Fun-hating grinch cuts down Valencia swing

Kai from Mission Bicycle Company has the scoop:

Here are a few pics I snagged immediately after a crazy lady cut down the swing on Valencia across the street from our shop.  When questioned she said “this isn’t a playground.”  It was sad.

I guess that means we all have to grow up now finally.

UPDATE: Further information from our buddy Jake:

Today I witnessed the Valencia tree swing being hacked to death in the prime of its life. A few others witnessed the merciless slaying in broad daylight, and followed the killer around the corner where she clutched the lifeless body. I asked her why she would destroy something that’s brought so much joy and beauty into the world and this was her response: “you’re crazy and you need a shave. You’re probably one of those Occupy people.” She then called 911 and an officer quickly responded to reports we were harassing her. He told us the perp felt threatened by us and then admitted he was unclear about tree swing laws in San Francisco. Nobody was cited and the perp’s motive remains unclear, however she did mention almost being hit by a reckless swing-person in the past which no doubt constitutes premeditation. It’s a minor tragedy for Valencia street and another reminder that Mission will always have an element of danger in the air. We can only hope where one was cut down, many more will grow in its place.

Jake also included yet another gut-wrenching pic:


Swings on 18th Street!

80 Responses to “Fun-hating grinch cuts down Valencia swing”

  1. trixrforkids says:

    this lady obviously doesn’t get that for the mission hipster population, the whole world is a playground.

    she should get fixed up with that guy who tears flyers down from poles on valencia street every morning. they would make a dynamic duo.

  2. new says:

    quick, to the hardware store!

  3. henri! says:

    Time to upgrade to a tire swing with chains!

    • Mea Culpa says:

      This! its unfortunate though… chains don’t have quite the same aesthetic or feel as rope… not quite as nostalgic….

      Anyone know where this lady lives? Can we T.P. her house? all in the spirit of perpetual juvenility, of course!

      • eve says:

        I love that hit me up when ya’ll go cause I would LOVE to accompany you and drop $5.00 on TP.I always can spare a fin for mischief!

  4. heather says:

    Sooo, who wants to INUNDATE Valencia Street with swings? I sure do. Also, that woman should move someplace sad and uninspired.

  5. Superlesbian says:

    Noisebridge at 18th and mission has a wood shop thats open 24/7 for the communities use. It has all the tools needed to inundate Valencia street with swings. And its free! No shit, they have a coffee bar too?

  6. parisa says:

    awwwwwwwwww bummer!
    I’m so glad I got one last ride on it last night :(

  7. Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

    What a jerk!

  8. anselm says:

    I really have nothing clever to say – but this thread is so awesome I just want to be a part of it. I love the thought of swing wars to be honest.

  9. Kazoo says:

    What a miserable old cow.

  10. my says:

    I actually saw cops there a few times chillin by the swing and they never seemed to care.

  11. Sitch says:

    Andrew, what did this lady look like? Was she stocky, with black and gray hair? I’m wondering if she’s a crazy former-neighbor of mine, who accuses people of harassing her right and left if they disagree with her about even the tiniest thing.

    • Sitch says:

      Ok, that question was meant for Kai.

    • Dolorosa says:

      No. She is Carmen Castillo. She scrapes stickers off of Valencia Street, too. She grew up in the Mission.

    • GinGin says:

      Was you neighbor on Bryant St? Sounds like old nightmare landlord.

      • Sitch says:

        So you know her too! I lived across the street. Had to get a restraining order against her.

        • GinGin says:

          Omg me too! She is by far one of the worst people I’ve ever met. She wrote me psycho letters in all caps daily about whatever problem she was currently having and went through her trash. Her bum ex husband would peep in our windows. We actually found other people (ex tenants and neighbors) on MySpace and formed a “support group.” She found it though and threatened to sue us haha. One day I saw her spray a bunch of people watching Carnivale with her hose. Someday I will scan all of the psycho letters she wrote.

    • eton says:

      She lives on Dolores St between 18th and 19th. Her name is Carmen Castillo. She harasses all the neighbors and frankly, she’s a bitter old crazy lady. She carries around an exacto knife, so be careful!

      • OhYeah says:

        So. Next swing to be installed on Dolores between 18th and 19th, then?

        Good. Glad we’re all agreed. :-) )

  12. fuckthat says:

    Fuck that. I loved that swing. I’m putting another up in its place this week if someone else doesn’t before me.

  13. Joshua says:


  14. Jon says:

    Did anyone get a name of the woman? Any pictures of her? An address?

  15. Greg S. says:

    NIMBY alert! Use steel wire next time. Also, get a photo of said crazy lady.

  16. Greg S. says:

    Nice catch!

  17. Superlesbian says:

    Good work Matt!

  18. I hate having to be the grown-up on this thread, but are you kids going to chip in to pay for the liability insurance on these swings?

  19. scum says:

    Are the swings mounted in a way so the bark doesn’t get damaged?

  20. nadafigment says:

    Ah yes, Carmen. Lots of stories. She regularly yells at people in the neighborhood. She punched a neighbor in the face for walking a dog. She filed a restraining order against a neighbor over an imagined sexual harassment. The police know all about her, and wish they could do something, but no charges have been filed against her.

  21. mike says:

    ok the lady sounds crazy…that said, she did complain of almost being hit by a ‘reckless swing person’ in the past. im all for swings. and fun. but i live around the corner and ive seen people trying get by the swing that couldnt, because somebody was having too much fun to be gracious and let pedestrians pass.
    the truth: the mission hipster crowd conveniently filters out most everyone else in the world except other ironic, self-referential hipsters. maybe as a positive example all the swinging, fun-lovers in the neighborhood could try to be less myopic in THEIR view and this will encourage that same tendency in others.
    as for heather suggesting the old lady move: if youre going to move in and gentrify a neighborhood with more than its fairshare of low income, disadvantaged crazy people that have lived here all their lives, atleast have the good sense to not suggest that they should have to move somewhere ‘sad and uninspired.’ the fact that shes mentally ill says she clearly already lives in that place, and you could show more compassion/empathy/charity. very middle class heather, good job.

    • rod says:

      you’re over-educated and under-informed. make no mistake, you are the gentry, you are the bourgeious. keep trying to justify your own actions with ‘empathy’ and ‘charity’ while condemning others for doing exactly what you’ve done. make sure to keep acting like there are rules to urbanization and you are writing the rule book.

      • Doctor Memory says:

        “Bourgeois” is an adjective, not a noun (that would be “bourgeoisie”), but otherwise good job at pretending to have read a book once.

        • rod says:

          ad hominem grammar attacks are the last refuge of the internet bottom feeders. do you have any thoughts or opinions of your own?

          • D. Jon Moutarde says:

            “over-educated and under-informed”

            Did someone say, “ad hominem”?

          • Mike H says:

            Stop trying to use words you don’t understand. An ad hominem attack is an attempt to negate the truth of a claim based upon negative characteristics of the person making that claim.

            Really, there’s no such thing as an “ad hominem grammar attack”

    • susan says:

      Tearing down flyers is one thing — hey, not a major deal. Cutting this swing down, clearly lacking in fun, but in the grand scheme of things not a huge issue. But she has repeatedly threatened people and she is the prime suspect (everyone knows it’s her, just no proof) in the damage of private property — smashed windshield and repeated tire slashes of someone she had a problem with. I don’t know how mentally ill she is. But hipster gentrification or not, that’s not acceptable behavior in any community.

      • mattymatt says:

        Tearing down legal flyers is actually a pretty shitty thing to do. A lot of people depend on flyers to promote events — parties, concerts, screenings, etc. There are laws to regulate flying so that advertisements don’t become overwhelming, but when vigilantes take the law into their own hands and tear down legal posters, they’re hurting local businesses and workers and culture. It’s particularly cruel when the person is tearing down stuff like “please help us find our lost kitten” — who does that shit?

    • heather says:

      Oh, Mike. I’m far from middle class, but I do like to see joy and happiness and art wherever possible, especially when it’s unexpected. But you? You’re one of those guys who likes to be a contrarian on threads where most everyone else is having a nice old time. I know you, sir, and you? You’re sad and uninspired. Let go a bit, buddy. Have some fun.

      Also, my partner is super involved over at Noisebridge, and he’s completely into building some new (and better! and more shiny!) swings. Let’s do it.

  22. TC says:

    If some random can put a swing up, some random can cut it down. There are also swings at Jose Coronado park if you need to get your swing on.

  23. Pea says:

    Retaliation is escalation. Way to Think Global, Act Local.
    Some of you numbnuts may have a future in military intelligence.

  24. TIMMY says:

    i don’t see the big fucking problem…if anyone has the right to put a swing up, anyone has the right to cut it down

  25. Debra says:

    That swing didn’t bother anyone…that lady needs to get laid.

  26. TIMMY says:

    fuck you and your fucking swing you dumbass “hipsters”

    • Greenland Whale Fisheries says:

      some of us are whalers who enjoy swinging when not killing whales

      • Whalers Inc. says:

        Hear hear! I need to get my swing on after I get my harpoon on. I know we’ve had our tiffs in the past, GWF, but thanks for speaking the truth on this.

  27. Fuckthehipsterhater says:

    I was on the swing all the time and never saw somebody get kicked. i walked behind the swing when other people were on it and it wasnt that scary. ive watched people too scared to walk behind go the long way around, even while tons of people just went behind the swing. that thing is awesome and fun and it feels like your flying. i dont care if you call me a hipster, i love that swing and IT WILL BE RESURRECTED!

    • GG says:

      I was on the swing all the time too (have we met?) and I not only saw someone get kicked, I saw someone attach a blade to the swing and use it to decapitate a bystander, I saw someone temporarily remove the wooden seat and use it to beat a puppy to death, and I saw someone borrow the rope to lasso a steer that they then dismembered and presented as a special “whole animal meal” at Incanto. That swing was a MENACE.

  28. Preems says:

    I’m a hipster that puts up flyers, and am considering taking some steps to make them a bitch to remove

  29. AnonCow says:

    What is the old woman owns the property and was concerned about someone getting injured on the swing and suing her?

    It’s all fun and games until someone cracks their skull open and then sues the old lady for millions of dollars claiming the swing was an attractive nuisance.

    • swinger says:

      she doesnt own it. i spoke with the owner of the empty building it is in front of and he is 100% all for it.

  30. Rory says:

    It’s back! This time with steel wire. Hooray!

  31. Daniel says:

    spotted in the Mission near Bi-tRite…..

  32. Lj. says:

    Ahh, it’s so hard to be us these days.