Let’s see here, it’s been 75 years since we got a botanical garden up and running, thanks to Helene Strybing? OK, then let the party begin. But first, here’s a little background on the toll gates that went up (“temporarily” – IRL permanently, but oh well) a few years back, along with a few other issues:
Antietam at the Arboretum – Public Meeting at Strybing a Kind of Civil War
NY Times: Charging Fees to See the Trees
How the Wealthy Stole 55 Acres of Golden Gate Park
The big question is whether Strybing is for:
The answer lately is that Strybing is not for people, but it is for trees, or tree people, anyway. But isn’t it sad how few people venture pass the toll gates and the minimum wage-ish toll takers these days?
And then when the Society actually wants people to come, to an anniversary party, NO ADMITTANCE FEE REQUIRED, people stay away anyway, well, isn’t that kind of sad?
Here it is from the Friend Gate on the busiest day Strybing has seen in years:
The bulk of the crowd was in the Great Meadow:
Very bored bartenders. Just one would have sufficed, prolly.
Were there more performers, bartenders, security guards, Strybing Society leaders, Phil Ginsburgses, Strybing gardeners, bored food truck cooks simply walking around at 12:30PM, and Task Rabbits than Actual Visitors yesterday? I know not.
But hey look, PERFORMANCE ART!
I’ve never seen a Rec and Park event with sufficient garbage cans and port-a-pottys like this one, in all my quarter century in the 415. The toilets had no smell – they were unused. Imagine that!
And look at all the bikes parked at expensive, SFGov-mandated(?) SFBC-approved “valet” bicycle parking:
Oh, here are the bikes, self-parked where you’d expect them. So what’s the valet for? Were you expecting a lot of people?
Why don’t we simply sell Strybing to the people who want to run Strybing? That way, tax and fee payers would save a lot of money and then the Tree Society people could be even more unfettered – a win-win, IMO.
Anyway, if you alienate the Public, don’t be surprised if they no-show your big birthday party, even if you paid a lot of money for it and you opened the tolls gates to allow FREE ADMITTANCE.