There has been a lot of talk on what to do about Alvord Lake and the area that encompasses the entrance onto Golden Gate Park at the top of Haight Street. Recently, at a workshop to re-imagine the area, suggestions were made including:
a roped off native plant garden
a visitor center with staff
picnic tables and regularly scheduled events
a petanque field
pedestals for art
rehabbing the stairs
What are your thoughts about Alvord Lake? There is no mention in the notes of this meeting about the groups of transient kids and adults who hang out there but getting rid of them seems to be a real goal of this redevelopment plan if you scratch the surface. Will redevelopment motivate the current park occupants to move? Maybe a simple “keep off the grass” sign would do the trick and save a lot of money, if that’s the goal? After all, a park isn’t really for people to just hang out in, or is it? It’s certainly not a sanctuary that should welcome everyone, or should it?
My suggestion is that we embrace the regulars and re-develop with the spirit of counterculture that made this neighborhood famous. Remember FOOD not BOMBS? They got arrested for giving away food at Alvord Lake way back when but hey! Why NOT turn it into a community garden? I’m sure the Hayes Valley Farm folks could do wonders with the space and even get those “unsavory” types doing synchronized yoga with the tourists. Then, we could have a free farm stand next to the food truck and see which is healthier.
Forgive my sarcasm, but roundabout gentrification really bothers me. Initiators of this project also want to close the recycling center to achieve the same goal-getting rid of homeless people. So, in the spirit of Dave Letterman, and after querying the people around me, I have made a top ten list of things that could also be done at Alvord Lake to clean it up and get rid of all those bad homeless kids and their little dogs too. Before you get all mad, remember, it’s just a joke. I’m actually ok with the so-called unsavory folk. Maybe, the real questions we should ask is this? What would Jesus do?
1. BBQ Pits for bad Transient Doggies
2. Soundproofed Soapboxes (so you can scream all you want but no one will hear you)
3. Astro-turf, Soccer and Night Lighting
4. A “keep off the grass” Security Ranger
5. Get a thousand screaming newborns to do a flash mob everyday
6. Build a holding tank under the lake for the unsavory types
7. Cover the place with thorny Himalayan Blackberry so no one can use it.
8. Burn it all
9. Duh, sprinklers, on, everywhere, all the time
10. Establish a gated, make that double gated, Alvord Lake Leisure Community with high HOA fees