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.
Even as the first girders were laid in the mid-1960s, something about the World Trade Center -- that twin-pronged erection jutting from the loins of Western commerce -- inspired fantasies of lustful conquest. As James Marsh's documentary Man on Wire tells it, a mischievous French teenager was sitting in a dentist's office in 1968 when a magazine image caught his eye. It was a sketch of two gleaming towers, under construction, piercing the clouds above lower Manhattan. But their height was less intriguing than the short distance between them -- a mere 140 feet, just a puny gap in the drawing.
Instantly, Philippe Petit found his guiding passion. Across that gap, the Parisian street performer and would-be wire walker inked in the detail that would consume his life for the next six years: a straight line. Part caper movie, part real-life superhero saga, and entirely engrossing, Man on Wire recounts in Rififi-like detail how Petit dodged cops, fought the elements, and defied seemingly impossible logistics to pull off a feat of death-defying frivolity: an illegal, hastily rigged tightrope walk on August 7, 1974, across the 1,350-foot plunge between the towers.
Still lithe and trim, with a strangely well-muscled delicacy, the middle-aged Petit animates Man on Wire with his impish presence. Almost from the moment he saw the towers, Petit recalls, he began to plot his way to New York: first by practicing endlessly on a home-rigged high wire, then by taking warm-up runs (such as a mid-air stroll between the towers of Notre Dame). He assembled a core group -- including his then-girlfriend, Annie Allix, and his boyhood chum, Jean-Louis Blondeau -- for moral and physical support, though they privately worried he was courting death.
Although it's taken from Petit's written 2002 account -- which he had begun, in a stroke of savage irony, just as the site of his great "coup" was eradicated by cataclysmic assault -- the story presented here is natural movie material.
Sun., Oct. 26; Mon., Oct. 27, 2008
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.'"