Dolores Park Cafe, Faye's, and Chicken John (the self-appointed spokesman for the anti-American Apparel camp in 2009) have come out in force against Blue Bottle in Dolores Park, promoting a petition calling for Rec & Park to “stop commercialization of Dolores Park.” When I first saw the petition last weekend, I figured it was going nowhere thanks to the absurd language used:
To: Recreation and Park Commission of San Francisco, Mayor of San Francisco
McDonald's in Dolores Park?
Why not? Blue Bottle Coffee is a national chain store, and they are in the queue to get a permit to open a “push cart” in OUR Park. Who knows what’s next… (link)
Of course, it is obvious there will never be a MickyDs in the middle of the park, but 883 people took the bait and signed the petition. One Dolores St. crazy even signed thinking a McDonald's was actually being built:
It is unbelivable to think of having McDonald across from my house. It is not enough that we long term homeowners who pay tax, are bothered with your party permit WITHOUT THINKING OF US. NOW MCDONALD!!~
Don't get me wrong, I'm not opposed to the idea of having non-commercial, advertisement-free green spaces in the city, but is propagating the fictitious threat of Dollar Menu-pushing terrorists roaming around our park really the way to go about it?
I left last night's cry about vendors being permitted to operate in Dolores Park early because it was nothing but a session for activist organizations and City Hall to kiss each other's ass, but it looks like I missed the good stuff. From Mission Loc@l:
Oct 7th will bring a hearing for a new procedure, he [Ed. Note: I don't know who “he” is, but I believe it do be Nicholas Kinsey, assistant director of concessions management] said. It will include ”a community meeting for every issue having to do with this park. Every major event. Every concession contemplated. We will have a selection panel for the park and and invite a community member to sit in. An unbiased community member. We will have a selection panel to come back and present the results to the community.”
They are seriously considering holding a meeting for every event permit? Luckily no one who lives near Potrero del Sol gives a shit about 'their' park.
The Mission Bicycle Festival, which goes down Sunday at noon on Lapidge at 18th and is full of fun shit like trackstand competitions, unicycle basketball and other circus-quality events, has fallen prey to the NIMBY neighbors that surround Dolores Park. Originally, MBF was going to be an all day event with lots of live music, music bikes, a community picnic at Mission Pool, food and beer. However, when Mission Bicycle originally proposed the event to the ISCOTT committee (the group that approves street closures for events), a police officer pulled event organizer Jefferson (himself a resident of Lapidge) into the hallway to tell him that there are neighbors known to oppose these events and it would “never happen” unless he personally reached out to the neighbors and worked with them to reshape the event.
Sure enough the officer was right: three neighbors, citing concerns of trash, urine, and noise bothering young children and a man “recovering from cancer,” submitted formal complaints to the committee and the harmless festival was denied. The ISCOTT committee wouldn't tell Jefferson the names of who complained, so in order to actually move forward, he had to ask around and knock on doors. Eventually he found the NIMBYS and they came to a compromise.
The community picnic at the pool was canceled. The festival was forced to keep the event concentrated at the Women's Building to reduce traffic down Lapidge. The event was reduced from all day to 4 hours. Beer was removed from the event and amplified noise was reduced to a pathetic 15 minute window. At that point, the three neighbors actually wrote into the committee to withdraw their opposition while ten neighbors wrote into the board complaining about the event being curtailed.
The latter had no effect: apparently the negative neighbors who are down on bikes enjoy a veto power on community events in this town. I guess this is the city's attitudes towards cyclists and block parties. If some businesses want to shut down 18th street to roast a pig in the middle of the road, it's no worries if it rubs a few neighbors the wrong way, but bikers are left to beg for mercy.
Earlier this week I went to some lame community meeting about renovating Mecca and rather than talk about the renovations, NIMBY neighbors spent 90 minutes berating Rec. & Park about park minutia. My favorite tirade was the 20 minutes wasted talking about Blue Bottle moving into Dolores Park, which the neighbors were (obviously) against. Admittedly, I was sort of skeptical about having carts go into the park, but listening to these people makes me all for it (can we get a liquor store in there already?). They complained about the outreach and not knowing about the carts going into the park (SF Weekly was posting stories about it in the Spring) and whining about the money being raised not being exclusively for the park (Rec. & Park confirmed that their accounting processes makes this impossible and they have to close their $12m budget deficit). Neighbors are vowing to fight to get the permit revoked (two board members of Dolores Park Works even suggested that the stands be kicked out, even though they haven't even arrived yet). Yeah, the privatization of SF Parks sucks, but crying to Rec. & Parks during an unrelated meeting isn't the way to go about it. At least some people are thrilled.
representatives enthusiasts of the the buzz-worthy hipster malt beverage, Four Loko, threw down a 3 hour DJ set atop of Tallboy Terrace Saturday evening. Best described as “fucking sick,” the party, between frequent shout-outs to “Four Loko,” “Four Loko Party Pack!,” and “Who's Loko?!,” featured music from the movie Lion King and television show “Cops,” a girl wearing a leather jacket and zebra tights double-fisting Pacificos, a couple straight outta Cape Cod, scores of dancing hipsters and one adorably pissed-off puppy:
Of course, the highlight of the party was the sideline dancers:
Inevitably, Local NcMimbydouche called the police to have the fun shut down. Five squad cars and one police van rolled up to Dolores, assembled in attack formation and shut it down.
To the SFPD's credit, they actually seemed quite friendly and reasonable; not giving the DJs a hard time. In the midst of the police “dealing with the situation,” Local McNimbydouche (pictured below) crawled out of his palace of boredom wearing his Yale sweatshirt and sweatpants to walk up to the police and DJs, point some fingers, and generally act like the stereotypical neighborhood asshole who believes he owns the park because he lives across the street.
In short, great party, fuck that dude.
UPDATE: in related news, check out “Man Gets 'Way Gone' at Four Loko Flash Dance in Dolores Park”
Following the stabbing and beating in Dolores Park last week, local blogs are hot to remind us that things are not too bad, but Dolores Park NIMBYs are quick to point the finger and call for increased police presence. Mission Loc@l jumped out the gate with a gentle reminder of 15 years ago when it was a Norteño stronghold. But, the SF Weekly really brought the story home. Quoting an unnamed veteran cop, they paint a much clearly picture of 1990's Mission Dolores:
Dolores Park, in short, the place to score any manner of drugs any hour of the day. Cash-rich drug-dealers were held up at gunpoint with such regularity that, our cop recalls, at one point a handful of them candidly approached a group of police officers and asked if something could be done to help them get home with their drug money safely.
After reading these account of veteran police officers, it's hard not to read Dolores Park Works' NIMBY babble (Did SFPD Take Their Eye Off the Ball?) and laugh at those terrified of present-day Dolores. Dolores Park Works goes so far to blame the drinking on Tallboy Terrace for the recent violence and calls for SFPD to step up their game:
But to most of us, the park seems to have settled into an almost gentrified bohemian calm. Rules against open alcohol consumption and smoking (toke up if you got em) are rarely enforced. Fine! We seem to like it that way. Look at a typical Dolores afternoon. The scene is lovely, yes? But by 6pm, the buzzed and the woozy give way to the drunken and the delinquent who gather behind the clubhouse, next to the shed and near the bridge. Here, in this dark corner of the park up in the trees, with just a few old lampposts is where trouble brews.
Thankfully, the unnamed officer quoted by the Weekly clears this illegitimate claim up:
Residents in government housing “who caused problems in the district and Dolores Park either went to jail or got moved to wherever they got moved to,” he says. “I don't think the cops cared where they went.” The current-day hipsters sunning themselves in the park don't even know they ever existed.
Whatever problems those traversing the park have these days, they don't have the one folks dealt with in the 1990s — “Roving gangs of criminals are not waiting in Dolores Park to prey on people.”
So, there you have it people, the park is still safe, it's just that we live in a city and there's always going to be random acts of violence when you put 750,000 people in a small space.
In the event you've been living under a rock (or don't read food blogs), the San Francisco bloggernets have been going NUTS over the news that Ike's might be EVICTED (via sue-happy NIMBY neighbors). I feel like this is San Francisco's OJ Simpson Trial. If the food bloggers were the jurors, Ike's would get off, bloody baguette and all. But in reality, the neighbors have some legitimate claims. The line is insane and I'm sure it is annoying having polite white people eating sandwiches on your stoop. To me, it seems ridiculous Ike's hasn't moved to a more appropriate location. I've never even gone to Ike's and have no intention of doing so because, fuck it, my time is better spent just getting a delicious veggie BBQ “chicken” sandwich at Rhea's and going to the park then hanging out with tourists in a two hour line. But just because locals seem turned off by the line doesn't mean the business is evil. The idea of suing Ike's out of business just because the line annoys you gives me the willies. Hopefully the court is reasonable and Ike can move to a more appropriate location on his own schedule, not a government-mandated one.
On a lighter note, be sure to read the comments on Vegansaurus about the matter. Vegansaurus commenters are my favorite SF commenters because they are the boil on the ass of veganism. In this case, they want to crucify poor Ike on a cross of gluten-free soy because he “kills a lot of animals.” You know, because people trying to cater to vegans, even a little bit, are bad people. These tools are the reason Mission Burger stopped serving their BOMB-ASS VEGAN BURGER and why most omnivores don't want to kiss veggie boys and girls. Tears. (link)
Reader Neil points out that “NIMBY neighbors are already on the scene” at the recently opened Dolores Park-inspired bar in Brooklyn:
Wow, what a great bar! Do you know what would make it more awesome? A roof! And sound-proofing!
Seriously, as one of the hundreds of neighbors who won’t be falling asleep until 4AM every night this summer, this place sucks. That room that’s open to the sky that everyone is raving about? All of that noise has to go somewhere, and right now it is bouncing off of all the buildings and going straight into our windows. I can hear EVERYTHING people are saying, even if it’s only 1 or 2 people… the noise is magnified enormously. I can’t even tell you how loud we have to turn up our TV to cover the din. I didn’t move to Park Slope to have to sleep with the windows closed and earplugs in every night.
Jamie M. is your stereotypical Dolores Park NIMBY. Looks the part, probably hasn’t gotten “serviced” in 6 months, and her “interests” include “calamari, clams, mussels, oysters, bourbon, wine, sushi” (read: moving to suburbia and shitting out two kids whose father is a sperm bank next fall).