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 1976, George Moscone asked city librarian Gladys Hansen to find volunteer docents to lead tours of City Hall. It wasn’t hard. Academics, amateur historians, librarians, and corner store dons were eager to share what they knew -- the building is a monument to the City Beautiful Movement of the late 1800s, boasting one of the largest domes in the world -- but they didn’t want to stop with the building. Slowly, San Francisco City Guides was born, a quiet coterie of urban specialists who provide up to a dozen free walking tours every day. Whether you choose by neighborhood (from Chinatown to West Portal), by setting (Japanese Tea Garden to Lands End), by topic (murals to ghosts), or by difficulty (stroller strolls to vigorous hikes), you are guaranteed edification. This mid-week summer solstice offers adventures from the South End warehouse district to the Golden Gate Bridge, but if you can only do one walk, we recommend the Telegraph Hill Stairway Hike. Ascend the dizzying Filbert Street steps and enter a semi-tropical paradise inhabited by wild parrots and dotted by otherwise inaccessible Art Deco bungalows. At the top, take in stunning views of the bay and explore Coit Tower (designed by City Hall architect Arthur Brown Jr.). These walks are meant to be intimate, so arrive early and be gracious about numbers.
Thu., June 21, 5:30 p.m., 2012