Dolores Park

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This Is Your Last Weekend in Dolores Park Before Renovations Begin

The weather is looking promising for a last hurrah of cheap beer drinking and inching away from terrible rap battles, as next Saturday will see the long-awaited park renovation groundbreaking, followed by a fence going up around the northern half of the park. Here’s the schedule:

9:00 a.m. –  The Dolores Park Volunteers and DPWorks will rake hipster hill on last time before the dust flies. This will be our moment to thank you, the neighbors, merchants, friends and supporters of Dolores. Coffee and pastry from Dolores Park Cafe.

10:00 a.m. - Welcome Remarks and Groundbreaking Ceremony.

We would also expect folks will make a run on the vendors, needing to stockpile an 18-month supply of weed truffles and other artisanal sundries, so you better get there early.

[Dolores Park Works]

Park Life

Dolores Park: A Capitalist’s Utopia?

We hear people spouting off every so often about how the soon to be renovated Dolores Park is capitalist’s wet dream, with the invisible hand of party positivity letting folks buy and ingest whatever they damn please.  However, Priceonomics’ recent piece is the most thorough argument in favor of this we’ve yet read.  A peek at their findings:

You’d never know it from experiencing a Saturday in Dolores Park, but there exists a tireless set of park rules and regulations in the San Francisco Municipal Code. Smoking is prohibited, public drinking is prohibited, and vending food and/or alcohol is strictly defined as illegal. Add to the mix city violations — drinking in public, peddling without a permit, marijuana possession (albeit the lowest priority of the SFPD) — and it’s a wonder that Dolores Park continues to function as it does. […]

So, is Dolores Park truly a free market economy? Not entirely — but it’s probably as close as you can get in San Francisco. The forces of supply and demand are minimally impacted by laws and regulations; goods are sold at freely set prices, adjusted based on desirability. The vendors are more often at the mercy of sunny skies and generous crowds than legislation and police. By most accounts, Dolores is a capitalist’s utopia, and both the vendors and their clientele intend to keep it that way.

Read the whole piece for insight into the park’s history, and analysis on the various sellers the park is host to.

Herd of Ironic Fauxtesters to March Against Marches on Friday

Proving that irony can still be found in the Mission despite the turbulent times, the second annual SF Fauxtest aims to amuse and bewilder with a protest designed to air petty annoyances, chant against chanting, and generally tease protest culture.  Maybe they'll even stuff flowers in the exhaust pipes of Google buses.

Things kick off in Dolores Park at 5:15pm on Friday, followed by a march down Valencia.  Should you want to participate, there are plenty of fine photos from last year's Fauxtest to comb through for inspiration, but we're partial to this set of semi-serious signage:

[Facebook]

Bay Area's "Highest Elevated Spiritual Leaders" to Bless Doggie Diner Heads, Other Mutts, on Sunday

If you've lived in the Bay Area for longer than fifteen seconds, you've undoubtedly seen this trio of colossal pups being trucked around the city.  But after years of weather, travels, and playa dust, their caretaker needs to restore these 300 pound icons to their former glory.  So in support of the traveling cerberus's $48,000 restoration Kickstarter, they'll be making an appearance in Dolores Park Sunday for a “blessing.”  It all sounds very weird and certainly worthy of your attention:

Join in with three of the Bay Areas highest elevated spiritual leaders as they bless your favorite Chihuahua, Labrador Retriever, Pug, Terrier, Spaniel, French Bulldog, in your life. Of course, this includes the Bay Area's own Dachshunds, the Doggie Diner Dogheads as well! This event is a very special spiritual blessing of the Dogs in support of the Kickstart Campaign to restore the Heads, replace their trailer with a customized “dog trailer” and perform mandatory and expensive repairs to the heavy duty hauling vehicle.

And who's on deck for the ceremony?

  • Sister Dana Van Iquity representing The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
  • Bishop Joey (Ed Holmes), 1st Church of the Last Laugh
  • Philo Drummond, Co-Founder of the Church of the Subgenius
  • And introduced by Deacon Sebastian Melmoth (John Law), Holy Trinity of the Dogminican Order

The event reminds us that this is all goofy bullshit, noting, “The Sisters, Subgenius and St. Stupid are all long-time Bay Area “spiritual” organizations that, regardless of what you might believe about their relative seriousness, have spread good cheer, whimsical confusion and a lot of fun around SF and beyond for decades.”

It all begins Sunday at 4pm and goes until 5:30.  Bring your own dog, or borrow a wandering mongrel to get in the action yourself.

[Photo by Marc]

As Renovations Begin, Half of Dolores Park to Close in March

Following months of delays and a long and often ridiculous community process (remember the astroturf proposal? Complaints of fresh grass causing childhood obesity??), the city's Department of Recreation and Park is finally ready to break ground on Dolores Park Rehabilitation Project.  Just in time for non-winter!

According Dolores Park Works' latest newsletter, the entire northern half of the park between 18th and 19th streets, including the tennis courts and Tallboy Terrace, are expected to close “around March 1” and remain closed throughout the year.  Once the northern section's portion of the project is completed, the southern half (with the exception of the playground) will close.

Jake Gilchrist of Rec. and Park says the entire project is expected to last until the Spring of 2015.

Dolores Park Works reports the entire project is slated to be $4m over budget because of delays, complications in keeping half the park open at all times, and the costs of construction rising since the project was approved in the depressed economy.

With that, you should plan in getting your Dolores Park fix over the coming weeks.  And once our preferred patch of grass gets ripped up, might we recommend slouching in Precita or Potrero del Sol?  While lacking the stunning views and frenzy Dolores provides, both are host to grass, clear skies, and nearby bodegas.  But if that's not enough, there's always Frat Mason.

The Peter Shih Suite, Now Available for $2,800/Month

“Everything you need at your doorstep… progressive charter schools, great restaurants, hip shopping! Google bus will pick you up right across the street!”

That's the realtor's listing for this (obviously satirical) $2,800/month micro-apartment from Outside The Box Realty.  They go on about your new Dolores Street dream pad:

We call this our Peter Shih Suite.  Bright and airy—location is everything here. If you want Naughty, the Mission is to your left. Want Nice? Head right to Noe Valley. Progressive charter schools, hip shops and the finest restaurants. Dolores Park is your front yard, Bernal Hill your back.

Of course, their trick photography makes the space look more luxurious than it really is, as The Worst Room's pic reveals:

[Outside The Box Realty, via The Worst Room]

Scott Wiener Seeks "Culture Shift" in Dolores Park Following Renovation

Scott Wiener, right, at Monday's “Breakfast and a Park Clean Up.”

During a Dolores Park community breakfast, Supervisor Scott Wiener announced that the oft-delayed Dolores Park Renovation project is slated to begin in January—only a few months past the previously announced date.  However, Wiener's comments about what will happen after the renovations are complete in 2015 were the most curious.

“Everything about this Park is going to be better,” Dolores Park Works quoted him saying. “But we need to make sure that when we reopen the Park we have a culture shift, and we need to get people to stop trashing it.  We want to make sure when it reopens, that this Park is going to continue to be really the gem of our park system.”

No doubt that the park gets trashed week after week—it's a shame and it would fantastic if it stopped. However, the tragedy of the commons is a very real thing and its rare to see any widely-used public space not get wrecked by its more apathetic users.  Park advocates like to claim that “leave no tracecampaigns will solve the Dolores Park litter 'crisis', but even if the all-responsible population Burning Man cannot help but leave leaps of garbage—that takes weeks to clean up—on the Playa, it seems impossible to imagine such a campaign would work in a city park.

Curious about how Wiener saw the cultural shift taking shape in the newly rehabilitated park, we reached out to him for more clarification on Twitter.

“[We] need a strong education campaign about treating the park with respect, accompanied with better enforcement.”

Better enforcement seems reasonable, at least on face.  In fact, in New York's Riverside Park, neighbors are making similar calls about their trash crisis, with one echoing Wiener's sentiment, telling the New York Times, “If this was their house, they would never do this. We need better enforcement.”

Of course, “better enforcement” isn't as practical as it might seem:

Despite such complaints, park officials say their options are limited. They have mostly pursued a strategy of flooding the area with maintenance workers early Monday morning. William Castro, the parks department’s Manhattan borough commissioner, said that despite the recent hiring of scores of new enforcement patrol officers, penalizing parkgoers was impractical. The officers, who carry clubs and mace, focus mainly on loud music and alcohol, which, he pointed out, were the source of even more complaints.

Littering regulations are difficult to enforce for a few reasons, especially when it comes to large groups of relatives and friends who remain in the park for hours. “For the officers, it’s time-consuming to observe, and then who are you going to give the summons to?” Mr. Castro said. “If you go into a large crowd and the person resists, arguments happen and things spin out of control.”

Then again, maybe “enforcement” will work just fine here.

Dolores Park, Bi-Rite Starring in New Drama About App Developers

Betas,” Amazon's new direct-to-streaming show about four (male, mostly white) app developers hoping to retire by puberty, is reportedly filming outside of Bi-Rite Creamery and famed shuttlebus stop, Dolores Park, this morning.  They're even sexing up the park with trash-cans!

The show stars Ed Begley, Jr. has an aging tech mogul investor and Moby as Moby, so expect to see them around town as you dodge the cast of The Real World.

UPDATE: They also might be filming at Doc's Clock:

UPDATE II: Because the Mission is one giant Holywood lot, Mission Local is reporting that HBO's “Looking,” a gay drama about two video game programmers, is being filmed at Doc's Clock.  Mission Mission has the info on how you can be a cool, hipster-y background extra in that show.

[Photos by heykd and Dolores Park Works]

Alt Mapping Project Produces Bold New Map of Dolores Park Neighborhoods

I'm not completely sure what this OpenStreetMap thing is all about—I think it's Google Maps for people who hate cops—but their coverage of Dolores Park is packed full of convenient and not totally bullshit names for the park's various ethnic neighborhoods. (Compare this to Apple Maps, which merely highlights where various drug dealers can be found pushing their products onto bored teens.)

Many of the names have been around for a while and slipped into the general Mission lexicon (Hipster Hill, Gay Beach).  And while some old favorites are missing from the list (namely, Tallboy Terrace), there are some startling additions: Atomic Family Land, South of Statue, Appville, and Little Tenderloin.

Of course, “Little Tenderloin” seems the most bizarre and confusing (are there people selling drugs? bed bugs? public pooping? art galleries? Twitter employees??), but who am I to question technology.

[via Tom Coates]

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