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
Thai chef Kasem "Pop" Saengsawang owns several solid restaurants in San Francisco, including the breakfast-centric Sweet Maple and the Asian fusion spot Kitchen Story, but his newest project Farmhouse Kitchen is the one to miss at your peril.
Naturally, we couldn't get everything into the story. Below are some of the gems from my notebook that couldn't find their way into the final draft. Also below is a beautiful video shot within Martuni's in which several singers and pianist Joe Wicht do their best to explain what piano bars are all about -- and sing!
Saturday night: A drunk woman in an animal print dress wants to stand up from her stool and dance and finds she cannot do both. She resorts to dancing in her seat. An impeccably dressed older gentleman is dissatisfied by a gorgeous young man's awful rendition of a Beyoncé song, which he sings while reading from his smart phone.
Older man: "Being cute is not enough." He shakes his head. "Too bad he's singing to his iPhone, and not the room." He takes a drink of his martini. "Or, maybe not."
Diplomatic pianist Dee Spencer later tells an equally unimpressive singer, "You look so good, it don't even matter." Monday night: Pianist Joe Wicht introduces a song by saying "let's go back to the days of Sal Mineo," inducing a wave of nostalgia among patrons of a certain age.
Other Wicht callouts include "Our first Disney song of the night!" "Our first Jesus song of the night!" "Our first lesbian song of the night!" and "Who wants to sing? You! You with the wonderful jazz hands."
Wednesdaynight: An older man watches a good-looking young regular singing -- and dancing to -- "Cruella DeVille." He shouts up, "This song needs more shoulders."
Later, this happens:
Incredibly drunk girl: Let's go to The Mint. (She steps on his foot with her stiletto heel) Incredibly drunk guy: Aaaah! You crushed my toe! Incredibly drunk girl: Your toe is fine. (She drags him from the premises)
Monday night: Overheard in the crowd:
-- What's that smell? -- It's the oil in the lamps being blown out. -- They're blowing lamps here, now? -- You need to get out of here and go home and stay in your room for seven years until all of your body cells turn over and you'll be a new person.
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.'"