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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

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.

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.