Francisco Park Is Still Giving ‘Mini Dolores Park’ Energy

And I v much continue to be here for it

I’ve gone to one of San Francisco’s newest City parks — which is among the largest of its kind to open in almost 40 years — almost every single day since it opened this past on a gloomy Wednesday in April.

I’ve seen the sunrise here in citrus Pantones; I’ve seen the afternoon blue sky wash over the horizon atop the park’s gorgeous staircases; I’ve witnessed our solar system’s nearest star dip below the Marin Headlands come sundown… while I was planking on a patch of open, green grass.

I’ve planted herbs in the community garden. I completed a thirty-minute HIIT workout on the park’s shouldering steps (that run from Francisco Street to Bay Street down below). I’ve snuggled more dogs than I can count.

I saw young humans partake in the blissful merriment afforded by an accessible playground — and, albeit for a singular, feeling moment, contemplated the notion of welcoming a diminutive biped into my life. I eyed a handsome man sitting on a nearby bench, eliciting the need to open both Scruff and Grindr to see if he was “on the grids.” (Spoiler alert: He wasn’t.)

Down the hill toward Bay Street, long branches from large cypress trees bestow shade to the designated dog park area, where any number, any kind of untethered canines can be observed surrendering to cases of “the zoomies.” The smattering of freshly-planet drought-resistant plants sits in juxtaposition to the fact that just a quarter-mile down Russian Hill, an opportunity to dip your feet in the Pacific Ocean is available by the Aquatic Park Bleachers. The public bathrooms are industrial and leave users wondering why such City-developed relief stations aren’t more prominent across the seven-by-seven.

On days when Karl The Fog parts to reveal blue skies and copious amounts of sunshine, Francisco Park unequivocally serves Mini Dolores Park Energy as throngs of people flood the circular open space, laying down blankets and enjoying miscellaneous meats and cheeses, and dried fruits.

Built onto the now-defunct Francisco Reservoir, which was constructed in 1860 to provide water to the northern part of the city’s population, Francisco Park’s name shares that of the city’s namesake, Saint Francis of Assisi. As SFGate pointed out, Francisco Park also pays homage to the saint’s dedication to preserving natural wonderment.

It’s a sentiment that’s incredibly congruent to the mission statement published by Francisco Park Conservancy, which is the nonprofit behind the 4.5-acre green space: We believe parkland is essential to the health of this city: its people, its plants, and its animals. We believe this new city park will become an oasis of natural beauty and stunning vistas, protected for generations.

As my various types of planted cilantro mature inside one of Francisco Park’s community garden boxes, I’ll make sure to continuously pause and find a pocket of time to practice some gratitude for this “oasis of natural beauty” that I can’t stop fawning over.

Feature Image: Mother Nature really did say “hold my kombucha.” (Courtesy of the author)

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