Effort underway to make Dolores Park sunbathers uncomfortable?

So reports one miffed commenter:

Listen up – anyone who has been to DP since kiddy land opened will note that a real effort has been made make gay men who sunbathe feel uncomfortable. Maybe it’s the motorcycle cops driving through the park. But the vibe of the park has changed. Free sprit has been replaced with a Walnut Creek like atmosphere. Which was the plan all along.

The Walnut Creek line is a little melodramatic, but is the other part true? Are sunbathers being targeted?

[Photo by Sergio Ruiz]

86 Responses to “Effort underway to make Dolores Park sunbathers uncomfortable?”

  1. Skidstheclown says:

    Oh that’s great, just in time for Hunky Jesus on Sunday….Booooooooo!

  2. If you as a gay man in SF can’t manage to get a phone number or grindr ID off of at least one of the passing motorcycle cops, you need to hang up your spurs.

  3. Don't Ask Me says:

    I think without question the vibe of the park since the playground has opened is different. Does it feel like Walnut Creek? I don’t know I’ve never been. But yesterday SF Motorcycle cops were patrolling inside the park. Do gay men flocking in bikinis feel less conformable because of the vast number of Mommy’s or the cop patrols? I think what’s interesting is that yesterday the Soccer Field was full of small kids playing soccer. I am not sure where we are supposed to herd the large number of adults who have no kids but want to use the park. The parents do seem to exhibit a sense of entitlement. But the best way to yuppy up the park is to say we are doing for the “children” .

    • KyleM says:

      “I think what’s interesting is that yesterday the Soccer Field was full of small kids playing soccer.”

      Really? It’s interesting to you that a SOCCER field was used for SOCCER? It fucking baffles the mind!

      • LibertyHiller says:

        That soccer field has been a disaster since its inception. Non-regulation size and very poor drainage are the two main problems.

    • Juegos says:

      I miss the barbecues and picnic tables that have been replaced with stuff that only children can enjoy. Why take away the picnic tables where I have seen so many birthday parties and such over the years?

  4. mebs says:

    As I parent of a small child, I welcome the normal Dolores crowd and have no problems. Please don’t stereotype us. I assume the local cops are worried about vandalism of the expensive new playground, possibly that is why there are more patrols. They might go away after a while. Can’t we all just get along.

  5. why says:

    does this assume that only gay men sunbathe or that the cops only target gay men? How do they know? Do they just target guys with hardons caused by cops in leather on hot bikes?

    • why not says:

      the SW corner of the park above the playground has been a sunbathing spot for gay men since the 70’s . my rule of thumb is that if 25 guys are wearing speedos and kissing it’s a gay sunbathing spot. or I am in france.

  6. Joe says:

    I think the mom who used the word ‘normal’ may have been misunderstood. Perhaps she was saying ‘Sunbathing gay men are the norm, and as a parent having a child in the park, I am a mature enough adult to be fine with it, just as they are likely to be fine with me and the kid.’

    THAT SAID, it’s first come, first served. It’s only gonna be over run with small children and their Sarah Palin clone soccer moms IF THERE IS ROOM. We need to continue to own the park, or the kids will!

  7. MrEricSir says:

    Parks in Walnut Creek don’t have more than 10 people in them at a time.

    • GG says:

      The parks downtown (such as the one by the old library) are always packed on nice days, the difference is that they’re 30% screaming rugrats and 60% “stay-at-home moms” looking at their cellphones. 10% teenagers smoking.

  8. GG says:

    Could that commenter point to one, tangible thing that has actually happened? I’m genuinely curious. The “vibe” has changed? How? I lived in Walnut Creek for many years and I can tell you, no, the “atmosphere” is definitely nothing like that.

  9. no cal says:

    Man, grow the fuck up…OH NO! MOMS!!! and (gasp) CHILDREN! It’s a park…with a killer playground. Fuck you and YOUR sense of perceived entitlement…”Oh no I’m a young, gay, hip, hula-hooping, mobile DJ, PBR/Parliament consuming elitist with a stupid mutt and I deserve to be here more so than ‘those’ people.” You stupid whining fucks.

    • ed says:

      well said

    • stephystacks says:

      You are my new favorite person. :)

    • jvis says:

      I am all of those things except gay and hoola hooping. HOW DARE YOU. It is my HIPSTER GOD GIVEN RIGHT to whine. hmmmph. I’m going to go cuddle with my half dachshundoodle puppy back in the castro.

      • Snake Plissken says:

        Well, we made it 2 hour and 15 minutes before the word “hipster” was used in a Dolores Park post. That has to be some sort of record.

    • Regular Guy says:


      Dolores Park is to be shared by all and is bound to change over time. Do you think everyone who lived in the neighborhood in the early 90s was thrilled when all the hipsters arrived?

      Before it became a sunbathing hill, it was where my mom and her sisters, as kids, slid on cardboard. Before that it was where my grandfather drank beer as a teen. Before that it was where my great grandmother lived after the quake. It may be sad to people who’ve found nirvana in SF but cities change, including parks. As John King said in the Chron a year or so back “transitions are part of the story.”

      Besides the the guy jerking off under the blanket shouldn’t be doing that in a public space anyhow and I hope the bike cops intimidate the hell out of that guy so he goes home or at least to a bathroom to take care of business.

      • rod says:

        it seems very unlikely that you were hanging around Dolores park in the 90s if you are suggesting that the current wave of harmless hipsters isn’t an improvement.

      • Pending Approval says:

        Yes, there are those who were born here and call themselves natives. They tend to be the most conservative, retrograde and boring of all of our residents. They live here because they were hatched here. Physically they are San Franciscans. Mentally they are our most out of step conservative and boring residents. The name Regular Guy says it all.

        • SFdoggy says:

          @Pending Approval: You know, Regular Guy comes across as a much more interesting, open-minded and thoughtful person than you do. It is revealing that you feel that everyone else must be “in step” with you — my how tolerant! Maybe you should just change your handle to “Arrogant Jerk”, that would say it all.

      • ElBel says:

        If you really want to get oldschool on who has first dibs, Dolores Park was originally a Jewish cemetery. Lasted until 1895 when the cemeteries were moved out of SF proper. http://uptownalmanac.com/2011/02/blackk-white-history-of-mission-dolores-park

    • TKSF says:

      damn, that’s what you call a read! Well said.

      The park is for everyone. If you feel uncomfortable, that’s something you have to deal with. Until someone tells you can’t partake in any acceptable park behavior, then you don’t have any reason to complain.

    • wizzer says:

      Whining fucks. god, I love that image.

  10. chalkman says:

    Until they target the guy that is constantly jerking it under his blanket, I think the speedo boys are safe. Maybe the moto-cops are cruising?

  11. dolores says:

    We’ve got to get this mayor out of office as soon as possible.

    • shannon says:

      cheers to that.

      • Brother Juniper says:

        Amen! Lets toss out Scott Wiener who represents the park as if its a playground for Noe Valley rich white people. It’s sad he hold Harvey Milk’s old seat. Sorry for putting in a DINO (democrat in name only) in your old post, Harvey.

        • 836V says:

          Any idea on what the demographics of your average Dolores Park user was before the new kid zone? I bet they have more in common with rich white people than you think.

  12. Keri says:

    Speaking from experience, raising kids in SF SUCKS! We moved to the east coast and besides Brooklyn (check out some of the park slope cray cray moms message boards), we find child rearing here is much more reasonable. Just keep up all of the commentary and most of the families will continue to move out. Which is, I think, a good thing for everyone!

  13. manymachines says:

    All this talk of kids playing soccer is just dancing around the real issue — who is Fulham going to find to replace Clint Dempsey after Liverpool throws a truckload of money at him?

    • bilbo says:


      • manymachines says:

        You’re right, I agree that Edson Buddle is way too old. Also, nowhere near Dempsey’s skill level.

        • CornFed says:

          This seems a good call. Dempsey isn’t consistently good enough over the course of a season to break into a top 4 club on a consistent basis (think Arteta) which is why he has stayed at Fulham for so long so Liverpool seems a good fit.

          Meanwhile, Fulham will likely go with an over the hill never really was that great in the first place player. Maybe they’ll bring Joe Cole back from Lille.

          • manymachines says:

            The other factor pointing to Liverpool is that there’s a glut of talent at Dempsey’s position in the top PL clubs right now. The question, though, is whether Dempsey believes Liverpool is going to stop sucking long enough to make a real run at the Champion’s League next season — he’s stated repeatedly that his primary goal at this stage in his career is to play in the CL in some form. He may well go to Italy or something if they’ll have him and he can’t find a spot in a top-4 PL club.

            Next season: no more Dempsey, probably no more Dembele. Despair for Fulham.

  14. Jeremy says:

    I’m not surprised the dirt bike cops are making people feel uncomfortable. I’ve heard from friends who’ve had too much experience with the SFPD that the “Honda Unit” as they’re called are the worst cowboys in the department.

  15. Diego says:

    Ridiculous that the sfpd doesn’t have more important things to do.

    • rod says:

      well, a fight that started in the park led to two people beinged stabbed near bi-rite a few weeks ago. the police presence could in part be a response to that kind of violence. but then again there are people getting shot a few blocks over all the time, so who knows. i think those cops would definitely stop more violent crime if they were posted up on foot on mission street or s. van ness.

  16. What does this mean: “…a real effort has been made make gay men who sunbathe feel uncomfortable.”? Without specifics, I cannot decide. Do the cops talk to the sunbathers, try to get them to put on more clothes, try to get them to leave, just drive their motorcycles around a lot? Why would a mere police presence make anyone uncomfortable and how can people responsibly comment on this without more specific information?

    • rod says:

      i think at the most basic level, having a cop riding circles around you in a loud dirtbike while you are trying to relax in the park makes some people uncomfortable. unless they are responding to a call, i’m not sure what the point is.

  17. Caffeinated Cabbie says:

    Could the moto cops just be checking out the sun bathers?

  18. pamasutra says:

    I have lived on 18th street since ’89. I try hard not to hate on the hipsters, but the impact they have had on the quality of life in this ‘hood is not what I would characterize as harmless. In terms of crowding, noise, congestion, trash, parking-it’s been detrimental and most of it is centered around the overuse of the park.

    • KyleM says:

      I’ve been bashing the anti kid hipsters in this thread so far, but honestly Dolores Park was a den of murder and drugs as recently as 2003. The hipsters have greatly improved quality of life in that area. They just need to learn how to share.

  19. SlideSF says:

    Did you have a problem when they changed the intersection of Dolores/Market? Lincoln/Waller? Octavia/Fell? Union Square? Oh, that’s right, those aren’t “your” neighborhood – they’re not even cool! – so who cares? K, just don’t get your knickers in a bundle if “we” don’t care about “your” neighborhood either.

  20. tim says:

    The cops are there because there are countless guys and girls going around selling drugs in forms of straight buds to cookies and brownies.. I think they are only there for that reason since they already know this is going on they probably killed two birds with one stone here.. instead to not insight a mass riot by coming in and harassing all the weekend warriors drinking and smoking, droping e for the random day parties.. they built a park for the kids, an amazing park at that where every kid would die to have a chance to play on it. so i believe they did this for the kids and so they have a moral excuse to patrol the area without a fight. The cops have been at dolores park for years now.. you just dont notice them becuase they are walking around in plain clothes or they stay up by the bathrooms.. they are always there when the sun starts to drop too.. so no that they are driving around on dirtbikes you can see them and i am sure they are doing it to push out the drug, and “cold beer” pedlers.. sucks for those guys cuz thats how they made their money every week off the adult kids in the park.. maybe their afraid a real kid might buy a brownie and Oh nooo DIEEE from weed. lol

  21. Maria says:

    Whenever you want to get rid of the undesirables – poor people, pot smokers, gays, and people of color – the best time honored excuse is to say your doing it “for the children”. Next up will be enforcement of the alcohol ban. Every park in SF must cater to ultra rich white parents. Then we have cops who live in San Mateo policing us on their toy dirt bikes.

    • KyleM says:

      Yeah, rich parents don’t drink. I’ll tell that to my friends at the Alamo Square weekly parents beer meet up at the playground next time. We’ll all laugh over our Armenian pilsners.

      • drunk parent says:

        Yes, I’ve seen Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Wolf so I know an uptight rich white alcoholic parents exist. True dat.

  22. fsharp says:

    Stop stereotyping parents. We’re not a bunch of enemies of all that is cool and sexy and fun.

    I know a lot of parents in the neighborhood and not one has ever kvetched over pot smoking, thong wearing or anything like that in the park. In fact most of them do all of those things. Sometimes at the same time.

    Now if you’re really wasted and are leching over my kids you’ll get your ass kicked but that’s all anyone needs to worry about.

  23. truth be told says:

    Sorry to break it to you – cool sexy and fun do not mix with small children – I know you want to pretend your the exception to the rule but your not – the park was an adult oasis that drew tourist from around the globe for its laid back free wheeling adult atmosphere – that is gone -

    • fsharp says:

      It’s hilarious that small kids can frighten away adults and make them afraid of being whoever and whatever they want.

      Especially in SF.

      • lesbian mom says:

        Since the beginning of time gay and lesbians have been made to feel at odds around children. “The lesbian basketball coach wants your daughter” “Gay men recruit small children” So when you threaten to “kick ass” over your perceived “leaching” it really sends chills down the spine.

        • fsharp says:

          My comment is meant to explain boundaries between acting crazy and being drunk and predatory toward kids.

          My kids are loved and surrounded by LGBT people every single day. How could one possibly correlate being a creep with being gay? It’s just plain ridiculous.

    • SFdoggy says:

      Ummm, there was a playground there before this playground. And there were lots of kids using it then too. Somehow the gays and the kids (and their parents) all got along (or,more likely, didn’t notice each others presence) What is different now?

  24. someJuan says:

    Here’s an issue that’s been brought up in a parent’s group we belong to. Unlike all other new children’s playgrounds in the city, the one at Dolores Park was built without a fence around it. My understanding is that it was designed like this on purpose based on neighbors’ input. However, the lack of a fence is allowing unleashed dogs to roam freely inside the playground. There’s been a few instances where dogs frighten, intimidate and have even knocked-down children. Once of these instances involved a pitbull — which just by it’s very nature freaks out parents. We’re told dogs are also digging out the plants/flowers in the playground. All this is happening and the dog owners are nowhere in sight. The cops have been called and park & rec’s dept has been notified of all this. Unfortunately, the park & rec’s dept reply was that there’s nothing they can, or will, do.

    • Jay B says:

      The old DP playground never had a fence around it. The only time my 5 pound dog ever frightened any children is after they walked up to her and bashed her on the head.

      • GG says:

        Parents who are paranoid about dogs set an example for their children to be paranoid around dogs. Letting your kid be around dogs so they learn how to interact with them safely is a much saner approach. And as for digging, I’ve much more often seen kids picking flowers and crashing through the planted beds than I’ve seen dogs doing so.

        I *do* note that Rec & Park made the questionable choice of injecting fish-based fertilizer into the ground beneath the new grass, so you will see some dogs getting very excited about rolling in those particular spots (I don’t envy the owners of those dogs :) !) but the smell (and dog interest) should wear off over time.

  25. I have a small human says:

    At least the Gays have the Castro :) … What’s left for the poor folk who put up with SF before it became “COOL and HIP”????

  26. Dre says:

    Okay dumb shits this is not about being gay, a “rich white parent” or a hipster this is about enjoying Dolores Park. My two year old loves the new playground – it’s awesome. And sorry to break it to you gay sunbathers but we can not see you and we really don’t care that you are there as we are watching our kiddos having fun playing. Sunbath, drink do whatever you like just don’t blame us for ruining the atmosphere of the park – seriously, grow up. We did not crash your party – the party has been dying down for years. And pick-up after yourself seriously my 2 year old knows how to clean up after himself and so should you!

  27. gold&apple says:

    I think this story is a crazy diversion, accomplishing nothing but increasing the tension between the people who use the larger park. The cops have indeed had a constant presence in the park for about a decade now. When the old playground was still in use, id go with my son and we’d watch the motorcycle cops play the bongos in the park. I think any new, obvious presence is about monitoring the use of the new playground during prime kid hours–crowd management, vandalism of the park itself, adult/teen usage, animal control, etc. Esp., the handful of incidents where dogs have been running around inside the playground without leashes and without owners. Those dogs were knocking kids down. Not cool. At any rate, once mission playground reopens, Dolores Playground will see fewer kids. I wish the city hadn’t closed both at the same time. My son had been jonseing for a playground we could walk to and from. No one with small kids in the mission could contain themselves much longer. Especially those in the immediate area; we badly needed a park back. To Maria, do u really think urban, public playgrounds cater only to the white, ultra rich family???? Kid power? Parque Los Ninos? Coronado? Franklin? Take a gander at the (heavy) usage one day. And one more, a scary one: Alioto. Do you think any kid deserves that? What goes on in the garden is some messed up bs.

    • applesause says:

      Very true I see lots of Latino moms during the day with strollers. Amazingly they have blond, blued eyed kids in the strollers.

  28. j says:

    Honestly, I moved to San Francisco for it’s freewheeling attitude, but really it’s more of a freewhining attitude.

    I have a kid. I like the playground at Dolores, but wish it had a damned fence around it to keep offleash dogs out. On the other hand, if I see naked gay dudes sunbathing, well, who cares. I don’t. If my daughter sees them, she sees them. LIfe will go on. If they are uncomfortable with kids around, well, then that is their problem. Not mine.

    Also, cops riding dirt bikes around the park is just stupid. Why not have the bike cops patrol?

  29. lola says:

    The funny this is, there’s always been a playground there. I know the new $$$ park is attracting more people, but it’s nothing new to Dolores Park. And it barely takes up any more space. There’s still plenty of room for the sunbathers, drinkers, “hipsters”. So shut the F up and just have fun. You were a child once too don’t forget.

    • nancy says:

      Yes, you were once a child living in a 1.2 million dollar condo eating 14 dollar peanut butter from bi-rite or something like that.

      • SFdoggy says:

        huh? Have you actually looked at the mix of people who use the park? What is your point? Or do you just want to make it clear that you are morally superior to anyone who has more money than you?

  30. Yatima says:

    Oh hell. I have been sunbathing by the new playground with my kids and my queer friends and THEIR kids. I DON’T KNOW WHICH SIDE OF THIS ARGUMENT I AM ON.

  31. Dana says:

    I miss the barbecues and picnic tables that have been replaced with stuff that only children can enjoy. Why take away the picnic tables where I have seen so many birthday parties and such over the years?

  32. dl says:

    there’s a playground??

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