Posts Tagged ‘playground’

SFGov Invites YOU to a FREE DINNER at the Park Branch Library Tonight – New Panhandle Playground – Bring the Kids!

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Here’s the news from a few years back and here’s what’s going to happen tonight at our SFPL’s Park Branch Library at 1833 Page near Clayton at 5:30 PM:

“Panhandle Playground Project – Planning Workshop – May 31 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

A workshop to discuss future improvements to the Panhandle Playground as part of the Let’s Play SF! Initiative – a partnership with the San Francisco Parks Alliance.

Food provided! Children and youth welcome as we will have planning activities geared towards them!

For more information about the Panhandle Playground Project, please visit tinyurl.com/PanhandlePlayground or contact Project Manager Melinda Stockmann at Melinda.Stockmann@sfgov.org or at 415-581-2548.”

But oh, there are a few issues.

1 So who’s paying the millions of dollars SFGov is proposing to spend? Well, they don’t get into that. I assume it’s local tax- and fee-payers. So that’s one of the costs of this project, right?

2. I mention that because destroying the current setup, the popular Kid’s Kingdom playground what’s the current Panhandle Playground, and then putting in a replacement will take, what, months, years? I mean, delays are baked into the cake, right?

Oh, here it is. “WELCOME TO KID’S KINGDOM – DONATED BY YOUR LOCAL SATURN DEALER.” Or at least it used to say that. But area residents didn’t cotton to this kind of marketing, so chop chop:

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3. One way to take care of this lengthy shut down issue would be to build the new playground someplace else nearby. THIS IS ONE OF THE CHOICES THAT YOU MIGHT POSSIBLY HAVE INPUT ON TONIGHT. Frankly, I don’t think Rec and Park would really be into moving the site JMO. The current location has a bunch of exotic trees around it, which many find appealing, but given the half-assed way RPD conducts its bidness, there’s a heightened risk of a big old branch coming down and killing somebody someday. Anyway, our RPD seems to think nothing of shutting down playgrounds for basically no reason for like a year, so I don’t think it cares oh well.

Getting rid of the rats should be high on the agenda regardless:

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RPD’s hands are tied about getting rid of rats. They can cull the herd, but getting rid of them altogether, well that’s a gonna be hard. They have some helpers though, to swoop down and carry away the poor little rattus rattus:

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4. But here’s the thing: Once you wrap your head around building the new playground while keeping the current one open, then who’s to say that people would prefer the new one? In fact, the current Kid’s Kingdom Panhandle Playground is remarkably popular, drawing in kids from all over the city. Why? Well mostly it has to do with all the tons of sand. People love the sand. And these days it’s a rare thing in Frisco. You know who hates sand, or at least hates taking care of sand? That’s right, your RPD. Speaking of which, RPD isn’t all that popular and yet the current playground is. So why not get a new RPD and leave the current playground alone?

5. Or better yet, take the money set aside and use it to take care of the Panhandle Playground better – is that so crazy? Ask people who are there and they are shocked that RPD and associated non-profits run by millionaires consider this place a “failing” playground. What makes it a “failure?” Its popularity? The current playground is a beat up Toyota Land Cruiser with 100,000 miles, which means that if you take care of it, maybe spruce it up a bit, then it will last for decades more, right?

6. But, RPD is already set upon getting rid of Kid’s Kingdom, without asking anybody. (Our SFMTA once made the mistake of actually asking if people wanted the crazy, I mean just crazy traffic circles they randomly put on Page, among other places. And the answer was no, we want our stop signs back, by a three to one margin. So this kind of thing is on RPD’s mind when it considers asking people what they want.) And they’re already paying a project manager and they’ve selected the main contractor, so RPD would think it “sad” if they had to give back the millions of dollars set aside.

7. Oh well.

8. And let’s see, is all that sand what’s there bad because of parasites? Well that could be true but it’s not because we don’t have no cats around, at least the way the ‘burbs do.

9. And is there arsenic in the wood at the playground now? Oh, yes there is. But it’s not all that big a deal. Typically, if there’s arsenic in your kid, then it’s going to be from something other than CCA wood. And you’re supposed to wash your hands after leaving, at least that’s what an RPD sign says what’s posted near the eastern entrance.

10. Oh, what’s that, playgrounds have changed so so much in the two decades since (Old) General Motors simply gifted us $100k to put in Kid’s Kingdom? Noooooope! You’re wrong, RPD.

11. But you have a new Theory of Playgrounds that you’re happy to share and discuss? Well, that’s fine, but the people who made Kid’s Kingdom also had theories and I’ll bet if you put them together, cut them up and then presented them to RPD employees, they wouldn’t be able to distinguish betwixt the bad old theories and the great new theories.

12. Oh well.

13. So the current playground is “failing” but the current users don’t have the foggiest idea of what that means, so why doesn’t RPD face up to this?

14. Anyway, you’ve paid for this project, so you deserve some free food at the library. They’ll ask you about your feelings about this and that, like what color should this be kind of thing. One supposes.

15. If the food’s not to your liking, Mickey D’s on Haight has 2 for 1 Happy Meals today, via their app.

16. Adieu Kid’s Kingdom. Many people will miss your ocean of sand, especially the Little Ones. Expect a playground geared more for Big Kids. For Better or Worse. Eventually.

17. OIOW:

“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?

We’ll see.

 

RPD Takes Down Its Tree Mail in the Golden Gate Park Panhandle

Friday, May 26th, 2017

Before:

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After:

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Well there we go.

Thanks, RPD!

While you’re at it, why not fix the walking path along Oak? I don’t think this is a money issue, it’s a something-else issue. It has to do with your priorities, RPD…

RPD v. DPW: Rec and Park STAPLES Its Ad to a TREE in Golden Gate Park – Is This Allowed?

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

I’ll tell you, our Rec and Park (rated at just 2.5 stars) is SICK AND TIRED of taking care of the ocean of sand that makes up our perfectly fine, 4 star-rated Kid’s Kingdom Panhandle Playground, so it wants to spend millions of dollars on a replacement.

So here’s the ad for the next step, for a public meeting at the Park Branch of our San Francisco Public Library:

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RPD stapled its ad to a tree.

Now let’s check out what DPW has to say. See that? No staples allowed. Like not even on a telephone pole, man.

I recognize that DPW rules might not apply all over Frisco, but geez man. Do you want people stapling crap to your trees, RPD?

Now as far as the proposals for getting rid of Kid’s Kingdom, well, what if the new playground were free and what if it could be created in an instant – would existing users prefer the new place or the existing playground? You know, IDK.

The parents / caregivers are, generally, astonished when they hear that the Panhandle Playground is one of the worst in Frisco. And actually a lot of them travel past other playgrounds to get to this particular one, so they aren’t looking forward to RPD taking all that sand away.

OTOH, RPD doesn’t have the scratch to fix the nearby walking path next to Oak. For want of a half-mil, it’s given up on doing anything with that abysmal macadam anytime soon.

So that’s why RPD going to lengths to dismantle a perfectly fine playground is a bit funny.

And of course, the new playground isn’t free – it’ll cost millions. And of course, it won’t get built in an instant – it’ll take months. And of course, there are other pros and cons to putting in a new playground. But RPD has already decided to get rid of Kid’s Kingdom, so they want people to now focus on tiny details (oh, what color would you like the paint to be?) as opposed to the big picture (the place is very popular, and people are sad at the idea of losing the sand, but they’d like RPD to do a better job of taking care of the place, and why not just keep this place instead of destroying it?)

Oh well…

Our Thoughtful RPD Provides a Bird Bath for Our Fine Feathered Friends – Or, This Fountain has been Broken for Years and Years

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

Well, I guess it’s been broken.

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Can’t really turn it off, and it’s generally all plugged up, so it’s now a birdbath…

(And ask about our nearby rats they live about 20 feet away. And of course, that attracts birds of prey. Check it. But they’re far too big to take a bath in a bubbler.)

Militaristic Playground: C-130 Paratroopers, F-18 Blue Angels, and a Giant F-8 Crusader – Larsen in the Parkside

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Larsen Playground on 19th in the Parkside has quite a military bent, non? This mystery comes from our history. Let’s take a look.

C-130 paratroopers coming to kill you, just like in Operation Market Garden:

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And an F-18 Hornet from the much-talked-about U.S. Navy Blue Angels:

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And here’s your giant Chance-Vought F-8 Crusader:

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Remember to whisper Mors Ex Supera as you drive by on 19th…

Sign of the Times in Frisco: A Playground Just For Dogs

Monday, April 25th, 2016

I don’t know where the closest human playground is from here.

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At first I thought it looked a little bleak for a playground, but then I saw that it was dogs only…

Note to the NFL: If You Go Too Far with Corporate Sponsorships in San Francisco, You’re Going to Get Blowback – Sorry – Here’s an Example

Friday, January 15th, 2016

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.

Sorry.

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):

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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.

Sorry, GM.

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?

Just asking…

*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.

Angry Hippies React to This Large Wooden Plaque at Our Panhandle Playground in Golden Gate Park – WHAT DID IT SAY?

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

I know the answer, Gentle Readers, but have at it yourselves.

See? It’s all:

WELCOME

TO

KID’S KINGDOM

DONATED BY YOUR LOCAL

________

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Your job is to fill in the blank.

CLUE: This defacement prolly occurred a long time ago

BEGIN!

A Sad, Month-Long Search for a Soccer Ball in the Richmond District – “I Will Know Who the Thief is”

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

I think I would have gone with LOST rather than STOLEN!

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But that’s just me.

The Pigeon Feeders of St Mary’s Square, West of the Financh

Friday, January 30th, 2015

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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.”