Dolores Park isn't named for Mission Dolores. It's named for El Grito de Dolores, more or less the Mexican equivalent of the Boston Tea Party and the 1810 event that precipitated the Mexican War of Independence. (That's why there's a statue of Miguel Hidalgo, the priest who initiated El Grito, or “The Cry.”)
Well, there's another Cry of Dolores these days and it's a little closer to the tear shed by the Native American in those Keep America Beautiful ads from the 1970s. Weekend after weekend, people just can't stop trashing Dolores Park.
[jump] I biked home from Alamo Drafthouse last night and saw moderate crowds waiting for the fireworks, so I figured I'd swing by on my way to work this morning to see how it turned out, one week after The Great Shaming. I am grimly unsurprised.
Granted, this morning's barfy shitpile is nothing like what it was last weekend after Pride, when tens of thousands of people descended on poor DoPa and turned it into Fresh Kills — but considering how many more people were there the Sunday before last, the renovated grass shouldn't look like this at all. The ratio of park-goers to park-trashers appears to be pretty much the same, because nobody listened. (Also, Fresh Kills is in great shape right now!)
Check out this great Hoodline piece from yesterday that gets into the nitty-gritty of how Dolores get de-trashed. Yes, Rec and Park erred with the placement of an inadequate number of garbage cans, but Recology already pays up to four visits on busy Saturdays. Logistically speaking, the situation just requires people to curb their own thoughtless assholery or else this is never going to stop. (I know: Ha!)
Just look at this picnic table.
Now look closer. The tub of macaroni salad on the table is open, but the one on the ground is not. Those people not only didn't try, they actually put effort into wasting their money on food they didn't even eat just so they could get wasted, walk away, and leave it for someone else to dispose of.
I talked to a couple of park workers, none of whom were able to speak for attribution, but the crew foreman was a lot angrier than the placid guy I talked to last time I wrote about this. Unquestionably, it was worse last weekend, he said, declining to estimate how many human-hours it would take to make things look spiffy again (versus the 86 hours it took last weekend). But man, did he ever go on an off-the-record rant, repeatedly calling this behavior “belligerent laziness” and saying that in [insert law-and-order red state he comes from] the litterers would be “in the pokey.”
Look, we all like to get really drunk and high in Dolores Park. I do, too. It's fun, and it's one of the few urban amenities the Mission has that can never get gentrified out of existence. But it can still be totally ruined! So if nothing else, just bring a trash bag with you and walk your empties to the sidewalk. Or shame the world by breaking into your colleagues' news blog to hector as much of San Francisco as you can, first thing after a three-day weekend. Whatever you gotta do, really, because this is terrible.