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Updated: Apr 26, 2013 14:52
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Summer is approaching San Francisco’s Mission district. I am being very specific in this sentence because I feel like summer is not something all of SF gets to see!

However, because I live in the Mission … I will experience summer, and I am getting really excited to spend extended periods of time in my second home: Dolores Park. As a freelance designer … I, like many other people in San Francisco can work at any weird hour I want, and sit in Dolores Park during “normal” hours. I LOVE IT!

I have lived here in San Francisco for about 10 years now, thus consider myself a “local.” (I mean nobody’s really from here. Right?) Over the years I have become very familiar with the places I like and the places I don’t like. I know the places I want to spend my time, the places I could sit for hours, and the places I refuse to go. (I mean … unless of course she’s hot!) Thus when I say sitting in Dolores Park is my fav, it’s because I’ve sat in Washington Square ParkDuboce ParkAlamo SquareGolden Gate Park … and I’ve found, If I’m going to “waste” multiple hours sitting on a blanket in the “sun” drinking mimosas, watching hipsters and gossiping about the scandal brewing, I want it to be done in Dolores Park.

However … sometimes trying to explain to people where they can find me in the park can get really complicated. Especially when the people you’re explaining it to are unfamiliar with the geography of the park. I might say I’m sitting between the porta-potties and the tennis courts. However sometimes I like to sit in the flat “sports area,” or “gay beach,” perhaps I’ll venture over to “lesbian hill” and watch the miniature pinschers chase “balls” around the park. (pun intended) With this attached map, I hope when I tell people where I’m sitting they can use this to find me. Again … not certain what causes people to group and cluster by types, but they do … and it’s super easy to spot!

However, although there are many different clusters and stereotypes in Dolores Park … ultimately there are only really two types of people that go to Dolores Park: Producers and Consumers. Yes, those that make and those that take. I find it quite wild the number of people that pop up in Dolores Park to fulfill my consuming habits. I can recall a ton of times that I have set up my blanket, whipped out my picnic and then suddenly realized I forgot: _______. Something. (Perhaps cold beer, cold water, moonshine, pizza, or a cookie!) (Or for you alternative types, a ganja treat, a truffle, or perhaps some creepy shrooms) Never fear … a few seconds later the ______ person is here to fix your needs!

Below is a short list of some of the people I see on a regular basis:

COLD BEER, COLD WATER GUY: No longer supplying beer, perhaps for fear of getting in trouble again,  you can always buy a cold water from the always grumpy “Cold BeerCold Water Guy!”

HEY, COOKIE!: Wait five minutes and you can yell “Hey, Cookie!” A pretty girl with cute ponytails, freckles, puffy dress and charming way will come skipping by with a basked full of special, but not “special” cookies, brownies & rice crispy treats. She could sell me a cookie any day!

THE TRUFFLE GUY: The truffle guy with his handmade tongs and cauldrons is always in the park. Considered a gay boys delight, is also loved and anticipated by the hipsters as well. (He even has his business on Apple maps!)

GANJA TREAT MAN: “Never fear the ganja treat man is here.”

PIZZA GUY: Looking for pizza and you don’t want to walk three blocks to get it? Don’t worry … “Costco” delivers! Relatively new to the park, the pizza guy is there on a semi regular basis, selling pizza to you that he just bought at Costco.

TRANSIENT HIPPY GIRL & GUY: They aren’t always in the park, but they are always tripping balls and walking around holding the wildest looking mushroom I’ve ever seen. You’ll see them tripping out on mushrooms … if you’re not afraid … they’re selling them to you as well.

BOOMBOT GUYS: Did you forget your personal speaker? That’s okay! The park is always filled with the sounds of bongo drums, didgeridoos, freestyle rap and sometimes a couple indie bands!

In Dolores Park … you’ll never have a dull time … you’re always bound to be entertained! Perhaps I’ll see you there this summer?!

Perhaps Dolores Park isn’t your favorite park?
Which park is your favorite and why?

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Stefan Aronsen

Stefan Aronsen

I am the co-founder of Balanced Breakfast, a meetup for music industry professionals. No, I do not sing or play any instruments ... but I have tried! My passion for music began at 7 when my parents bought me a drum set. I was BAD at drums. So I moved on, joined the school band, and played clarinet. I was BAD at the clarinet. Trying and failing at instruments continued through elementary school and into college. It turns out that while I could recognize good music; I lacked the skill to make it.

Now I'm broke, beautiful, and writing about music for Stuart...


  1. Jessica Beerchaser
    April 11, 2013 at 9:30 pm — Reply

    LOVE it! But you forgot the chick that sells ganja lollis. A new DP favorite in my opinion! 🙂

  2. Cameron
    April 25, 2013 at 7:55 am — Reply

    Super cute article and map, nicely expressing the complex flavors of Dolores Park. However, please edit and proofread your work! There are way too many typos here for a published article (even for this site!) Thanks and I’ll see you at the “beach” next sunny day!

  3. Ben
    April 25, 2013 at 9:46 am — Reply

    This isn’t LA, there are plenty of people “from here”

  4. Nicole
    April 25, 2013 at 3:22 pm — Reply

    I am a born and raised SF native and was fortunate enough to have grown up 3 blocks from DP. So yes, some of us are from here. We blend in quite well. The other day I was strolling through with my dog who was hit on by the water and beer guy. He followed us for a while, staring at Butters and then proceeded to tell me his own dog stories. He then told me that when my canine becomes too old or sick, instead of paying a vet hundreds of dollars to put her down, I should tie weights to her and drop her off one of the piers. This way, she gets a noble burial and the sealife get fed well. I kept walking with him, but then things got weird so I parted ways with Butters on a short leash.

  5. J
    April 26, 2013 at 1:55 pm — Reply

    Your map is all turned around.

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