All Accepted Here | Dolores Park
"Hey, are you going to be here awhile? Do you mind watching my stuff for a bit?" A shirtless man with an ornate cross tattoo on his lower back asks us.
We look to our left at his stuff. A homemade table made out of 6 empty beer bottles held together by red duct tape, a wheel-less skateboard as the table top. Jars of jelly and peanut butter are perched on top. An empty coconut is jimmied under on the of the skateboard lips, presumably for better stability. A VHS of a Giants World Series win leans against the table base.
To the right of the table, his belongings expand. An oval mirror leans against and is tied to a park light post with yellow rope. Condiments are lined up below the mirror. He's covered everything else with a floral patterned bed sheet.
"I have to run to Safeway for something quick. No worries if you're not staying here long, just wondering if you can keep an eye out," he asks as he looks at us from underneath his red baseball cap, sandy blonde curls escaping from the sides. Both his face and torso are heavily freckled, the result of years of sun exposure on fair skin.
"Of course, no problem," we reply. He says thank you and puts jeans over his blue basketball shorts and a shirt on his bare back. Five minutes later the Muni comes rumbling down the tracks and he grabs a plastic basket, running to catch his ride to Safeway.
Just before the Muni comes, another man approaches us, squatting on the hill. "I see you have an iPhone," he starts, "I'm with Roomi, a new free app that helps you find rooms and roommates in the city. We've partnered with some great companies like Uber to get you discounts if you download the app. Are you interested?"
I look over at my husband. I have no need for a roommate or a room finding app. My roommate is right here. However, I struggle to say no to a $25 Uber credit just for downloading an app that I can delete later.
"All I have to do is download the app?" I ask.
"Yep," he replies. Alright, let's do this. Ten minutes later and a handful of coupons are downloaded to my phone.
We're at Dolores Park, the largest park in the Castro and Mission districts, and it's Halloween. The usual vendors are present: Michael the rum and coconut man and the chocolate pot truffle man (although today he is dressed as Miss Piggy). Unlike a normal Saturday at the park, however, due to an attempt to have the largest public wedding for the Guinness Book of World Records, today there is also a robot dance party and face painting stations. More costumes too due to Halloween.
The people watching is at it's best. A man in palm printed turquoise blue booty shorts pops and locks, then whips his long brown hair Beyonce style. He sips straight from a bottle of champagne in between sashays. We find Waldos, see a couple of scantily clad Thors, and a pit bull dressed as a lion, complete with a tuft of hair at the end of his tail. A dark Spiderman roller skates to music on the sidewalk.
Even when it's not Halloween, you can dress up as whomever or whatever you want, drink and get high, sun bathe, listen to music, and talk to strangers without it being weird (okay, sometimes it's still a little weird). Homeless people sit next to bougie tech workers and everyone enjoys themselves.
At times it can be slightly overwhelming to see the sheer amount of people that congregate here on weekends, but it is still one of my favorite places in the city. It encapsulates the crazy, the diversity, and the rule breaking that makes San Francisco San Francisco. And I love San Francisco.