Dolores Park's re-opening comes just as Pope Francis' controversial new encyclical denounces treating the Earth “more and more like an immense pile of filth.” He's a wise pope in some ways, and in a similar vein, Rec and Park wants you to #LoveDolores and not trash it. As of 7 p.m. on Day One of the northern half's unveiling, it seemed like everyone was listening.
There was no enjoying the park in its totality, however: The city wasted no time in fencing off the southern half. Goodbye Gay Beach, goodbye most-Instagrammed-bench-in-SF-with-view-of-the-skyline. Delays and cost overruns pushed this part of the project back, but at least Phase 2 is only scheduled to take half as long as the northern half because there are fewer amenities to install this time.
The old bathroom, that sad clump of nasty toilets in the center of the park, has been demolished, and brand-new, palm-bedazzled facilities have opened in its stead. (Some of them are gender-neutral, too!) I was hoping to take a pic of a shiny new urinal but the line was long and then I realized that might be seen as creepy.
Still, you can't deter some people from urinating in public, no matter what you do.
Chan Quach and his macaws, Rudy and Bella, were there, flexing their feathers. Although these birds can live a long time, they're only four or five. As they fly around the entire city anyway, the park's accessibility to homo sapiens doesn't matter much, but the birds enjoyed themselves.
And there were lots of people drinking and getting high — heavy police presence notwithstanding — but this guy was among the very last to keep on grooving to the Silent Disco, courtesy of his Four Loko.
Welcome back, Dolores Park [Northern Half]! May you never need another renovation during our lifetimes, because we promise to take good care of you.