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
We will dispense with the double entendres: Carol Doda, who we lost in November, was a San Francisco hero who will be rightly celebrated and remembered as long as the town she helped create still stands, the torch held aloft along Broadway and kept alight in neon.
The organizers of the Dawn Festival maintain that one of the most underappreciated Jewish holidays is also one of the most important. Shavuot celebrates the day when the Jewish people were given the Torah at Mount Sinai. Traditionally, this day has been marked with all-night rabbinical study sessions. The Dawn Festival is also kind of a cram session, but with a much different bent. The dizzying array of artists brought together for this bash is nearly overwhelming. Films screen, bands play, authors expound, cocktails are slung. Brash comedian Sandra Bernhard kvetches poetic about her spirituality and its influence on her long and colorful career, which has included stints on Roseanne and an off-Broadway one-woman show. Local writer Daniel Handler (best known by his nom de plume Lemony Snicket) mixes up drinks with expert concoctor Bryan Ranere. You can watch Gary Shteyngart, the author of heady, critically acclaimed novel Absurdistan, chat before an audience, and then take in a reading by Davy Rothbart, whose Found magazine chronicles hilarious and poignant ephemera: shopping lists, love letters, Polaroids. Spike Jonze video-introduces a film celebrating the 80th birthday of Maurice Sendak of Where the Wild Things Are fame. The night spans a broad range of cultural experience and expression, with a mind-boggling refusal to stay within any specific aesthetic or theme (it ends with African dance music by Fools Rush), which makes sense when you consider the vastness of the Jewish experience.
Sat., May 15, 7:30 p.m., 2010