Date: April 8, 2012
For the Easter Sunday, we decided to go to San Francisco, check out the party at the Dolores Park, and explore the surrounding Mission District.
The first stop was at Mission Dolores, famous for being the oldest surviving structure in San Francisco. We got there while the Easter Mass was still in progress in the Mission Basilica, and the museum at the Mission was closed for the Easter. We stayed outside to enjoy the architecture, and, of course, take some photos:
The next stop was at the Dolores Park, which was supposed to have some Easter Festivities going on. When we arrived to the park, we realized that the party came with a twist. Apparently, the Easter celebration at Dolores Park is an annual event hosted by the San Francisco queer community, with all the associated over-the-top cool funky-costumed goodness (including the famous “Hunky Jesus” contest). It was very refreshing to see so much open-mindedness concentrated in one area, and it reminded me of Toronto quite a bit. It was definitely a nice and fuzzy “feels like home” moment.
We didn’t want to spend all the day in one place, so eventually we decided to leave the party behind and continue exploring the neighborhood. Just as we were leaving the park, we found what must be the coolest playground I had ever seen. It was really large and it had everything one would ever want on a playground: a pirate ship, a giant spider’s web, and a big slide. It was probably a good thing that there were so many people using it; otherwise, I would have been stuck there for several hours.
Mission street is just a couple of blocks away from Dolores street, but they couldn’t be more different in character. Dolores street was very quiet and genteel; it was lined with neat Victorian houses, manicured lawns, and stately trees.
Mission street, in contrast, was anything but quiet. It was lined with small shops selling all sorts of trinkets, swarming with people of all walks of life, and brimming with Latin culture.
We spent the rest of the day enjoying the character of that lively neighborhood and the famous Mission District murals (which lined practically all the walls, and sometimes entire buildings).