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
Mozzeria, newcomers to the Outside Lands lineup, will bring their 25-foot trolley, a restored mobile San Francisco cable car with a wood-fired oven, to Bluxome Street Winery for a Pinot, Pizza and Funk party. Local funk favorite Tortoise and the Pimps will perform while guests enjoy a special menu of Neapolitan pizzas and wine pairings! A ticket includes entry, one personal pizza and two glasses of wine; tickets are $40 per person. Limited tickets will be available at the door for $45.More
The Tenderloin was set to lose another irreplaceable when the Ha-Ra Club — a low-ceilinged dive of the slummiest reputation, long fallen into neglect, but nevertheless beloved for strong pours, idiosyncratic bartenders, and a long history — was taken over by the crew who run Ace's and Dobbs Ferry.
A fresh take on the Bukowskian milieu of dirtbags, drunks, and drifters is rare, but Joshua Mohr accomplished it with his debut novel, Some Things That Meant the World to Me. More improbably, O, The Oprah Magazine named it one of the best books of the year. Credit Mohr's voice for bridging these two seemingly irreconcilable extremes. His language is propulsive, raw, and sympathetic without being overly sentimental. Documenting the late-night denizens of the Mission's nastier sidewalks, he reveals an intimate awareness of the city's underbelly: It's a hard-won, firsthand understanding of his subject matter. He continues to explore this world with his latest novel, Termite Parade, which opens with a gauntlet-throwing first line: "There were days when I felt like the bastard daughter of a ménage à trois with Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Sylvia Plath, and Eeyore. So states the novel's protagonist, Mired, a drunk thrown down a flight of stairs by her boyfriend, Derek, who lies to her about the cause of the fall. Termite Parade, which Mohr reads from at tonights release party, follows three narrators: Mired, who believes she fell because of her drunkenness; Derek, who is wracked with guilt and convinced that termites are consuming his nervous system; and his estranged brother Frank, who knows the truth. Mohr's insistent prose propels the novel's surreal investigation of guilt, love, and duplicity.
Tue., July 6, 7 p.m., 2010