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
Make no mistake about it, Ashkon Davaran is enjoying his time as an internet celebrity. But he's not enjoying it nearly as much as what put him there: an extended San Francisco Giants playoff ride.
The Bay Area-born actor and musician's Giants-themed takeoff of Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" has clocked just shy of 700,000 YouTube hits. Calls are coming in from possible movers and shakers, he'll be on KNBR radio today, and, perhaps, he'll even be working with the Giants -- if the team's postseason run continues. All in all, good times for a long-suffering Giants fan.
Davaran is a firm believer in the adage that real musicians have day jobs. He doesn't right now -- he's aggressively pushing this music thing. But, in recent years, he's worked as a tutor and substitute teacher in Oakland and Richmond schools and served as a camp director in Berkeley. He has, naturally, waited tables. During the young actor/musician's obligatory sojourn in Los Angeles, he worked with a nonprofit that taught theater skills to underprivileged kids.
Last year, his L.A. chapter ended. The Kensington-raised Davaran -- who would not reveal his age, but would note that the 1989 Giants were his first baseball love -- returned home to help care for his ailing father. The elder Davaran, a huge Giants fan, recently died -- making this playoff run somewhat bittersweet.
The massive reaction to Davaran's Giants-themed ditty has "opened up a lot of doors connections-wise, in terms of people reaching out who are interested in doing stuff," says the El Cerrito High grad. "I think I've done a pretty good job of separating out the people who want to talk to me for the moment and people who actually want to talk to me about future collaborations."
And, yes, Davaran's net-fame got him into today's Game 3. An old buddy with season tickets called up and said "I'm going with you." Don't stop believing it -- Ashkon will be watching Cole Hamels and Matt Cain lock horns from about 15 rows behind home plate.
"If nothing else, I'm going to the NLCS," he said. "So it was all worth it."
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.'"