San Francisco is kind of like Neverland: We have at least one artisanal ice cream shop per neighborhood, there are a number of hidden slides across the city, and every Easter adults and kids alike bomb down a steep, windy hill on big-wheel tricycles, dressed in costumes.
For many residents, this freedom to be playful is what makes this insanely expensive city worth it — and now we have 50 more reasons to live here. Guerrilla group Swing Bomb SF installed dozens of swings on city streets and in parks this past weekend, just in time for some high winds to carry us above the treetops.
“We decided to create a present for the city, where it would wake up one morning and have a moment of surprise,” the anonymous swing installers tell SF Weekly.
The idea of the city being young at heart was an added inspiration. “It really nurtures this inner child, it’s a very playful community,” they say. “We wanted to play into that, and make the concept of S.F. being an adult playground into a reality.”
The swing locations are largely a mystery, though following the group on Instagram is a good way to track down where some of them are. Many are in parks, but some are in dense urban areas in the middle of the city.
“We wanted a diversity of locations, neighborhoods, so all kinds of people could participate,” Swing Bomb SF says. “Places with great views, and places that are totally unexpected — a couple by Lombard Street, some on the Embarcadero, a few in the Tenderloin. It represents that you can have a playful experience anywhere you are, not just a specific location.”
As for the installation — that took place in the early hours of Saturday morning. The Swing Bomb SF team has a few engineers on it, who made sure that the trees they installed swings on had structural integrity.
Here’s hoping the Department of Public Works and the Recreation and Parks Department gives us at least a few days to hang out with these unsanctioned toys before taking them down. But never fear: Swing Bomb SF may return in the future, though perhaps under a different name, with a different project.
In the meantime, they say, “Come out and play.”