Dolores Park: The Mission's Latest Object of Scorn

Look, we here still love Dolores Park.  Its views are unparalleled (even when we opt to sit at lower elevations), the grass is alive enough, it's the cheapest bar we know, and it's the Mall of America of people watching.  Sure, the bathrooms are crap and the fights are unfortunate and the drum circles are the worst ever, but we continue to enjoy it. However, it's hard to ignore the ever-mounting mockery and general sneer thrown in its direction.

The brush-off stems from the bubbly herds of artisan thunderheads toting wooden six pack carriers that flock to the park with increasing frequency (which, sure), creating a distinctive “not the Mission” vibe.  And as more non-residents enjoy the park, it has become ever so critical to one's Mission identity to pile onto the park, declaring its otherness and all-around shittiness. (As one critic recently pointed out, “Dolores Park is to Mission residents as the Strip is to people who live in Vegas.”)

Sounds like the usual contempt that comes with the “I was into ____ before it was cool” line of criticism? Well, of course. But the shift in attitudes towards Dolores has been particularly pronounced lately.

Take this damning piece of Dolores Park fan fic from SATAN'S WEINER (no relation to Scott Weiner):

Saturday. A beautiful day. Sun shining, no clouds, birds chirping. I woke up around 10 and had my daily protein shake. Hit the gym with Rich. After working out, Rich and I decided it was time to really enjoy our Saturday and start our weekend off right. At least better than Friday. All we did Friday was go to Matrix, drink shitty tequila, and bang out a couple of dumb sluts. We both wanted today to mean a little bit more, or at least be able to work on our tans. “Should we go to Marina Green?” Rich asked. “Nah man, we already played out the bitches there. I want something different. And by different I’m not talking about Fort Mason, that’s the same shit. I say we get a twelver and go to Dolores Park.” Rich, my lucky wingman, really had no other option than to comply. Without me, Rich wasn’t shit. I showed him how to isolate his triceps, how to drink all the beer you want and keep that six pack, and most importantly I got Rich laid. Sure, he’s my wingman, but by that I mean he really didn’t do anything besides make me look even better. In turn he’d get with the chick’s ugly friends. No harm, no foul. Though in recent days I could sense Rich’s jealousy and thirst for his own fame take hold.

Rich whined, “Dolores?!?!… But there’s just a bunch of lame hipsters and dumb potheads there. Not to mention the dumb ass drum circles that go down there.. Let’s just stay here in the Marina, the bitches are finer anyway.” I assured him, “Yeah, but dude, there will definitely be some fine girls there. Have you even been there before? Plus, dude, half of the bitches there are used to fucking with lame ass skinny hipster fags. They will hop on the first chance they get to be with a real fucking man like me. And you, I guess.” I could see Rich didn’t like that last part, but he really wasn’t as yolked as me and, whatever, it was the truth. So we walked to Fillmore and Chestnut and hopped on the 22, ready to mack on some dumb hipster bitches. I saw some dirty, cracked out homeless women puking in front of KFC. I simply laughed and cracked my first tall can, “Dude, today’s gonna be epic bro!” Rich just put on his shades, cracked his own tallboy and nodded his head.

Ah yes, Dolores Park is poised to become San Francisco's most hated destination next to Burning Man.

[Photo by Chris Schmidt]

Comments (12)

It’s perfectly fine Monday - Thursday and when the weather is normal. If it’s the weekend, or really warm out, it’s fucking unbearable.

“Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.” -Yogi Berra re: Dolores Park, circa 2008

Nah. The park is still great.

Wtf? Trust me, no girl is stoked to be with a man like you. Haters gonna hate.

On chilly evenings, I like to say I went to Dolores before it got cool.

It’s a City park, not a Mission park.

Did I just read “thunderhead” used instead of dunderhead ?

Different words, derp. Dunderhead is for idiots/dunces, thunderhead is for aggressive and/or bro-ish dudes.

Ah, it would seem I need to brush up on my slang then! :)

awesome photo

Five years later, I still love the park.

I think I knew it was time to move on the day (July 4th I believe) I brought my dog and someone started randomly lighting off M-80s in the park. I don’t need my park experience to feel like a warzone.