I don’t know where the closest human playground is from here.
At first I thought it looked a little bleak for a playground, but then I saw that it was dogs only…
I don’t know who would pay a bunch of money for some advertising sculpture and then leave it out on a Western Addition sidewalk overnight, but it’s got to be somebody with a high tolerance for vandalism.
What our Local Host Committee might not have told you, NFL, is that Things Are Different Here, say compared with Atlanta, New Orleans, Orlando and all those other places filled with people who actually want you to come visit every seven years.
To make my point, let’s head on over to the Golden Gate Park Panhandle to check out this plaque celebrating General Motors (GM, actually Old GM, the one we had before the big bankruptcy):
You see, back in the 1990’s, GM just gave us the low six figures it took to put in the beloved Panhandle Playground and all it asked in return was this wooden plaque. It’s says “WELCOME TO KID’S KINGDOM – DONATED BY YOUR LOCAL SATURN* DEALER.” Or at least it used to say that. But the corporate part got chiseled away, by angry hippies.
Do you really want to come back to SF to hosts your parties for Super Bowl 57 or SBLXII or whatever? I don’t think you do, NFL.
Hey, what about LA as your Permanent West Coast Venue?
*A kind of car at the time. The branding had an Apple-ish kid of appeal, at the time. Ironically, SF never even had a local Saturn dealer, but a local ad agency did the branding so we ended up with a free playground.
I know the answer, Gentle Readers, but have at it yourselves.
See? It’s all:
DONATED BY YOUR LOCAL
Your job is to fill in the blank.
CLUE: This defacement prolly occurred a long time ago
Let’s hear from a Yelper:
“This park has turned into a dump. I walk my dog here everyday and have watched it deteriorate rapidly over the last year. I’ve found used needles in the grass, heard a junkie tell a tourist not to use the public toilet because they’ll get Hep-C, and watched the playgrounds turn into homeless encampments. I really don’t understand why the city has turned such a blind eye to the problems here.”
long-suffering playground [IRL, it’s an extremely popular playground. Its current Yelp rating is 4.5 stars, which is the very definition of almost perfect, right? And hey look, what about the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Yelp rating – it’s much lower, it’s actually just 2.5 stars, right? Is RPD “failing?” Should we simply fire everybody and start over? Hey, why don’t we start using objective measurements, like asking the playground’s existing customers what they think? Is that too radical a notion?]
finally [This “framing” assumes 100% of what the millionaire-run Parks Alliance nonprofit says is accurate]
Victim to time [Well sure, you could replace this or that at this location, but what’s so wrong with it? What makes it a useless tear-down?]
frequent wear and tear [Because it’s popular? We’re going to change it because it’s popular and it gets used?]
grown-up play [Turns out it was sixth-graders who busted the slide, per the word on the street]
the playground pales in comparison to other high-tech kids’ play areas in the city. [What on Earth could make a playground “high tech?” Like, “sure this playground is great, but I feel it doesn’t employ the most recent application of science?” Like, who says that? IRL, it’s perfectly fine.]
“failing playgrounds” [But the Panhandle Playground isn’t “failing,” right? Ask all the people who use it and try to find one person who would give it a letter grade of “F“]
“low household income” [Is this area a low household income area? WTF to that. In fact, the 94117 is an extremely high household income place, right? It’s off the charts, actually, nationally speaking. And even locally, it’s anything but a low household income area.]
low Parks Alliance Report Card grades and rankings. [Oh, here we go, here’s the problem. What’s the PARC and why does it matter?]
“an early holiday gift to District 5.” [London Breed is thinking “CHRISTMAS” but she says holidays – good for her. But who’s paying for this gift? Oh, we are? So it’s not really a gift, is it, London Claus?]
high-tech play matting [I have no fucking idea what this means. Currently, the joint is basically a giant sand box. Is this a bad thing? One supposes that some think so, but one doesn’t know.]
What would you like to see improved upon in our small neighborhood playground? [Keeping it the same, except for maintenance, which, if it’s lacking, then whose fault is that? Cough RPD, cough]
Wouldn’t it be ironic, dontcha think, if the Yelp ratings of the Panhandle Playground go down after we spend all those millions of dollars on this simple, functional playground?
Per this bit on SocketSite, SFGov thinks it has 50 “failing” playgrounds. Does that means that all of them get an “F” grade, that they’re all basically worthless?
If you polled people who actually use the place, the grade you’d come up with is “A,” or possibly “A-,” something in that area.
I think what SFGov / RPD / all those people with clipboards from that big non-profit what’s run by the wealthy, white and wizened actually mean is that the Panhandle Playground isn’t brand-new. What they mean is that it hasn’t kept up with the latest trends in playgroundom the past decade or so due to the fact that it hasn’t been replaced the past decade.
In other words, what they’re saying is that the Panhandle Playground isn’t “world-class.”
Oh, what’s that, Parks Alliance, there were more than 2.5 pieces of litter per square meter or whatever on the day that you dropped by with your clipboards? OK, so don’t you mean that the RPD is failing then?
Oh, what’s that, Parks Alliance, you’re concerned about the health effects of “x.” You know, I don’t think you want to go there, Parks Alliance. Cause then you’d have to look at the other stuff RPD is doing lately, like, say, the Beach Chalet soccer fields. Now I’ll tell you, I’m 90%+ sure that all the things people are worried about with the new artificial turf aren’t going to turn out to be a problem, but that’s not an absolutely assurance. You could say the same for whatever it is that makes you say that four dozen playgrounds in SF are “failing.”
You know, I could take my clipboard and go up to somebody’s 2004 Honda Accord with low miles and I could say, “Oh, no sat nav – minus five points. And oh, dirty windshield – minus three points. And oh…” And then I could put the car on my list of “failing” commuter vehicles, even though the person who drives it every day M-F thinks it’s a great ride and even though it passes its smog test every year or two and even though it starts up every time without fail. Who, oh who will appoint me chairman of the “Failing Hondas Task Force?”
(Oh hey, you know what RPD is disappointed about? It’s bummed out that the Maude Flanderses and the Reverend Lovejoy’s Wifes of the 94117 haven’t formed something like the Friends of the Panhandle Playground to raise $800k or so to give to RPD, you know, the way things worked with Presidio Heights and Mountain Lake. Oh well. Sorry RPD.)
In any event, a big bag of money fell from the sky and SFGov is going to spend it the way it wants. IMO, SFGov spends too much time focusing on the aesthetic concerns of millionaires who appoint themselves to the boards of the non-profits they create.
So, go for it, send a reporter over to the Panhandle to check things out, to see why SFGov wants to spend months and months tearing out a perfectly good playground, to see why SFGov wants to scrap a Honda Accord with low miles, and a dirty windshield…
Free Kool-Aid, after the jump, drink up, it’s free, well, not really, but you’re going to end up paying for it anyway, so might as well.
It took me a while to figure this one out. OK, here’s the Children’s Quarter, aka the Koret something-or-other, in Golden Gate Park:
See? It’s a Jeep SUV, complete with a steering wheel, horn button, headlights, trademark grill and a three-on-the-tree gear shift. You could actually use this thing to begin to teach somebody how to drive.
Oh, how I weep! You see, instead, this should be a bicycle simulator, complete with handlebars and Shimano Alivio shifters, right man?
I hope nobody from Park Slope ever sees this, man…
Well the slides at the Panhandle Playground have been replaced after three months of absence.
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.