Stanyan & Alma, 753-7039
Tucked away in Cole Valley, this sunken playground features one of the easiest-to-join pickup games in the city, with a minimum of prima donnas and most players in the same slightly-above-average competitive range. And on weekdays, the park is an absolute hidden jewel, a great place to swing by on a lunch hour or after work and shoot jumpers — your only company the sounds of kids at the adjacent playground and the sight of Twin Peaks looming above you. There's a fairly dilapidated tennis court, too, but the well-maintained, full-size basketball court sees more action, and in a town with a pathetic dearth of free, good-natured outdoor games, Grattan Playground is a much-appreciated oasis. When silly foul calls and obnoxious play drive you out of the Panhandle or your local gym, head to this out-of-the-way secret for a taste of how fun basketball in the city can be.