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.
Wilma Stephenson runs her high school culinary arts class like a Marine sergeant: Shes loud, cranky, and prone to threatening bodily harm. Stephenson, a central figure in co-directors Jennifer Grausman and Mark Beckers likable, straightforward Pressure Cooker, is a slackers nightmare and a nerds masochistic dream. For her students at a Northeastern Philadelphia school, she might also be their ticket out of stifling homes and a dead-end neighborhood. Pressure Cooker focuses on three seniors taking Stephensons class to prepare for the Culinary Institute of Americas scholarship competition: Fatoumata, a recent immigrant from Africa who longs to escape her oppressive father; Tyree, a football player hoping to secure a future not only for himself but his single mom; and Erica, a young woman who, after a lifetime of caring for her blind sister, has decided to get hers. The intersection of food and identity is briefly explored, and the prep/exam sequences have a tension and charm that keeps the film moving toward its literally rewarding climax. Stephenson looms largest as a reminder of what the right teacher can mean to a kid looking for a way out; it takes a strong woman and a special grace to not only let her protégés go, year after year, but practically shove them out the door.
Aug. 20-27, 2009