We're now, finally, wrapping up National Etiquette Week at SFist with this our sixth and final (we promise) installment. Much like bicycling, park-going is a topic that always tends to get San Franciscans (and commenters! Hi, guys!) pretty passionate. Whether you're the type who enjoys a debauched day in the sun in one of the city's only warm spots, drinking Sauvignon Blanc/Tennessee Tea/Tecate and toying with the idea of buying a mushroom chocolate; or you're the sort who brings a quiet picnic and a toddler or three, and you'd like it very much if they'd put a small fence around the new playground to protect it from romping dogs, you probably have a set of peeves and unspoken rules of your own. Well, here are ours.
[Editors' Note: These rules pertain mostly to Dolores Park, however in places like Golden Gate Park and Duboce Park, the nudity and dog rules still apply, respectively. If you're in Alta Plaza or Alamo Square, god help you.]
Leave No Trace
The first rule of enjoying any park should be that you leave no trace of your sloppy ass behind. This rule has been flouted of late, and Rec & Parks frequently has to sweep across Dolores Park picking up refuse after a weekend's festivities. This should not happen. And those people sorting through the recycling are not your personal cleanup crew. Pick up your trash. Always. The end.
Nudity Is Permissible, So Try Not to Stare
It's sometimes contained in the region known as the Gay Beach/Fruit Shelf, but occasionally some liberated lads and ladies might bare a breast or penis in other quadrants of the park on a particularly warm and festive day. This is San Francisco, folks. Even the children should be used to this by now. Inform your out-of-town guests that this is perfectly normal, nay, encouraged, and see if they'd like to disrobe as well. No matter what, don't stare for too long. It's like starfucking in L.A. you should really be over it by now.
Maintain Control of Your Dog
Dog people have their own rules sometimes. But let's all just agree that off-leash dogs are unpredictable, and enjoy food very much, and occasionally get to playing so hard with their fellow pooches that they will trample any blanket and spill any glass of rosé just to continue their play. "Hey," say the dog people, "They're just being dogs. Sorry!" You know what? It might be cute for a minute, but in a crowded park, this shouldn't be happening. On a less crowded day? Sure. The dog people know their sector and mostly stick to it. But on a packed Sunday, your dog should either be playing in an off-leash dog park in some other part of town, or it should be quietly baking in the sun next to you with its leash on. And if that tiny Boston terrier comes near our paté, there is going to be hell to pay.
Your Frisbee Is Definitely Going To Hit Somebody
This is a fact. So try to keep that particular pastime off in it's own section of the park, or at least a reasonable distance from the more languid park-goers. Throwing sporting goods over unwilling people is never, ever acceptable. No one cares how good you are at QB, Tim Tebow, you are inevitably going to have a couple fumbles.
You May Drink and Do Drugs, But Let's Be Adults
So far, despite some increased police presence around the park in recent months, the cops are not cracking down too hard on the booze, however they do seem to want everyone to use some discretion and not leave their mini-kegs and bottles all out in the open. They've castrated the poor Cold Beer Cold Water guy and forced him to only sell water now, which is just sad, so try not to be such a drunken mess, throwing bottles, etc., or you may find yourself cited and/or handcuffed.
Don't Mock the
Cold Beer Cold Water Guy
We don't know why he's angry. But he's had a hard life probably.
Always Warn People About the Cookies
Again, when entertaining out of town guests, lest they see the delicious cookie you just bought and start gobbling it up within seconds, ALWAYS be sure to inform people that most Dolores Park treats have THC or mushrooms in them, and you'd be advised to eat just a nibble and then check in after about an hour. We don't need to be calling an ambulance because your friend is pasted to the grass.
Music Should Be Kept to a Respectful Volume
Neighbors of Dolores Park, in their enviable, Bi-Rite-adjacent flats, are pretty tired of the dance parties that bust out on Hipster Hill rather often in the warmer months. We're not here to speak for them, but we are here to talk about the little boom boxes and such that people bring for their blankets. These are all fine, but let's keep in mind that there are probably thirty people within earshot of you who don't actually enjoy monotonous house music with zero artistic value, and your taste offends them. Be mindful, and don't think that you're playing DJ for a fifty-foot radius, OK?