Monday, February 28, 2011

JeJune Nonchalance 2 - Upper Dolores Park Plus

The JeJune Institute experience has several levels, the second of which is infinitely more complex and difficult to complete on a closed day (a.k.a. Sunday) in Upper Dolores Park. We followed the first set of instructions which got us a second series of instructions and more happily, lunch.  We settled on Deja Vu, a pizza place which sells by the slice and sports a giant peace sign on the store front.  Surprisingly, the pizza was pretty good (for California).  The slices were huge, not horribly expensive, and had heaping amounts of Italian seasoning.  If they had been a little bit thinner, and a little wetter, they would have been pretty close to a typical New York style pizza. 

After wandering a little while attempting to solve the second part of the Nonchalance experience, we found ourselves back at Dolores Park.  By this time, the entire park was filled with people, many of them wearing skinny jeans and brown leather lace-up shoes.  A large group in one corner was preparing to do battle with flotation noodles.  Periodically the group would split and start hitting each other with neon colored foam.  A DJ spun average techno in a stand of palms nearby.  Some people had attached tight-ropes between trees and random people were able to try their hand at the craft.  In the middle of the park was a group standing in a circle holding paper packets which looked suspiciously like scripts.  It appeared to be a read through, which spontaneously would break out into loud whooping, clapping, and other general sounds of affirmation. Every now and then a whiff of stinky weed would drift across my path.

I knew that San Francisco was weird, but Dolores Park made me feel like I had been instantly transported to an alien planet - possibly back in time to art school. The Mission is full of hipster community, with the random sprinkling of ethnic minority, young children, and large dogs.  For those of you who can handle the Urban Outfitters outdoors commercial complete with esoteric sporting equipment - Dolores Park is the place for you.

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