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 recently had one of those only in San Francisco moments. No, it wasnt during the Sex Worker Film & Arts Festival, in which numerous smart, talented, sexy, educated, funny women and men went hog mad to show that sex workers are real live humans and that we as a society should decriminalize prostitution to get over our sexual hangups and give legal protection to those in a very dangerous (and old) profession. No, we already knew that. The aha moment came when we took notice of Kirk Reads show, Formerly Known As. Its a lineup of men and transgender people who are sex workers. Read states its purpose: Female sex workers have historically led the way politically and creatively, so we hope this festival is an incubator for more male and transgender artists to join the dialogue. Think about that. The transgression doubles back on itself to be absurd and amazing at the same time. And speaking of amazing, Read has put together quite a collection of performers over two nights. Theres Cyd Nova, who grew up getting fiercely turned on by fairy tales (such as the Little Prince being dominated by that uppity rose). Theres Double Duchess, a performance duo that includes a person named Krylon Superstar which alone is enough to make us love the act. Theres 85-year-old writer George Birimisa, who penned the novel S&M Gym 30 years ago and continues to write plays. Theres Brontez Purnell, who has published several zines (including Fag School) and played in several punk bands (including Panty Raid). Want more? Theres Read himself. Weve described him as the only person we can imagine who could tell a story about being fisted by a trucker and make it seem tender. Read writes. Read reads. Read does performances that seem like standup but arent. Read does weird stuff with his body that have to be seen to be believed. Only in San Francisco? Tonight thats a pretty safe assumption.
Thursdays, Fridays, 8 p.m. Starts: June 9. Continues through June 10, 2011