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
While much of Southern California is currently blazing away like an old Christmas tree, we've got a little bit of a fire going on up here in San Francisco, too. It's a four-alarm blaze under John Hanley's collar.
The head of the San Francisco firefighter's union is incensed that the SFFD has spurned pleas from the State Office of Emergency Services to send a "strike team" consisting of five fire trucks and 22 firefighters to SoCal. Instead, the city has sent a single truck.
"If the city of Vallejo, which is in bankruptcy court, can send one engine down, San Francisco ought to be able to send five," said Hanley. "Our neighbor's house is burning and we've got well-trained, well-qualified guys but the chief won't let them go. It just doesn't look very good."
San Francisco's neighboring counties, meanwhile, sent multitudes of vehicles and personnel southward. Alameda County dispatched a pair of five-vehicle strike teams, as did Santa Clara, Solano, and Monterey. Santa Cruz, Contra Costa County and Marin also sent a strike team apiece, according to Emily Hopkins of the Contra Costa County Fire Department, which coordinated the regional effort. She confirmed that San Francisco has not sent a strike team.
Our calls to the San Francisco Fire Department have not yet been returned. Hanley, however, said this was a black eye for the department and blamed Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White for not stocking enough reserve vehicles for the department to be able to spare the men and machines.
"When I first came into the department [in 1980] there were 15 relief pieces. So if we sent a strike team, we would still have additional apparatuses so San Francisco doesn't get short," he says. "Well, the chief has failed to buy fire engines. We only have three to four extra relief pieces a day. That is a sad state of affairs."
This isn't the first time San Francisco has denied assistance to its burning neighbors; Hanley notes that two weeks ago the city sent only "two or so" engines to Santa Cruz instead of the requested full strike team.
The union boss lamented that a shortage of extra fire vehicles would also be disastrous in the event of, say, a major San Francisco earthquake.
In such an event, the city's neighbors would doubtlessly send help -- wouldn't they?
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.'"