next two paragraphs detailing why that sentence was such a fine starting point, even providing early drafts ("The Black Veil is the worst of Rick Moody's very bad books," and so forth). But Peck is no mere critic: Years before he became a hatchet man (his collected criticisms can be found in the book Hatchet Jobs), he was praised for his coming-of-age novel Martin and John, and the phrase "prominent gay author" was bandied about. A few more well-regarded novels followed, then his foray into ripping apart his peers, but finally Peck turned a corner by writing a kids book, 2005's Drift House: The First Voyage, a fantasy about two children who go off to live on a "transtemporal vessel" and wind up adrift on the Sea of Time. Tonight, however, we get Peck the instructor. He speaks on the creation of character identities in fiction in "Now It's Time to Say Shalom."
Thu., April 27, 7:30 p.m.