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
Pickup basketball is a weird social phenomenon where a bunch of strangers meet at a designated spot during a designated time to engage in an athletic competition governed by de facto rules established in some mythic rulebook.
It'd be hard to fix San Francisco's myriad problems. How 'bout we just spiff up this old flag?
Look, these are not heady days for the city. Perturbed San Franciscans are following our gallivanting mayor around the state to heckle him -- because it's the only time locals can get close enough to ask a question. The only good news coming out of City Hall these days are pacts in which unions agree to layoffs and give-backs (the equivalent of celebrating the discovery of a trove of ornate Chippendale furniture -- that you can burn for heat). Foreign governments are sending their own investigators to solve San Francisco crimes -- and, speaking of crime, the only thing our crime cameras have busted of late are people vandalizing crime cameras.
Our elected officials seem to be getting especially under each others' skin these days. If it weren't for the inherently somnambulistic effect of government meetings, you'd expect a Taiwan-style brawl to break out any day now.
What's San Francisco to do? Well, in the sports world, when you're hoping to erase the memories of yet another miserable season but stuck with a roster full of crap players -- and, therefore, unable to actually substantially improve the skill level of the team -- there's a surefire option: Change your uniforms and make your mascot angrier.
The most recent example came from Detroit -- a city so hard-up it was actually offered business advice by the mayor of San Francisco. The NFL's Lions, who managed to lose all 16 of their games last year, yesterday unveiled a newer, more ferocious-looking logo. San Francisco has had the same city flag with the same UPS-brown phoenix (yes, that's a phoenix) for 109 years. Is it time to toughen him up? Can we work in some teal?
Maybe we need a more ferocious-looking phoenix; this old one resembles a mixture of a condor and Big Bird. How about we combine a terrifying, oversize bird-like creature with the city's green ethos (as demonstrated -- in teal! -- on this excellent t-shirt over at Amorphia Apparel):
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Or, for a more conventional look, how about something like this:
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Or, if we really want to roll the dice, how about this Phoenix on the flag?
Give it some thought, city fathers. If we can't make this city better, we can at least rebrand so that we no longer resemble our dysfunctional selves of recent years.
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.'"