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 San Francisco Black Film Festival has never sugarcoated unpleasant truths, nor has it endorsed the illusory and fleeting comfort of self-pity. Its unwavering philosophy, in the face of every challenge to its core constituency, is that clear-eyed self-regard is, ultimately, empowering. By that standard, the selection of veteran producer-director Robert Townsend’s In the Hive to open the 14th festival tonight at 7 was practically a foregone conclusion. The fact-based drama centers on a charter school in rural North Carolina that represents the last chance for at-risk boys tossed from the public-school system. Mrs. Inez (played by Loretta Divine) and her hulking assistant (Michael Clarke Duncan), with Vivica A. Fox and Berkeley native Roger Guenveur Smith in supporting roles, challenge their charges with a stringent blend of high expectations and tough love. The buzz-worthy film’s inspirational credo carries over into the festival's Focus on Fathers Family Day & Juneteenth Celebration, which happens Saturday at the Calvary Hill Community Church, as well as the numerous screenings and workshops that round out the weekend program. Worker or queen, everyone has a role to play at this film festival.
June 15-17, 2012