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
San Francisco Seagulls outfielder Dan Fernandez plays wallball in Minneapolis' Metrodome.
Back in the old days -- when kids played baseball instead of videogames featuring baseball -- young people attempted to cheat mother nature by squeezing an extra inning or two out of a game when, clearly, it was already dark enough you'd think an air raid drill was taking place.
It's a fond memory for Marc Caviglia -- and, in his own way, he's doing it now. Caviglia, 26, is attempting to cheat mother nature in a somewhat different manner. The onetime City College of San Francisco and University of Hawaii-Hilo baseball star has reached an age when most folks who've never signed a pro contract are well into recalling their exploits on the diamond over steins of lager and proving the age-old maxim: "The older I get, the better I was."
That's not the route Caviglia has taken. Instead, he founded his own semi-pro team five years ago with his former CCSF coach, Doug Price. Instead of reminiscing, he's playing first base for the San Francisco Seagulls. "We're giving guys the chance to play baseball as long as they can," says Caviglia, the old man of the roster. "I'm 26, but I'm still able to play at a high level. I've got friends who are as good as me, but they're playing beer-league softball. Why give up? You should always play for as long as you can."
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Playing first base, No. 33 Marc Caviglia
Caviglia -- who is also the assistant coach to his former mentor Price -- has a roster full of college players, most of whom are Bay Area products and attend local schools such as Stanford or San Jose State. As unpaid amateurs, the Seagulls can play summer ball without jeopardizing their collegiate eligibility -- and barnstorm up and down the West Coast taking on teams with colorful monikers such as the Atwater Aviators, Nevada Big Horns, and Reno Astros. The team plays a double header at Big Rec Park (within Golden Gate Park) Saturday vs. The Sacramento Red Sox.
The team's yearly fund-raiser at Bertolucci's in South City takes care of half of the $10,000 in operting expenses -- meaning each player throws in 200 bucks to cover room, board, equipment (wood bats only), and sunflower seeds. And while none of the Seagulls alums have yet gone on to professional success, it warrants mentioning that baseball is a game in which a man who fails 65 times out of 100 is considered a prodigy. Just because no one's yet gone on to fame and fortune after his Seagulls days are over doesn't mean it's not going to happen, notes Caviglia.
"To say you won't be watching these guys at AT&T Park -- you could be wrong about that. It's just a matter of catching a break," says the veteran first baseman. "It's all about opportunities. It only takes one good game to get exposure from a college coach or a pro scout."
Caviglia isn't yet quite ready to close the book on his baseball dreams -- but he's a small business consultant when he's not playing, managing, or organizing road trips for his team. He says he'll play until it becomes obvious he's taking up a spot on the field that would better serve a younger player not even old enough to legally drink while reminiscing about his playing days.
In the meantime, one place the Seagulls don't expect to be noticed by scouts is on their annual road game to play the inmates of San Quentin. Needless to say, beanball wars do not erupt under the guards' watchful eyes. "Even though they're in there for a reason, they're still professionals on the field," notes Caviglia.
The player-coach goes on to note that the mound is still 60 feet, six inches from home at San Quentin and the bases are 90 feet apart. The wall, however, is probably pretty high.
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.'"