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Dolores Park Etiquette – Part 1 – General Guidelines

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I’ve spent a lot of time away from San Francisco over the past few years and one of the things that I always miss the most is Dolores Park.  Seriously, there really aren’t many places like it in the world.  It’s beautiful, has a great view, the cops don’t fuck with you, and it’s full of friendly and (mostly) good looking people.  Without sounding like a dirty hippie, there’s really something magical about the place.  But as it has becomes more popular and crowded each year, it’s become apparent that in order to keep it the strange and harmonious place it is, we all need to follow some sort of etiquette.

Trashy photo from

Trashy photo from

Clean Up After Yourself: Seriously, what the fuck?  Your mom doesn’t live in Dolores Park, and if she did, she’d have much bigger problems than having to clean up after your slovenly ass.  Get it together Fucko!  I don’t care how drunk you are.  You brought your tall boy in a brown paper bag right?  Give your empty beer to one of the can collectors and put all your cigarette butts and bottle caps in the empty bag.  Then just toss it away.  The Creme Brulee guy can’t clean up after everyone.

Watch Your Dog: Out of the thousands of hours I’ve spent in Dolores Park, I have yet to see a fight.  I’ve heard about it, but never seen it.  On the other hand, I’ve seen countless dogs mix it up with each other.  Let’s face it, dogs are nice to people (we have food) but they can pretty much be assholes to other dogs.  I mean, if every time I went to the park some big fucker tried to hump me in the ass, I’d be getting in fights too.  Just because you’re paying attention to the tattooed and mustachioed guy you’re trying to bone, doesn’t mean you can’t pay attention to your dog too.

Clean Up After Your Dog: If I was the devil I’d reserve a special place in Hell for those who don’t pick up their dog’s shit.  It’s enough that we have to dodge people poop in the streets of San Francisco; Dolores Park should be a place where we don’t have to worry about stepping in dog doo too.  As a community we should band together and bum rush a person caught not cleaning up after their dog.  Once apprehended we’d shove their face into their dog droppings.  Sorry I’m a little sensitive about this one; I’m remarkably good at stepping in dog shit.

Be Careful with Your Flying Objects: Raise your hand if you’ve been sitting in the park and you or your friend has been hit with a frisbee or ball.  That’s an awful lot of you raising your hands.  Every year there are 549 frisbee related deaths in America and 20% of those happen in Dolores Park.  Ok, that’s all a total lie but really, if you toss around a flying object move a way from everyone else.  And if it’s getting too crowded around you, then tough shit, go to another park.  There are scores of parks in the city where you can toss things around without hitting anyone, but there’s only one where you can sit, drink a beer, and have ganja food come right to you.  Ok, there’s Hippie Hill too, but that’s a WHOLE different conversation.

Never squish a baby.  Ever.

Never squish a baby. Ever.

Watch Your Step: This should be simple.  If you see a bunch of people sitting together, don’t walk through the middle of their group.  It’s bloody rude.  No one wants to be in the middle of conversation and suddenly have an ass in their face.  Also, try not to step on random peoples blankets.  Besides tracking dirt on it or stepping on their food, somebody’s baby might be napping there.  And not even you, my crass friend, can get away with being a baby squisher.

Learn to Share: If you have a gang of extra beer and someone asks for one, give it to them, but make them trade you something for it.  Instead of money, have them smoke you out, tell you a story, sing a song, do a little dance or do something else interesting.  Use the barter system.  Or fuck it, just take that dollar they offered you.

Don’t Ask for a Sip: If you walk by and ask me for a beer, I’ll probably give you one if I’ve got some extra.  But I if say, ” Sorry, I don’t have any to spare,” and I don’t know you, don’t ask for a sip of mine…that’s ridiculous.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a generous motherfucker, but you might’ve just had your face shoved in dog shit for not cleaning up after your pet (please refer above to Clean Up After Your Dog).

Thank you for reading and abiding by these general rules of Dolores Park etiquette.  Please stay tuned for more specific guidelines for Hipster Hill and Gay Beach.

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle, "an SF cult hero":SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.


  1. Christina
    July 31, 2009 at 11:31 am — Reply

    Great article, you really had me stumped on the “frisbee related deaths”. I sat here frozen for about 10 seconds in shock!!

  2. July 31, 2009 at 12:41 pm — Reply

    Thanks! We all need this little reminder of how to share space. If I had a dog I would teach it how to shit little cup cakes!

  3. July 31, 2009 at 12:46 pm — Reply

    Loved your “Dolores Park Etiquette – Part 1” and the call for folks to have some simple courtesy and community spirit when using it! I have spent a number of weekends in the Park and also think it’s one of San Francisco’s nicest parks and coolest collection of people. It’s really only a few that screw it up for others because they’re being stupid or an asshole or both.
    Keep up the good work of raising our collective consciousness about the need for everyone to help keep Dolores Park a beautiful place for all to enjoy.

  4. Marie Antoinette
    July 31, 2009 at 12:46 pm — Reply

    Great post. I live by the park and rarely go there anymore as the pee and trash have gotten pretty out of control. Didn’t all these people leave their homes elsewhere to enjoy a beautiful park in a beautiful city? Why would you trash it? I think people caught leaving garbage should be put in a box and then covered with what is left over in Dolores on sunny Saturday.

  5. July 31, 2009 at 1:03 pm — Reply

    Thanks for addressing these civic issues! It is refreshing to hear someone call those mo-fos out.

  6. Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap
    July 31, 2009 at 1:47 pm — Reply

    Nice. Glad you guys dig. Hope you laughed a bit too.

  7. mas'sma
    July 31, 2009 at 3:22 pm — Reply

    My daughter just sent this to me. It explains a whole raft of shit to me. Literally. I’ve been noticing beautiful little cupcakes littering my lawn. I couldn’t figure out where the hell they were coming from. I blamed it on my faux-y (pronounced foxy of course) husband Brian trying to make me even fatter than I am. (Nice try DAMN BRIAN!)

    My granddogger Ruby THE Pug (aka lap tumor) visits us frequently. Now I realize where my little cupcakes were coming from. And NOW, damn it, I have to apologize to Damn Brian.

  8. July 31, 2009 at 4:03 pm — Reply

    I can’t tell you how annoying it is to look out my front window (which is straight across from Hipster hill) on mondays mornings and see the filth that is left over from the stupid people who don’t clean up after themselves. It’s really disgusting that people are leaving such a mess all the time. If I went in their front yard and left garbage everywhere they would be annoyed too, Thanks for trying to help. Can’t wait to hear more! 🙂

  9. montgomery
    July 31, 2009 at 4:37 pm — Reply


    Same goes for our beaches.
    Being from San Diego, I enjoy the beaches of San Francisco, but don’t go too often, as they are rather depressing. But when I do go, I’d rather not find that everyone has decided “someone else” will pick up their hidden treasures of beer bottles, napkins, yadda yadda (so many things which are left on our beaches, I am too tired at the moment to list ’em all).
    WHO are these people who leave their shit on and around our beautiful, public, natural spaces?!

    Arrgh, Stuart. Arrgh.
    Thanks for these general guidelines. This should be on the front page of every printed newspaper in San Francisco.


    Post Script: I really wish dogs shat cupcakes. That’s be purdy nifty.

  10. Diana
    July 31, 2009 at 4:44 pm — Reply

    I live near Dalores Park and have 2 dogs. I ALWAYS clean up after them and will pick up others if it is near. I am usually apalled at what is left after a sunny Sunday, or some 3 day weekand or festival. If I do not litter or shit in your neighborhood please be respectful enough to not do it in mine. Dalores Park is beautiful and unique, so the lazy idiots need to quit f*ing it up!

  11. Olivia
    July 31, 2009 at 7:35 pm — Reply

    I saw a dog pee on a person at Dolores Park. It was so horrific, but the peed-on party laughed, and the person whose dog it was didn’t even put the dog on a leash after that.

    WTF. If I were peed on by a dog in Dolores Park, there would be a lot of yelling and barely restrained violence (towards the owner, not the dog).

  12. Monica Miller - The Intern
    July 31, 2009 at 7:46 pm — Reply

    Stay tuned for more installments, folks! 😀

  13. Park Person
    July 31, 2009 at 11:50 pm — Reply

    I live across the street from Dolores Toilet, I mean Dolores Park. Why toilet? For obvious reasons. Obnoxious, selfish, pathetic dog owners don’t clean up shit. In New York, where I moved here from, there are dog runs for the dogs, as there should be here. Parks are for people first, then everything else is a distant LAST. Dolores is big enough for everyone and everything, but not dog shit. How would you like it if I just TOOK A SHIT WHEREVER I WANTED and didn’t clean it up? Oh, you wouldn’t like that? But you let your dog doo that. Asshole.

    Also, it seems like more people are coming to Dolores to play instruments, both amplified and unplugged. Christians playing guitars with amps, bongos, trumpet, DJs, instruments that I’ve seen but don’t know the name of, homemade instruments, car stereos, etc. These things go straight into every house on my block. I’ve talked to my neighbors and they all get the same thing.

    Dyke March…fuck yes, bring it on. Symphony? Totally boring and insipid…whatever. World Cup on television? Sure. Movie night? Fine. But why on earth do I have to listen to you “practice” on your shitty fucking bongos? You suck. You have not improved one bit. Hang the DJ…for real. You play crappy house or techno or whatever it is. I want to scratch your eyes out with an old stylus.

    Naked people? Excellent. Booze? Whatever. You took the time to bake some stuff with weed in it? Hey, knock yourself out. Hell, you know what, do whatever the fuck you want, but don’t make so much freakin’ noise and clean up after your fucking dog. I will never call the cops on any of these people, not even the bongo goons, but I will come out there and yell at you because on Saturdays, you know what I want to do? Sit on my couch and read my book. But I can’t because your shitty white boy sense of rhythm echoes thru my house. You suck.

  14. August 1, 2009 at 1:47 am — Reply

    […] All Need Rules In Mission Dolores on August 1, 2009 at 1:47 am Broke Ass Stewart lays down the law. Some simple guide lines to keep what has to be the worlds most crowded park peaceful and […]

  15. Dolores Del Rio
    August 1, 2009 at 9:11 am — Reply

    I would happily endure all of the above in exchange for one small, itsy bitsy favor: Drum Circles — please move your hippy dippy loser ass selves into the middle of the 101. That would be about the only way I would enjoy drum circles. If they were having to drum like the talentless white boys that they are, AND dodge speeding trucks at the same time.

  16. August 1, 2009 at 11:27 am — Reply

    […] broke-ass stuart’s general guidelines to dolores park is required reading if you’re planning to hang out at 18th & dolores. it’s also important to note that it’s funny because it’s true! (link via […]

  17. one
    August 2, 2009 at 10:15 am — Reply

    hipster douches always have to ruin it for everyone. see you mon at goog!

  18. one
    August 2, 2009 at 10:51 am — Reply

    btw, it’s my JOB to clean up after entitled turd wearing poseurs and I’ll be godDAMMED if I’m gonna volunteer to clean up after THESE zombie fucks.

    christ on a cracker, if you people have to have a GUIDE THAT FUCKING SPELLS OUT HOW TO ACT IN PUBLIC, LIKE, you KNOW, at a PARK, you have PROBLEMS.

    To my neighbors who live on the park – you have my sincere sympathies.

  19. August 3, 2009 at 5:10 am — Reply

    Related to picking up after oneself, I would very much appreciate it if I could stop finding USED FUCKING CONDOMS on the hill. It’s one thing to spot one’a those bad boys in a gutter and another entirely to sit on one.

  20. August 3, 2009 at 6:31 am — Reply

    This is the dumbest shit I’ve ever heard. FUCK ALL YOU HIPSTER SCUM!

  21. Luke
    August 12, 2009 at 6:00 pm — Reply

    I think part two is more accurate since the place is crawling with slimy hipsters douchbags of all stripes, part 1 is correct about the rude people with their dogs shitting everywhere,used condoms, and obnoxious drum circle jerkoffs.
    is there anyway to keep them fenced in there with there fixies and tennis raquets?

  22. […] to the third and final installment of our series on Dolores Park Etiquette.  The first one was General Guidelines, while the second was on Hipster Hill.  This time we’re focusing on Gay […]

  23. September 4, 2009 at 2:02 pm — Reply

    […] published a series on his website about Dolores Park etiquette that suggests a few basic rules: Clean up after yourself, watch and clean up after your dog, be […]

  24. […] Dolores Park Etiquette – Part 1 – General Guidelines I’ve spent a lot of time away from San Francisco… […]

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