My friend Susan has been a supporter of my blogging mission since pretty much day-one. So I’m super excited today to be able to feature her beautiful face and our adventures together here on my blog.
I’ve had quite a few visitors lately. My mom came up for a weekend on short notice. She was followed immediately by Arin (who was just stopping through for brunch), then Susan, then my in-laws and, finally, this last weekend, my brother and his girlfriend. I certainly can’t complain that I’m lonely or bored anymore. Not with friends and family like mine.
Anyway, when Susan was visiting, we decided to pack a fancy picnic and check out Dolores Park in The Mission. I’d never been, and we wanted something very San Francisco to do during the day.
Our first stop was Fatted Calf, an artisanal charcuterie shop in Hayes Valley right near my house. It is a one-stop picnic shop! They have every kind of cured meat you can think of-various types of Salami (with fennel seed and chili flake or honey and sage, etc.), Pancetta, Lonza, Mortadella, and the list goes on. They also have a varied array of pates and confits, as well as fresh meats butchered right there. I’ve been one other time with Max to pick up veal for dinner. What an asset to the neighborhood! While we were there, we also picked out some bread, cheeses, and additional little accouterment for our picnic.
Then we Uber-ed to The Mission at which point we realized we’d forgotten to bring any type of blanket to sit on. So while we were very well supplied by way of food and beverage, we had wet butts. haha. No matter. The sun was out and it was a beautiful day. We sat on our scarves and cloth grocery bags.
I’m actually at a loss for words when it comes to how to describe the crowd you’ll find at Dolores Park on a weekend day. Diverse, but somewhat homogeneous at the same time. It has kind of a hippy “do whatever feels right to you” kind of vibe, but let’s be honest, we’re talking primarily young, white kids. Hence no police presence despite some pretty flagrant public drinking and drugging. Average age maybe 26. That’s not to say, of course, that there aren’t exceptions to every rule I just laid down.
Scene 1: All the dogs! Love dogs-my gosh! I gave the dogs in our area some backstories and narrated a little drama for them. Ooooh! I still want a doggie pretty darn badly.
Scene 2: We loved watching several groups doing crazy acrobatic yoga! As if we could ever even attempt what these people pull off (ab strength for days!), Susan and I critiqued their moves and ranked the participants.
Scene 3: Group gatherings. There were at least a few birthday parties taking place while we were there. One birthday girl had partied herself sick by the time we arrived, and we felt a little sorry for her as her friends continued partying while she withered quickly in front of us.
Scene 4: The guy openly selling edibles and bags of utterly horrendous looking marijuana.
These small snippets of Dolores Park are the best way I can describe it to you. It is lively. It is a non-judgmental place. It is communal. It is youthful. So youthful, in fact, it may be a little TOO youthful for my everyday life. I can tell because we had BY FAR the classiest picnic to be seen that day, and it wasn’t all that special.
However, I found myself there again when my brother came to town this past weekend. We were meeting up with his girlfriend, several of her friends, and her younger brother, and they were headed there. We meandered that direction stopping in The Mission at Tartine Bakery for bread budding and then Bi-Rite Creamery for strawberry balsamic ice-cream. We arrived at the park blanket-less yet again!