Dolores Park is back! The place where stroller moms, off-leash pit bulls, blond dreadlocks, twinks in boy shorts, illuminated white jellyfish on poles, ecstatic twirlers, and Tecate tall boy connoisseurs can all coexist is fully open and operational, as of yesterday evening.
The bad news? It was full of trash this morning. A three-man crew was already well into bagging it up when I walked my dog there at 7:15. Yep, that brand-new turf, fresh from the free-range sod farm where it was raised in open pastures (because it was open pastures), and as pristine as something Warren Beatty and Natalie Wood could romp around on was quite covered in refuse. I found paper plates with half-eaten pizza, a trail of Fig Newtons, and infinite bits of paper and plastic. And a huge swath of it smelled like beer.
The most charitable thing I can say without gouging out my eyes and lamenting, “What is man? What is man?” is that it still gets dark very early, and likelier than not, it was pitch-black by the time many park-goers began to congregate. We all know that it's hard to say hi to people and socialize in the dark while keeping track of your empties, and garbage cans do fill up eventually. But that is giving those jerkfaces way too much leniency. That renovation cost $20.5 million. Treat Dolores Park right, people!
I asked the opinion of a Rec and Park worker who was spearing garbage with his earbuds in and didn't seem all that upset by this sorry state of affairs. He said that considering the number of people he saw last evening, he expected things to be way worse. What's the weirdest thing he ever found in Dolores Park?
“I found a necklace of Barbie heads,” he said. “But with Ken heads pasted to the back of them. And it had a halo of razor blades.”
Did he keep it?
“I think it's in the office somewhere.”