Dolores Park is a symbol of the clash between of the Mission District's low-income, non-white traditional residents and the flood of gentrifying tech world.
As rents in the neighborhood have climbed to unthinkable heights and landlords have engaged in sleazy mass-eviction/ethnic cleansing programs, Dolores Park has been a site for an ongoing culture war. It's not just the private security guards who protect the commuter buses that stop at the park, either: it's things like an online-only reservation system for the soccer field that saw neighborhood kids pushed out by techies — kids who don't have the money or the technology to book the fields where they've played all their lives.
Now you can book sections of grass in Dolores Park — again, for cash; and again, only if you've got Internet access. If you want your own piece of grass for the day, you'll need to pay a $200 security deposit and as much as $260 for the turf itself.
Countdown until someone "disrupts" Dolores Park by buying up all the grass and then auctioning it off so that the market can make the system "efficient."
According to Kahn, the pilot program started at the beginning of May, and spots are already booked through mid-July. And it looks like this system is here to stay.
"After a two-month period, we may make minor tweaks to ensure that the system works for the public and the Department," he explained. "However, our intention is to continue a picnic reservation process at Dolores Park."
(Image: Kevin Montgomery)
(via Dan Hon)