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
You needn't be Houdini nor Capone to elude this fare gate
By now, everyone and his fare-evading Uncle Phil knows that Muni's brand-spanking-new, $30 million Metro station gates can be evaded with a wave of the hand. Please allow us to be the first to christen this "GateGate."
What really rankles isn't so much that expensive new technology is effortlessly compromised by dishonest people: These gates weren't installed, specifically, to combat fare evasion. And there have always been ways to fare evade at Muni stations, whether walking behind your buddy, hopping the turnstile, or going through the emergency exit. What's bothersome is that Muni knew full well that this problem existed, but is only now starting to ask the questions that should have been answered before money exchanged hands and Muni was stuck with these gates.
Like every other reporter in town, we talked with Muni spokesman Paul Rose. Rose, like his predecessor Judson True, is an earnest and hard-working guy -- but this wasn't his mistake, and he can only say so much when pressed with difficult questions.
For example, Rose notes that Muni is "currently exploring what our options are right now," but can't say what any of those options are (barricades keeping patrons from reaching over and triggering the sensors? A refund from Cubic, the company that made the gates? Calling in the Gambino family? It's a mystery).
When asked why this problem wasn't tested out before Muni sank $30 million into the gates -- including $11 million in federal stimulus money -- Rose answers "that's one of the things we're looking at."
So, for the record, Muni doesn't know why it doesn't know, and doesn't know why it doesn't know why it doesn't know. Brilliant.
A couple of other points on GateGate:
Keeping the old fare gates was not an option. They were into their fourth decade of service, broke down frequently, and were not fully compatable with the Clipper cards. Even still, keeping, say, turnstiles, instead of nifty sensor-based gates would have made it harder to waltz through without paying. (Turnstiles, however are not compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act -- so you would still need to wave disabled people through the emergency exit, which is always vunlerable to fare evasion).
Cubic has designed fare gates for many of the Asian systems Muni's detractors have implored it to imitate, including Shanghai's immaculate subway system. Rose notes that gates essentially identical to Muni's are now installed in several American cities. When asked why Muni didn't ask transit officials in these cities how they dealt with this problem -- guess what? That's something they're looking into now, too, after the fact.
Is it possible to rejigger Muni's fare gates to require users to "tag out" with their Clipper cards before the doors open? Yes. Yes it is.
Those buying a temporary card -- as opposed to long-term users -- are assessed a 25-cent fee by the new fare machines. Does that stick it to tourists and the indigent? You bet. But Rose says it's just a way of making up the cost of the card, and isn't padding Muni's bottom line at all. That's plausible, as the concept of Muni finding a way to make money seems far-fetched.
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.'"