Babe, Did You Tie an Ox to a Parking Meter Post in San Francisco?

They’ll tell you “San Francisco is dead.” But they’re wrong: Where else in the country could you see a lil’ bovine tied up next to an upscale Mediterranean restaurant?

San Francisco has a long history of alien flora and fauna. (After all, thousands had cast their votes in the San Francisco Chronicle’s competition for the official animal of SF — which named SF’s flock of invasive red-headed conures as the winner.) Before the city became a bastion for now-defunct startups and begrudging techies, it was first a transient touchstone during the California Gold Rush. And by the turn of the 19th century, somewhere between 7,000 to 8,000 cows lived within the city limits of San Francisco.

For some lucky passersby on Noe Street over the weekend, they got a flickering glimpse into that bygone bovine era. How so, you ask? Because someone literally tied a juvenile gray ox to what was probably a parking meter pole or an SFMTA sign. TBD on what the owner was doing while the said large mammal vibed, perhaps picking up a to-go order at nearby La Mediterranee.

“The things you see on the streets of San Francisco,” tweeted Tiffany Chen, posting a picture of the unamused creature standing by a tree that appears to have shed its bark.

By just minding her/their own business, she/they became an instant icon: an unmovable, mysterious, captivating force colliding with time and space. 

We don’t know her/their name; when we do, it will likely sit in the same pantheon of other pop-culture divas who go on a first-name basis — Adele, Shakira, Madonna. Her/their full coat grows in a gradient of steel-wool gray, darkening as it approaches her/their demur horns.

Commenters on the photo have noted that perhaps the pictured bovine is a miniature yak. But the presence of its unmatured horns, coupled with its distinctive coat that unmistakably mirrors those belonging to oxen, suggests the petite-hoofed mammal is maybe a Hungarian grey ox. Though, we’re unclear if mini versions of the aforenoted cattle breed have been produced yet.

Regardless: We have so many questions.

So, if you’re the owner of this spellbinding, prepossessing, enigmatic horned icon, please reach out to us.

*Update: Y’all are quick. Said iconoclast was a member of the “Easter/spring” petting zoo hosted at Market and Noe streets this weekend in partnership with the Castro Merchants Association.

Feature image: Courtesy of Twitter via [at]tiffanysea


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