Morning's at Seven. Photo by Cristiano Valli

On Tuesdays I finish work early – or I finish very late on Monday – there are two ways to look at it. That’s why often, on Tuesday, I find myself wandering Dolores Park early in the morning. “Early” is when humans of any kind gather like Ox-peckers on Hippos to clean up the mess of other humans. Among them are city workers, those looking for abandoned pieces of clothes or anything useful, and an incredible number of people searching for their lost phones. Gold diggers, too – literally – ox-peckers with metal detectors, and, of course, the recyclers.

Oh, and a couple of revelers maybe, sweating booze under the first sun.

So, I was ready to write to you about this interstitial lapse of urban life that happens before the city switches into day-mode, but today is Monday and I was here earlier. “Earlier” happens before the Rapture of Garbage – a rapture, because I guess that for some people it just magically disappears – and I have only two things to say: first of all, we should never forget to be grateful to the people who clean up after us. Second of all, c’mon dudes, this is not San Franciscan at all. What Would Al Gore Do?

[I’m so upset in my annoying self-righteousness that I even used the first colon of my life, possibly misused it. Kurt Vonnegut Jr. wouldn’t approve.]

[Oh, and to be completely thorough, “an incredible amount of people” totaled three. I exaggerated on purpose  – for emphasis –  but still, I think that the proper amount of people you can meet at the park looking for a lost phone on a random Tuesday at 7ish a.m., is one. Two is uncanny already.]

(And by the way, it is 7 a.m., 54° and headed to 78°. Details for today and the next ten days are here.

If you want to participate in documenting your block – or any block – for the Mission Wakes Up, send us an email at We would love to see how you experience the neighborhood in the early morning. You can see all the essays here.

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1 Comment

  1. The post-party-weekend state of Dolores Park is shameful. And ironic, considering SF is supposed to be at the leading edge of environmental causes. Great work every morning on the part of rec and park to clean this mess up — if they stopped cleaning for just a couple of days, DP would simply become a garbage dump.

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