My favorite view in San Francisco is from a seat carved into the tree at the top of Dolores Park, it is simple and extraordinary. The park is bordered by 18th Street on the north, 20th Street to the south, Dolores Street to the east and Church Street to the west. The city skyline is the backdrop across this expansive green canvas that is a favorite retreat for many of the city’s diverse population of locals.
As I walk down the hill towards the center of the park, I look around. There are children playing on the playground, dogs fetching frisbees, and people reading books. I notice a guitarist, a violinist, and someone learning how to play the drums. I follow a young child chasing after a balloon that has come free from her wrist and admire the trees that reach high above as well as provide some decent shade for a young couple enjoying their picnic lunch.
Further down the way, I am intrigued by a man and his bucket of bubbles. He has constructed a very large handmade contraption and has attracted a small gathering of children with smiles larger than life. He has captivated both small children and adults alike with bubbles larger than the hula hoop of a nearby dancer.
The sun is shining and the park is covered with a patchwork of blankets, a variety of music, and the smell of someone grilling in the distance. It reminded me of going to the beach on a warm sunny day back in Florida, I guess that explains why here in San Francisco it is indeed referred to as “Dolores Beach.” I love how I can be smack dab in the middle of this City and feel like I am not.
I ask a nearby man why he comes to the park. His response was, “where else can I spread out, relax, and be so close to nature so close to home, and the view – look at it!” He offers me some tea and I oblige. We sit and look upon a spectacular assembly of our San Francisco neighbors. I love this city for the diversity it offers – not just culturally, but also geographically.
The next time you are craving an escape from the City – ride your bike, take a walk, or catch the J-Church Line on MUNI and get off at the top of the park – then sit in the tree and take it all in.
18th Street and Dolores
San Francisco, CA 94114
Neighborhoods: Castro, Mission