Posts Tagged ‘dolores park’

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Namu Gaji’s colorful new paint job

June 12th, 2019

Namu Gaji's new paint job
 

A few months ago a building at the corner of Dolores and 18th Street started a somewhat belated seismic retrofit, which meant the temporary closure of its two ground floor tenants: hip Korean restaurant Namu Gaji and the ever popular Bi-Rite Creamery.

Bi-Rite Creamery never closed entirely, instead operating out of a food truck parked right outside until they recently reopened their indoor ice cream parlor. Fans of Namu Gaji are still waiting for it to reopen, or have been heading over to its sister restaurant Namu Stonepot on Divisadero.

Today I wandered by to find the Namu Gaji space is preparing to reopen with a colorful new paint job. According to their Instagram page it’s the work of Namu Gaji’s own @danseung and @maliciouslee, along with local muralist @rys78.

Visually it’s the biggest change to that corner since Dolores Park’s renovation. Namu Gaji itself largely retained the dark gray-ish exterior it inherited from that one woman’s boutique it replaced many years ago.

When it reopens Namu Gaji will rejoin the 18th Street “gourmet ghetto” including Delfina and its sister pizzeria, Tartine Bakery, Bi-Rite (both the grocery/deli and creamery), and Dolores Park Cafe — and soon a new offshoot of Al’s Place.

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Salesforce Tower light show allegedly launched

May 23rd, 2018

Salesforce Tower, opening day
 

Today was the grand opening of Salesforce Tower, and with it the alleged launch of a massive 11,000 LED light show on the top of the building.

As you can see in my photo above taken from Dolores Park, it was so foggy I’m not even sure which building is which. None of them seem to be capped with a light show. The downtown skyline almost looks like a mirage somewhere in the distance, as it always does when it’s covered in a thick layer of fog.

So did the lights even get turned on? Was it too foggy to find the switch? Neither would surprise me. Here’s a video from earlier in the evening from the much closer vantage point of Second and Howard. Even from there the top of the building was obscured by the fog.

Salesforce Tower, opening day

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Birdhouse for rent in Dolores Park

June 17th, 2016

Birdhouse for rent in Dolores Park

While the plan to rent sections of Dolores Park to humans ended almost as soon as it began, birds now have the option to rent this lovely apartment dangling from a tree in the park, located at the corner near 20th and Dolores Street.

The sign on the apartment doesn’t reveal the price or list a phone number, it simply states:

Achieve Realty
For Rent
Renovated

Interested parties should note that this is more of a micro bird apartment than a full-size birdhouse. It would be well suited as a starter home for a small songbird, but wouldn’t be large enough for an adult pigeon or a family of birds.

No word on whether this apartment is covered by rent control.

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Dolores Park: What’s in a name?

June 16th, 2015

Dolores Park
Photo copyright Todd Lappin. Used under a Creative Commons license.
 

The freshly renovated section of Dolores Park opens later this week. If you’re like most people, the name “Dolores Park” conjures up images in your mind of a never ending Pabst-soaked frat party. But why is it called Dolores Park? Who — or what — is it named after?

Let’s start at the beginning. Originally, the park was a cemetery. The city bought the land to turn it into a park and starting coming up with designs in 1905. Those designs were put on hold as the land was used as a refugee camp for people who were freshly homeless thanks to the 1906 earthquake and fire.

According to the Priceonomics blog, the original park construction took place from 1908 to around 1910. Various improvements, including the removal of a wading pool, were made in the 20’s and 30’s.

Take a look at a map from the early 1930’s and you’ll find Dolores Park originally had a different name: Mission Park.

Clearly at some point after this map was made the name of the park was changed. I’m not sure exactly when that happened, because that bit of history doesn’t seem to be available on the internets. (Believe me, I checked them all.)

At least at first, it seems like a safe assumption that the park was renamed in honor of the nearby Mission San Francisco de Asis, aka Mission Dolores. After all, that building is the namesake of the city and the neighborhood, not to mention a street that takes you to Dolores Park.

But since the park was already named after Mission Dolores in the first place, it seems like an unnecessary name change. Given the lack of available historical records, and given what they say about assumptions, I felt more research into this topic was needed before I could be certain.
 

Now I know what you’re thinking — let’s check Wikipedia! Well I hate to tell you this, but that’s when this entire endeavor slid into a serious rathole.

To quote the Wikipedia page for Dolores Park:

Dolores Park is named for Miguel Hidalgo (El Grito de Dolores), the father of Mexican independence, and the town of Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, Mexico. As a priest in Dolores, it was Hidalgo’s ringing of the town’s church bell and public cry for freedom that sparked the Mexican revolution. A statue of Hidalgo and replica of the church bell at Dolores Hidalgo were erected in the park to honor the father of the Mexican independence movement, and the town where it all began. In recent years, the park has been frequently and incorrectly referred to as “Mission Dolores Park”. The confusion probably stems from the assumptions of many romanticists, that based upon its former and current names of “Mission” and “Dolores” suggests it must’ve been named after Mission Dolores two blocks to the north. Logic, however, dictates that such monuments to the most pivotal moments in Mexican history would not sit in a public space bearing the name of an institution seen by many as a symbol of Spanish colonialism and oppression.

(Emphasis mine)

Huh. That does explain why Dolores Park contains the Mexican liberty bell replica and the statue of Miguel Hidalgo. Those features of the park were installed in the 60’s, and it’s plausible that Mission Park was renamed Dolores Park at that time.

Now here’s the problem — that entire section on Wikipedia has no citations, and is largely the work of a single anonymous user who goes by the name DoloresParkLover. Previously, the page attributed the park’s name to Mission Dolores, but that version was also citation-free.

Still, I have to admit that the park’s decorations feel very out of place without this context. But if what it says on Wikipedia is true, that’s one hell of a naming coincidence.
 

At this point I thought maybe looking at newer maps would do the trick to verify the name of the damn park, but it turned out once again I was being naive. Google Maps, Apple Maps, and OpenStreetMap all list the park as “Mission Dolores Park,” whereas Nokia HERE Maps call it “Dolores Park.” Foiled again.

Combing through the current version of the city charter (the only version I could find online) was not helpful either. Dolores Park is only mentioned twice, and both times it’s referred to as “Mission Dolores Park.” Then if you look at the planning maps that go along with the charter, it’s referred to instead as “Dolores Park.” Sigh.

It’s worth noting that SF Park and Rec calls it “Mission Dolores Park,” and their own website says the park was “[n]amed for nearby Mission Dolores,” while SFMTA asserts that the park is named after our old friend Miguel and his freedom cry. As usual, our city’s agencies can’t agree on anything.

I reached out to a Parks and Rec official for comment but haven’t heard back.
 

So after all this I have to admit defeat. I started out with a simple question, but it raised more questions than answers. Hell, I don’t even know what the park is called anymore! Perhaps the only remaining course of action is to give in and call it Brolores Park. Cheers, and happy day drinking.

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New murals on Dolores St.

March 20th, 2015

Across from Dolores Park there’s a Christian Science church that’s been shuttered for a number of years. Recently a developer wanted to turn it into housing, but so far that hasn’t happened.

Instead it got boarded up, and now those boards have been filled with some spiffy new murals by fnnch, Analog Monsters, MaxEhrman and others.
 

Dolores St. murals Dolores St. murals Dolores St. murals Dolores St. murals Dolores St. murals Dolores St. murals

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Fogust descends on Dolores Park

August 14th, 2013

Fogust at Dolores Park

This is the time of year when a lot of us take time off for vacation. The season of summer needs time off as well, which is why we have the month of Fogust.

A strange thing happens as the fog engulfs the city; the area around Dolores Park is shielded from the fog by Twin Peaks, leaving a big sunny patch. One has to wonder if a certain Junipero Serra took this heavenly parting as a sign for where he should start construction when he arrived here in Fogust of 1776 (Okay, June 29th, but close enough.)

And perhaps one day in the distant future, archeologists will stumble on this sunny spot in the foggy ruins of our city. And maybe they’ll figure out why San Franciscans spent so much time fighting over building things that — most of the time — nobody could even see.

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Looks totally legit

September 30th, 2011

photo.JPG

Clearly this is a legitimate organization and not just some Ponzi scheme. And yeah, the poster looks unprofessional, but so what? The people in charge are too busy directing dump trucks full of $100 bills into their driveways while experiencing emotional freedom to bother to learn to use InDesign properly.

Spotted at 18th and Dolores

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Ironic iron

August 19th, 2011

Iron

What’s this? An element sticker? The cool kids are all into chemistry now, I guess. Bill Nye would be proud.

But the “irony” of this (if you’ll pardon the pun) is that the metal the sticker is applied to is most definitely not iron. Now that’s a major “fe pas.”

Spotted at 18th and Dolores.

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18th Street Zoltron art wall revisited

July 5th, 2011

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Last time we checked out the Zoltron art wall on 18th St, the collaborative and spontaneous art project was already well underway.

I stopped by again today and I’m happy to report that the effort has continued! The ever-changing nature of the wall means there’s always something new. I’ll be a little sad to see it go if 18 Reasons ever opens their doors.

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18th Street Zoltron art wall

June 19th, 2011

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Zoltron has covered a plywood wall on the long-boarded up space on 18th and Dolores. Eventually this space will become the new home of Bi-Rite’s 18 Reasons, but for now it’s livening up the Mission’s “Gourmet Ghetto.”

Update: It’s a collaborative, spontaneous art piece. I’ll let Zoltron explain what’s going on.