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
Small book-sellers have weathered tougher times -- but not many
During the height of the Philadelphia Phillies' 80 years of futility, the joke going around the City of Brotherly Love was that the local papers kept in standing type -- this was the days before laser printers -- the headline "KLEIN HITS TWO AS PHILS LOSE."
If we still had standing type 75-odd years later here in San Francisco, we could preserve a variation of the headline gracing this story: "Independent S.F. Bookstore Goes Under."
Today's victim: Babylon Falling on 1017 Bush Street (at Jones). The store bills itself "a concept-based" space featuring books that "embrace the spirit of change and revolution" without spouting any particular ideology. Oh, it's also an art gallery. This, by the way, is just the sort of cool place that Bay Area folks love the idea of and love having in their neighborhoods -- but don't go to enough to keep afloat (See: Parkway Theater).
Store owner Sean Stewart has announced a massive sale -- he plays up his literature on graffiti and street art -- commencing tomorrow and lasting throughout April. And while he's certainly not thrilled to pull the plug on his store, he's taking the blow remarkably well.
"It's one of those situations that's sad, no doubt, because of how beautiful an experience it was. But I moved in with a pretty solid idea of what I wanted to create and it's just not possible with this [economy]. You don't need a weatherman to tell which way the wind blows," he said with his Jamaican-accented lilt. "We were able to create this really vibrant community around the store. We just kind of got sideswiped by shit that was out of our control. I think it's still possible, with a little bit of tweaking -- this model of an independent bookstore can not only exist, but thrive. I'm not too down and out about it in that sense. It's just not for me to do."
Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left.
"Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015.
He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.
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.'"