Mission Playground

SF Parks Department Suspends Permit Process For Mission Soccer Field

It turns out the Mission Playground is no longer for sale.

Yesterday, San Francisco’s Recreation and Parks Department repealed its previous policy allowing adults to rent Mission Playground’s soccer field. The decision is unsurprising after the Rec and Parks received tremendous backlash for quietly selling public space for private use, resulting in a bunch of Dropbox/Airbnb employees thinking they could book the Mission Playground without confrontation, as we watched in the infamous video we wrote about last week.

The decision is a step in the right direction, but not enough for one of the kids who was playing at Mission Playground the day of the tech encounter. During their pick up game against the adults who tried to kick them off the field, he claims to have been kicked in the back. The youth says he feels it was it was no accident, and plans to press charges against the man who allegedly kicked him.

He told Mission Local, “I’m not going down without a fight,” adding “I want an apology to my face.”

FINALLY

Get Drunk With Your Costumed Pet For a Good Cause

The SF SPCA has finally provided you with a potentially acceptable reason to dress your loveable pet up like the Cowardly Lion. On Thursday, October 30th, they’re throwing a “Wizard of Oz themed cocktail party” entitled “There’s No Place Like Home.”

The SPCA lets you know what to expect at the upcoming drunken cuddle-fest:

Celebrate the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz and help thousands of homeless pets find their way home for the holidays by starting Halloween early with the San Francisco SPCA! Admission is free - RSVP now!

The weekend kicks off on the night before Halloween with a cocktail party hosted by the San Francisco SPCA and 7x7. Indulge your tastebuds with vegetarian and vegan delights from San Francisco’s favorite food trucks: Hella Vegan Eats, Manna Sushi, Kasa Indian, Eurobistros, Frozen Kuhsterd, and Kara’s Cupcakes, then sidle up to the cocktail bar or enjoy suds from Lagunitas Brewing Company. Snap photos on the Yellow Brick Road and meet @Tunameltsmyheart of Instagram fame. Let your pet bask in the limelight or share the spotlight with matching costumes.  Dorothy and Toto?  Scarecrow and Lion?

Tickets are free and available now, so get on it.

Bikes

Bike News Commenter Bingo Channels Stanley Roberts

Continuing the fine tradition of trying to make bingo relevant, Seattle-based blog The Bicycle Story just published the above “Bike News Commenter Bingo.” And while this comes from our friends up north, it is hard not to imagine our very own Stanley Roberts spouting off the above generalizations in his escalating efforts to demonize the cyclists of San Francisco.

Mission Playground

Protest Planned to Battle City's Soccer Field Policies

Following on the heels of last Thursday’s video depicting Dropbox and Airbnb employees attempting to kick a group of children off the Mission Playground soccer field, a protest has been planned by the San Francisco Latino Democratic Club challenging the city sanctioned system by which the tech employees reserved the field.

Scheduled to take place this Thursday at 9:00 AM on the steps of City Hall, the protest organizers state the following goals:

1) We demand an immediate end to the privatization of Mission Playground and for all public access be restored
2) We demand that all privatized use for adults of Mission Playground and other youth-used recreation spaces throughout the city undergo community review planned by the neighborhood
3) We demand that community customs and park traditions be followed and supported by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department.
4) We demand full-time San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department staff for Mission Playground.

The youth of our city should not have to pay to use our public parks. Their health cannot afford it. Their safety cannot bare it. The relationships and community built from free play is what will help bring our City together. Join us and speak for the youth of San Francisco! Let’s keep our parks accessible to the elderly, disabled, poor and working-class.

The protest organizers seem focused not on the extreme sense of entitlement demonstrated by the Dropbox/Airbnb employees (some of which have apologized for their actions), but rather on the paid reservation system put in place by the Recreation & Parks Department, which fostered the conflict shown in the video. This is a good thing, as protesting the tech community is clearly a losing battle. And there is actually a chance that the city will take a look at their parks policies, which allow for the use of public space to be restricted to only those that can afford to pay for it. 

Things That Go Hump In The Night

The Mission Now Has an Erotic Haunted House

Falling squarely into the category of things we didn’t know we needed, but now we’re pretty sure are essential to the character of the city, everyone’s favorite porn palace has announced the opening of “the world’s first erotic haunted house.”

Hell in the Armory is being described as “a BDSM-inspired, immersive theater/haunted house experience through the basement sets of the world’s largest porn studio.” A press release (surprisingly light on “immersive theater” puns) from Kink goes into more detail:

“We know that many people find Kink’s films scary, so we wanted to have a little fun with that,” said Andrew Harvill, the producer of the event. “The Armory building itself is actually haunted, so setting up a real haunted house tour using our dungeons and sets was a natural fit. It’s both terrifying and, depending on your kink, arousing.” […]

To create the world’s first erotic haunted house, the porn company partnered with legendary San Francisco’s Vau de Vire Society, a subcultural circus with an eye for the extreme.

Hell in the Armory runs until November 1st, and the kind folks at Kink helpfully mention that “parental guidance is strongly suggested.”

Not Coming Soon

Prankster Promises Noe Valley Hooters

Posted on the exterior of the now closed Bliss Bar, this unassuming public notice promises a little excitement for sleepy Noe Valley in the form of cheap chicken with a side of objectification. 

But the families of Stroller Valley can breathe a sigh of relief, as this is clearly a joke. If the proposed (amazing) business name of “Neighborhooters” is not enough of a giveaway, the corporate name of Hooters is actually “Hooters of America, LLC” and not “Hooters, LLC” (as pointed out by others).

[Photo: ErosResmini]

Ugh

Bros Attempt to Kick Kids Off Mission Soccer Field

In what has to be the most literal analogy possible for gentrification in the Mission, a video from two weeks ago depicts a conflict over who has the right to play on the soccer field at Mission Playground (located off Valencia between 19th and 20th). In the video, a group of adults attempt to kick a bunch of young people playing a pick-up game off the field because said adults had previously paid for the time slot via an experiment with new mobile app technology (or something).

The following exchange seems to sum up the disagreement best:

Guy Already Playing on Field: You don’t understand— this field has never been booked. How long have you been in the neighborhood?
Bro: Over a year!
GAPOF: Oh, over a year?
Off Camera Guy in Dropbox Tee-Shirt: Who gives a shit? Who cares about the neighborhood?

Update: It has come to our attention that the field was not rented via the SF Pickup Soccer mobile app. Instead, the group of adults seem to have rented the field directly with the Rec & Park Department (and paid $27 to do so).

There has been quite a bit of debate as to whether the adults’ actions were justified because they legally rented the field. It’s clear the Rec & Park’s relatively recent policy of allowing Mission Playground to be rented out is deeply controversial, and might not have been made in the best interest of the community. Making public spaces quasi-private by charging usage fees is always going to restrict lower income resident’s access to parks—especially children’s. People should question the Parks Department judgment in making this policy.

But the policy is besides the point. Having the proper paperwork does not excuse shitty behavior. Once a group adults threatened to call the police on youths playing soccer, they’ve lost.

Bike Thieving

Cyclists Are Being Attacked By Bike Thieves on the Panhandle

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is calling for an increased police presence in the Panhandle after a series of attacks on cyclists:

In the last two weeks, three people have recently been attacked while biking through the Panhandle. According to the reports, the victims were all hit with a bottle or blunt object, and the assailants either stole or attempted to steal their bikes.

Though attacks like this are very rare, this string of three assaults on one of our busiest bikeways is very concerning. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has called  on the SF Police Department to step up enforcement to help ensure the safety of the huge number of people who bike through this area. We have reached out to Captain Vaswani to immediately step up enforcement along the Panhandle at night.

Basically, people are always trying to steal bikes in this city. Whether locked outside, stored in a garage, or with you physically sitting on it— keep an eye out. 

[Photo: BIKE NOPA]

Bad News

Pedestrian and Cyclist Hit by Car on 15th and Valencia

At roughly 4:40 PM today a car struck both a pedestrian and cyclist on the corner of 15th and Valencia. This is the second accident involving an automobile striking a pedestrian along Valencia this week, with Streetsblog reporting a hit-and-run that took place this past Sunday. In that incident, the driver kept going despite the victim being carried on the roof:

A drunk driver who hit a man crossing the street at Valencia Street and Duboce Avenue Sunday continued to drive with the victim hanging head-first inside the sunroof, according to a witness who saw the vehicle stop outside his home on Market at Guerrero Streets.

We will update this post as more information comes in.