Exploring San Francisco through the lens of city blocks, Blocker is a weekly series by Charles Hodgkins. Look for it on SFist each Wednesday, around the lunching hour.

View the map of all published Blocker episodes.

Blocker, No. 27: South Park St. in South of Market

It’s early on a Saturday afternoon, and we’ve somehow found our way to Paris.

OK, this isn’t Parisist. We’re not in Paris. Rather, we’re poking around South Park between 2nd, 3rd, Brannan, and Bryant Sts., where arrondissement 94107’s narrow ellipse of green space merely feels a bit Parisian.

The scene in the park is, for the most part, typical and ephemeral: young parents with their kids at the playground, couples chatting on benches or picnicking at tables, dogs and their attendant humans. Falling leaves pepper the ground with muted autumn color. South Park’s twist on the familiar neighborhood park theme, however, is the regular presence of down-and-out’ers at its west end. Nobody seems to demonize the two or three unshowered men hanging about, and while we’re not interested in joining them for a game of checkers or anything, it seems to be a case of no harm, no foul – at least on this afternoon.