Have you ever had the urge to push aside the “Do Not Enter” signs and explore the unknown? I do pretty much every day. It’s almost like a dare -the best stuff is beyond this sign…do you dare break the rules to discover it? Perhaps that’s just me, but somehow I doubt it. On my last assignment I got to do just that, but legally! That’s right, Just the Gritty is on the straight and narrow. Apparently all I had to do was join up with Atlas Obscura, a “compendium of amazing places that aren’t found in your average guidebook.” (more…)
You don’t have to be an architect to appreciate architecture. I’m going to be frank with you right now: I am not an architect. Nor am I some sort of architecture buff or historian. I simply love the buildings in my neighborhood – the bright colors and ornate facades just beg me to capture them, and fit perfectly with my style of high saturation and dreamy light blurs. (more…)
One of the most accurate descriptions of Dolores Park that I’ve heard is that it’s basically just an outside bar. It’s two full city blocks of hipsters with their beloved bikes, hoola hoops and slacklines and endless amounts of skin. This hub of lenient sexuality is the epitome of the Mission, and its epicenter in the summer. Bottom line: it’s the best people watching anywhere.
To the outsider it may seem like utter mayhem. On the hottest of days every single patch of green is covered in blankets, coolers, bikes, Bi-Rite shopping bags and tiny dogs. There’s a food truck parked in the middle of the park, and people are everywhere. Everywhere. To the Dolo connoisseur, however, you could map it out like a high school cafeteria. You can accurately describe to your friends where you’re sitting not based on landmarks, but what “section” you’re in…but I’m not telling you what they are. They’re better learned by experience.
Personally, I recommend that you get there before 1 pm. Get yourself a primo spot, set up shop with your blanket, beverages and snacks, and watch all the hungover people roll in wearing their skinny jeans and neon sunglasses. You’ll get to see the random band(s) set up full drum kits, slacklines strung up between palm trees and whatever else people brought to show off.
The park is located between 18th and 20th streets on Dolores. Keep in mind that parking is at a premium so I encourage you to ride your bicycle or vintage Vespa or whatever.
A few words of wisdom for the Dolores Park novice: 1) No matter how hot it is at 1pm, it will always be cold when the sun goes down. Bring a hoodie. 2) Bring something to sit on – Dolores is also a dog park. Just saying. 3) Don’t forget sunblock. And 4) Bring more snacks and drinks than you think you’ll need; sharing is caring.
Dolores Park [Map]
Between 18th and 20th streets on Dolores
As an SF dweller for the last eight years, people find it rather amazing that I’ve never gone down to Long Beach Pride. I’ve always thought to myself, well, I’m in SF, how can this one be beat? This year I was invited down to celebrate with a friend of mine, and after figuring out the feasibility of going with a broken foot, I decided to give it a go. Thus, not only was this my first time to Long Beach, but it was also my first time in a wheelchair. The wheelchair experience alone was enough for an article in and of itself, but I’ll spare you that story and stick to Pride.
First of all, trying to compare the two Pride celebrations really doesn’t work. They’re just too different to exist in the same conversation”¦one is downtown and crammed with people, big names and multiple parades. The other is at the beach, on one site, and spread out in a more digestible fashion. So what it comes down to is what you’re looking for. I enjoy both scenes, and having a broken foot I was glad I was at the slower of the two.
Don’t get me wrong-Long Beach Pride is still chock full of partying, people watching and general mayhem. The floats are a little less enterprise and more Mom & Pop, which is a bit refreshing. Personally, I get a bit sick of seeing Bank of America Pride floats. I mean, I love the support, but I’m here to see some happy gender-ambiguous party people, not a blow-up ATM.
This year the main stage headliner was Queen Latifah, and I must admit I’m a bit sad I missed her. Unfortunately the wheelchair antics totally wore me out and I didn’t last after a long day in the sun and (more than) a few beverages. I was happy to hear it was her and not a boy band, though.
One of my favorite places was the house tent. The crew and I pretty much perched here for the duration of the festival. Find yourself a patch of grass here and the people-watching rivals that of Dolores Park”¦with more dancing. And believe it or not, more skin.
Anyway, I’m not going to go on and on about my personal LB Pride experience. It won’t do you any good anyway, since everyone has their own story to tell. But! I will say that I’m a true convert now-LB Pride is rad, and I’ll be going back for sure.
Yes, it’s true. I’m sharing another piece about a dog park. But! Please keep in mind, this poor fool has been living with a broken foot since January. During these long months of recovery one of my only outdoor activities is sitting in a park and leaving my dog to romp about on her own. (more…)
For those of you that don’t know, I was hit by a car about 4 months ago. This means that most of my outdoor adventures have been temporarily put on hold while my (many) bones heal. Luckily, however, there are a few spots even someone on a crutch can access…if you can get a ride to them. (more…)