Archive for the ‘parks’ Category

Surprise! The Evil New Corporate Boat House at Stow Lake Charges 26% Less for Row Boats Than the Old “Local” Boat House

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Here you go, here’s the former “Save Stow Lake” website – this is where the “evil” language comes from.

One problem is that old vendor, the entity that the Save Stow Lake people wanted to “save,” charged too much money, starting about five or six years ago. For example, the old vendor would charge $19 per hour for some pretty busted up row boats.

The current rate is back down to $14 per hour:

7J7C9424 copy

And this is the cafe seating area, which doesn’t seem to get used too much. (The worry some people had was that this would become a high-end destination restaurant with concomitant traffic and parking hassles.)

7J7C9425 copy

Rec and Park has a lot of issues, IMO, and I’m unafraid to criticize it, certainly. But I didn’t see what the big beef was about putting the boat house contract out for bid. And of course, I still don’t.

Phil Ginsburg Breaks Bad! – Drains Lily Pond, Applies Sodium Hypochlorite and Calcium Hydroxide – Video of White Wasteland

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

I just caught a sneak peek of the sixth season of Rec and Park and boy, it’s a doozie:

Capturebb copy

Parks Chief Phil Ginsberg et. al. have cooked up a batch of white powdery chemicals…

meth-lab2 copy

…and they’ve applied it to the now-drained Quarry Lake / Lily Pond in Golden Gate Park.

Here’s what the place looks like now:

7J7C7769 copy

It’s a powdery wonderland, filled with all kinds of urban flotsam and jetsam…

7J7C7770 copy

…but there’s nary a peep out of those troublesome frogs.

Check this one-minute video of the place – it would be a good place for a seance or some kind of Wiccan ceremony this Halloween.

Here it is, a vast wasteland with the silence broken only by the occasional the calls of Belted Kingfishers (and, for all I know, Everdeen’s Mockingjays as well):

Confused Tourists Avoid Parking Near This Red Zone in Golden Gate Park, But Locals Know Better

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

It’s hard to see, but this curb on MLK is mostly red, so it looks like a towaway zone.

But the signs say forget all that and park for free for four hours:

7J7C8404 copy

Prolly the RPD or DPW or SFMTA or some sort of ALPHABET SOUP org should clean off the red / reddish paint but if you say anything about that, then they’ll start begging you for more, ever more money, oh well.

Also note the fresh broken glass on the sidewalk, oh well

Rites of Passage: Smoking Marijuana in the Golden Gate Park for the First Time – Cough, Cough, Cough, Cough…

Monday, October 6th, 2014

One assumes it was somebody’s first time, what with all the coughing:

7J7C6997 copy

The First Rule of the Golden Gate Park Panhandle? THOU SHALT NOT SLACKLINE

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

And yet:

7J7C6812 copy

AFFIXING ITEMS TO TREES, they call it.

If You Think This Rec & Park Pickup Moved a Foot and a Half in These Two Photos, Then It Was Speeding in GGP

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Is there a 5 MPH speed limit for RPD vehicles on paved paths in the parks of SF?

I think so.

All right, here are the two photos – they were taken at least a sixth of a second apart, you kids do the math:

7J7C6505 copy

7J7C6506 copy

Oh wait, Gentle Reader, I’ll do the math and I’ll do it without Roman numerals. Today’s lesson is brought to you by the numbers Nine, Five and Six:

Nine feet per second > Five miles per hour, right? [Trust me, Gentle Reader.]

And my aging SLR camera takes shots at Six frames per second maximum.

So Nine feet per second divided by Six frames per second equals one point five feet of movement per frame, exactly.

See how that works? If this truck can be seen to be moving more than 1.5 feet per frame then that means it was moving more than 9 feet per second and that means it was moving more than 5 MPH and that means that it was speeding per RPD policy, right?

I’ll note that this is the Panhandle “bike path,” which some people don’t even consider a part of Golden Gate Park – perhaps the rules are different here? IDK.

And perhaps “GPS records” would indicate that this truck was merely going 3 MPH. If that were the case, then I’d know that RPD was mistaken. Or lying. Again.

Your pick, Gentle Reader.

Of course, nobody died here and it’s not like this truck was going 15 MPH down the Panhandle bike path on a rainy night. But RPD workers violate RPD rules all the time, right? So, what to do?

Some race car drivers have a speed limiter button to use while pitting. As long as it’s engaged, then a racecar can’t go more than, say, 15 MPH or something, you know, for crew safety, even though the gas pedal is mashed all the way down. Could something like this work for the speeding workers of the RPD? IDK. Implementing a program like this would be expensive, but, of course, letting RPD workers speed along has been expensive and problematic and tragic (in many ways, in many ways) up ’til now, right?

Our Long Parochial Nightmare is Over: The Vandalized Slides at Panhandle Playground 94117 have been Replaced by RPD

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Well the slides at the Panhandle Playground have been replaced after three months of absence.

20140906_113412 copy

1. Perhaps the RPD spokesmodel meant that the entire slide complex was being repaired, as opposed to the $2000 plastic slide itself. I don’t think it would have made sense to repair the slide itself, due to liability issues for starters. This is a brand-new slide, one that’s similar enough to the original.

2. So some wealthy, non-profit people came by with clipboards to say that this particular playground currently earns a “D” grade? Well, OK fine, but if you talk to the people who actually use the place, they, more or less, give it an “A” grade, you know, except for the slide that wasn’t there all summer long. Mmmmm… What’s up with that?

3. Supervisor London Breed’s office was unresponsive to the email contact sent by a group of concerned parents, apparently. So she gets an “F,” or an Incomplete perhaps. (I’ve worked at two similar offices, with about ten or one hundred times as many constituents, and if the elected in charge found out about something like this then there’d be a 20-minute yell-fest and/or a passive aggressive note sent to a (lower-case “s”) supervisor to “fix this.”) So, obvs, a “communication issue” occurred, I just don’t know how common this is with her office.

4. RPD has a policy to not repair anything in a playground if it’s due to be revamped in the next two years? That’s my understanding. Does that mean that this playground won’t get revamped anytime soon? That’s my understanding. Why’s that? Read on, Gentle Reader.

5. What RPD really wants is area parents to get together to raise something on the order of [bites right pinkie finger] one million dollars, you know, the way they do things in rich areas of SF, like Sea Cliff (ala the new Mountain Lake) and Presidio Heights. Only then will RPD put your playground at the top of the fix-it list? OK fine. The funny thing is that most of the money that gets used to refurbish existing playgrounds is paid for by the non-rich, from some bond. But all this doesn’t matter for the playground at hand, because:

6. The slide vandalized in May 2014 has been replaced in September 2014 and the users are now satisfied. No $5,000,000 modernization from the RPD is needed, frankly. [Oh what’s that, RPD – this old-school playground costs you a lot of coin to maintain? Well, then why don’t you fix it up, RPD, you know, using the money we give you?]

And that’s the end of this story.

The Goofy-Looking Blue and Green Fire Hydrants of the Remote Outer Richmond District

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Or I suppose they’re really called “suction” hydrants:

7J7C6252 copy

The Avenue Drive: Recalling the Time When You Could Drive Right Through the Middle of the Golden Gate Park Panhandle

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Here’s the east end, with the McKinley Statue surrounded by traffic:

Capturefgd copy

Click to expand

SF’s Rec & Park Dept Has Eight Beefs Against You, The Public – Here are the New Signs in the Panhandle to Prove It

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Of course the taggers are having a field day with these new signs in the Golden Gate Park Panhandle.*

And look at the goofy colors (are they plum red and plum purple?) that don’t match anything else:

P1150460 copy

I suppose the big news here is the midnight closing time.** And I suppose the bit about “affixing items to trees” might have to do with the popularity of slacklining these days. And I suppose the reference to “service roads” has to do with the recent hit-and-run death involving an RPD maintenance worker.*** (Do people call up 311 to complain about workers driving on the “bike path?” People do, apparently.)

P1150463 copy

IMO, the GGP Panhandle is more of a commuter corridor than anything else, so it’s sort of funny to see RPD describe something like somebody taking a Diet Coke across Fell Street as “pack[ing] it in,” but anyway.

IMO, RPD is entirely too obsessed with the concerns of wealthy white homeowners (but that sort of make sense since RPD is basically run by wealthy white homeowners.)

IMO, RPD should have left the harmless Panhandle Bandshell where it was, near Oak and Clayton.

IMO, RPD should have been able to fix the slides at the Panhandle Playground by now, since they got damaged back in May, but oh well. An RPD spokesmodel said, months ago, that the slide assembly “now is undergoing repair” but that was months ago, so I’m forced to assume that that was yet another lie from the ineffectual and money-hungry RPD.

IMO.

*Is the Panhandle part of Golden Gate Park? Well, is the Oklahoma Panhandle part of Oklahoma? Indeed it is, Gentle Reader.

**The signs put up earlier tell you what time the park is closed, so I suppose these new signs are more “welcoming.” 

***The SFPD is free to drive wherever it wants, but I’d be super-nervous about driving my Crown Vic over an urban camper at night if I were a cop. And rear wheel drive grandpa cars aren’t really good on muddy grass anyway, as this photo shows:

IMG_8010 copy