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Friday, June 19, 2015

Scenes from the Re-Opening of Dolores Park

Posted By on Fri, Jun 19, 2015 at 8:00 AM

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Still, you can't deter some people from urinating in public, no matter what you do.

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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.

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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.

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About The Author

Peter Lawrence Kane

Peter Lawrence Kane is SF Weekly's Arts Editor. He has lived in San Francisco since 2008 and is two-thirds the way toward his goal of visiting all 59 national parks.


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