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 sinews of old San Francisco lie in the water: the posts standing in the Bay mud that supported the docks and piers where the shipping that made the city possible, and later allowed it to flourish, flowed.
Post-apocalypse slow-burner Stake Land, produced by Larry Fessenden, is Jim Mickle and Nick Damici's follow-up to the killer-rats-infest-the-LES flick Mulberry Street. It's an ambitious hybrid, grafting the ethereal, landscape-driven, light-infused beauty and naif narration associated with Terrence Malick onto a tale in which struggle against supernatural forces is just one challenge of coming of age a trope that has become inescapably trendy of late but hasn't had such a sense of balance between the fantastic and the organic since the heyday of Joss Whedon. Seventeen-year-old Martin (Connor Paolo) is orphaned by killer vampires and saved by badass drifter Mister (Damici). The pair head west toward a supposed promised land, across a convincingly devastated landscape (the art direction complements actual landmarks of decaying Americana), fighting bloodsuckers and the neo-Aryan nuts who worship them (and even flew planes full of vamps into national landmarks). How it came to pass that "they" took over is never fully explained: We only know that at some indeterminate point, trouble started and didn't stop, and now those left alive are adapting by any means necessary. The narration is sometimes cloying, the Mother Mary metaphors are pumped hard, and the aesthetics can verge on self-parody (Martin's vamp-dusting training reliably takes place at magic hour). But it's thick with a distinct mood the sadness and exhilaration of having nothing left to lose and the characters, in their desperation and drive, feel real. Fessenden may be producing the best brains-before-blood horror in North America today.
April 29-May 10; May 12-18, 2011