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
Mashing up different world cuisines is usually a popular conceit for new quick-service eateries and food trucks to make a quick buck and gain Instagram fame, but Volta has shown how well global cross-pollination works on a refined plate without stretching for novelty or pretense in the process.
In Anytown, U.S.A., being part of a live radio broadcast probably means getting a prank call from some Howard Stern wannabe on an FM morning show who tricks you into thinking youve been fired and that your wife is sleeping with your boss. Or being offered a free bratwurst during a promo in a Safeway parking lot from some scruffy DJ in a Hall & Oates T-shirt who wants to know where you lost it. But in San Francisco, U.S.A., we have West Coast Live, a variety show broadcast on KALW-FM and around the country via satellite. The show takes its name seriously. Most of the musicians, authors, comedians, and other performers who appear are from the Western United States, and its venues include numerous Bay Area locations. (It even equips volunteers with devices that broadcast the sound of waves in the bay or the body of water nearest the venue.) Guests have included Joyce Carol Oates, Daniel Handler, Taj Mahal, and Ben Harper. Sure-footed host Sedge Thomson engages the guests with equal amounts of humor and genuine curiosity. Think Bill Moyers meets David Letterman, says the shows website. Todays lineup includes the Devil Makes Three, a band that offers a slightly punky perspective on vintage American blues, as well as authors Geoff Dyer (Otherwise Known as the Human Condition) and Louis B. Jones (Radiance). Also on hand is Lee James of Tierra Vegetables, which sounds like a band but is, in fact, a company that deals in sustainably grown vegetables and wool products. Jazz pianist Mike The Gently Ironic Greensill punctuates the performances and interviews.
Sat., May 7, 10 a.m., 2011