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
Tequila is big business. Worldwide sales exceed 10 million cases a year, and the US consumes about half of those. That explains how Don Julio / Diageo could afford to host a four-course dinner at Cortez (550 Geary) for local food writers featuring tequila cocktails invented by mixologist Brandon Skaggs and dishes created by chef Jenn Puccio.
The idea was to promote cocktail pairing along the lines of wine pairing. With one big exception, that didn't work for me. The food was great--particularly squash ravioli with smoked brussels sprouts and a crispy Kurobuta pork belly, both on the regular dinner menu--but the drinks were too sweet to go with it. I'd have preferred the tequilas straight, or better yet a few glasses of dry wine from the restaurant's excellent list.
The exception was the Cesar, Skaggs's radical, jalapeño- and cilantro-spiked variation on a Margarita. This not only paired well with various appetizers: it was one of the most delicious cocktails I've ever had. The drink is $11 at the bar. For the next couple of weeks, order one and you can get one of the snacks from the Bar Bites menu for another $2.
The recipe in the press handout was clearly wrong--the drink didn't include Grand Marnier, and six slices of jalapeño would have made it too spicy--so I visited Skaggs recently to get the real recipe, as well as a video demonstration of its preparation.
click to enlarge
The Cesar Cocktail 1-1/2 oz. Don Julio Blanco (or similar 100% agave "white" tequila) juice of 1/2 lime 1 slice jalapeño (about 3/8") a few cilantro leaves 1/2 oz. Partida or similar agave nectar, preferably 100% blue agave
Add the tequila, lime juice, jalapeño. and cilantro to a shaker and muddle. Add the agave nectar, fill shaker with ice, cover, and shake vigorously until the agave nectar is entirely dissolved. Pass through a tea strainer into a martini glass.
You can find agave nectar at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Rainbow Grocery, Bi-Rite, and Bevmo, among other places. Skaggs uses Happy Girl Kitchen pickled peppers.
Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'.
Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"