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
Celebrate good times -- BART and Muni won the lottery!
Public transit advocates are all but dancing in the aisles of public transit following a ruling that yanked $70 million in federal funding away from the controversial Oakland Airport Connector and led to moribund local transit agencies being showered with manna from Washington. Transit activists SF Weekly spoke with portrayed the Friday decision by the Federal Transportation Authority to revoke funding to the much-maligned connector as the governmental equivalent of a double word score: Not only are starving local agencies receiving millions in much-needed funds, the airport connector -- decried by many as an exorbitant farce -- may have been dealt a fatal blow.
"We are thrilled," said Stuart Cohen, executive director of TransForm. "The truth is, this was going to be an enormous boondoggle. First off, it would have cost nearly half a billion in taxpayer money. And also, because it was going to be so slow and because it was going to drop you off in the parking lot and you'd have a long walk, we thought it'd have very low ridership."
Because of the looming possibility that the feds would rescind stimulus dollars for the Oakland Airport Connector, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission last month set up a contingency plan in which that $70 million would instead go to local transit agencies. Since the feds followed through on their threat, Muni will now benefit to the tune of $17.5 million; BART will receive $17 million; and AC Transit -- an agency Daly describes as "on life-support" -- picks up $6.7 million.
When asked, point blank, if this doomed the connector project, BART spokesman Jim Allision would not answer yes or no but "it's complicated." He referred SF Weekly to watch this Friday press conference given by BART General Manager Dorothy Dugger. She, too, refuses to answer the question yes or no -- but does say this:
"It was the availability of the $70 million in stimulus funding in the winter of 2009 that really made pursuit and delivery of this project a possibility. The loss of $70 million on a $490 million project is a substantial gap. Without a solution to close that funding gap, the project cannot go forward."
"I don't think a contractor will be very comfortable accepting a contract from me ... [if I say] 'I don't know where $70 million is coming from, but don't worry. I'll find it.'"
When asked if there were any alternative sources where that kind of money could be found, Dugger replied "I am not optimistic."
"She came as close to saying the project is dead as she could without saying it's dead," summed up John Knox White of TransForm. Yet White -- and Cohen and Daly -- were not willing to declare the connector "dead" but only "mostly dead."
"Sometimes money just gets pulled out of a hat," said White. "That's what happened with these stimulus funds in the first place." Added Daly, "I don't know if it is dead. But it is certainly stalled."
Cohen, meanwhile, held out hope that his pet plan -- an airport connector bus service that would cost a fraction the price of the proposed connector -- will now gain traction. Such a service, however, wouldn't satisfy the needs of politicians -- like the politicians who mostly make up the MTC -- to point at a massive, expensive capital project and say "Look what I got built!"
BART "is going to need to do a very serious analysis, and that may include having to compare [the connector] to a rapid bus system. What [FTA Director Peter] Rogoff said is that their corrective action plan did not include that analysis," said Cohen. "My guess is, ultimately, BART will have to include it, and they know they simply can't withstand the scrutiny. This project can't withstand any objective scrutiny by anybody."
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.'"