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
We don't often go out of our way for restrooms, but in the case of Macy's sixth-floor ladies room (sorry guys: you'll just have to make do with having everything else), all who pass through its doors will understand why it's worth the effort.
John Dennis, the Republican vying for Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco House seat, grew up in a housing project in Jersey City, N.J. The son of a longshoreman and a city hall clerk, he remembers those days vividly: how the building deteriorated over the course of his childhood; the broken elevators; the torn-down fences; the unswept garbage; the overwhelming sense of desertion.
"Things just didn't work," he recalls.
And, from his perspective, the people in charge didn't seem to care.
"I realized that when the government owns something, it it has no incentive to make capital improvements," says Dennis, who moved to San Francisco in 1991.
It would be too simplistic to say that those early years set the course for his political ideals. Because, as he grew older, there would be reading Atlas Shrugged in 1984, and volunteering on Ron Paul's 1988 presidential campaign, and seeing two expensive Bush-era wars to sharpen his beliefs in government's role in society.
By now, many of those beliefs are well known. Dennis, who currently works as a real estate investor, gained a good deal of media attention -- profiles in the Chronicle and the New York Times -- when he ran against Pelosi in 2010. It was an election cycle defined by a GOP surge and people were fascinated by the Republican candidate seeking to unseat one of the more liberal members of congress in one of the most liberal districts in America. He isn't a normal Republican, of course. In 2010, former city Supervisor Matt Gonzalez endorsed Dennis. On his campaign's website, he memorably lists "institutionalized racism" as one of the top issues he cares about. He is anti-war and pro-marijuana and pro-gay marriage. Policy-wise, he is a Ron Paul libertarian.
Still, riding that midterm Republican wave, he raised $2 million and got a "pat on the back" from soon-to-be-House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
The media attention focused on two notable aspects of his candidacy: that he was a Republican "actually running against Nancy Pelosi," as the Times put it. And that he "runs to left of Pelosi" [on social issues], as the Chron wrote. Simply, he was a novelty. And, not surprisingly, Pelosi retained her seat with 80 percent of the vote.
This time around the novelty's worn off. The downside of that is that less media attention means less money. He says his war chest in the "hundreds of thousands" this cycle. His campaign, then, has focused more on ground game -- mailers and handshakes -- than TV spots. And, as you can see above, another trait he shares with his political role model: overly dramatic, possibly ironic, slickly produced, and kinda-hilarious Internet campaign ads, a viral marketing strategy that, if done well, can reach just as many eyes as a commercial during the local news.
One benefit of the diminished publicity, though, is that Dennis can shape his campaign outside of the newsworthy traits -- a pro-gay marriage Republican! -- focusing instead on the small government economic policies he take pride in -- from slicing military spending to eliminating numerous federal departments to, of course, ending the Fed.
"Nancy Pelosi has this image in town of being this anti-corporatist," he says. "she's the biggest corporatist out there! The dictionary definition of corporatism is the Federal Reserve... it's a cartel."
And many of those positions first simmered in that housing project all those years ago. An economic liberal might argue that much of his building's blight was not caused by government incompetence, but rather by government's lack of resources and a lack of political will to channel more funding toward services for the poor.
To that, Dennis responds, "There's never enough money."
Not that he's a purebred small government acolyte.
When it comes to entitlements, Dennis does not favor privatizing social security and medicare. Rather, his position entails allowing people to opt-out of the programs while maintaining "any and all" policies "that will save them the most." For him, this means using defense cuts -- including the Paulian ideal of closing overseas military bases -- to help make those programs more sustainable in the long-term. To this purpose, he supports doling out medicare block grants to states.
"I think there should be a robust, overlapping, powerful social safety net," he says. "I'm not sure government should be in charge of that, but it is important that we have one."
No question, Dennis faces a Lombard Street climb just to beat his 2010 mark of 15 percent of the votes. His ultimate goal, however, might be even more lofty than unseating the House Minority Leader:
"I'd like everyone to see the state, the government, for what it is, and at best, limit its role in society." says Dennis. "People are just sick and tired of politics as usual."
At the very least, he has addressed that second point. Dennis' candidacy is anything but usual.
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.'"