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.
The steady stream of bullshit that nurtures Hollywood can drive its denizens to believe they're capable of anything: Actors want to direct, directors wish to write, and transients see themselves headlining summer blockbusters. In reality, most successful Hollywood players are only marginally talented in their chosen vocation, much less others. There are rare exceptions. Guillermo Del Toro has made a career out of taking unconventional risks, directing idiosyncratic films such as Hellboy and Pan's Labyrinth within the blockbuster-minded studio system. As a result, he has earned the benefit of the doubt, even if his literary concerns include vampires, the most tired subject matter in contemporary genre fiction. Del Toros The Strain series is a pulpy, gripping read that benefits from the directors cinematic vision. He and coauthor Chuck Hogan recently released the second novel in the trilogy, The Fall, expanding the scope of the universe while still delivering a brisk, economical narrative. The premise y will be familiar to anyone familiar with vampire fiction: Vampirism spreads across the country like an infection, and the United States is overrun with the undead. Unlike traditional vampire tales, which focus on a handful of protagonists, The Strain has a global scope. The series is a welcome response to the dominant vampire-as-heartthrob model, and demonstrates that Del Toro is one of the few Hollywood players whose talents match his ambitions.
Tue., Sept. 28, 7:30 p.m., 2010