A lonely dinosaur in the playground at Garfield Square. Photo by Daniel Hirsch.

It is 7:30 a.m., 60° and headed to a partially cloudy 68°. Details for the next ten days are here.

Today’s block for the Mission Wakes Up: Garfield Park, between Treat and Harrison, 25th and 26th streets. You can see all of the essays here. If you want to participate in the project to document the Mission waking up, please contact us at info@missionlocal.com.

What seems like every morning, there’s a group of men that gather around the rec center at Garfield Park. As early as 4 a.m., I’ve heard them cracking each other up with jokes and even playing music out of a small boombox. I assume they’re day laborers, out early to pick up shifts, but I’ve never been out early enough to chat with them. This morning was no different; the benches where they usually hang out were vacant, though as I walked around Garfield Square, I saw men waiting with backpacks and work boots at the corner of Harrison and Treat 26th.

The park served as a gym for two women in their 60s. I saw them make a couple of quick rounds around the park while they chatted furiously. They weren’t the only ones taking advantage of the early hour for exercise. Walking by the Garfield pool building, I heard the light splashing of swimmers inside and through a door cracked, heads bobbing in the water.

No soccer players in the playing fields yet today, but I’ve seen people out playing this early in the day before. No kids on the playground. Though a group of men hung out in the bleachers.

A bleary-eyed dog walker strolled down Balmy Alley with his big brown creature in tow.

The game of craps I frequently see at the corner of 25th and Treat wasn’t there this morning—more of nighttime activity, I suppose.

Enjoy the day!

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Daniel Hirsch is a freelance writer who has been living in the Mission since 2009. When he's not contributing to Mission Local, he's writing plays, working as an extra for HBO, and/or walking to the top of Bernal Hill.

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