Observing Hayes Valley in San Francisco
I sat along the west wide of the Hayes Valley Park in San Francisco, on a cold damp cement park bench, around four-thirty on a Friday afternoon. The day was bright, with lingering clouds over head; a chilly breeze was passing through in mild to quick bursts. There were approximately twenty-five people who stayed at the park during the entire observation; a bit difficult to track everyone coming from many directions. To the south was a dome shaped, play area with climbing ropes attached. In the center was a four-sided bronze in color, metal art piece, installed into the cement. It had a metal tree atop it, and the metal was decorated with cut-out geometric lines. Around the art piece was sliver like posts, which had a type of kaleidoscope inside. To the north was a large tree, similar to a weeping willow, set upon a small dirt mound; around the tree was various places to sit, a few park benches made of cement and a some smaller benches and tables of wood and metal. In between the play area and art piece, and between the art piece and the large tree were long areas of grass. With a lingering smell of grass and flowers behind me in the planters. I turned my focus to observe the dogs and their owners.
Those who visited the park were of various, humans and dogs. The people had age ranging from infancy to elderly, ethnic origins were predominantly Caucasian, few Asian and Hispanic, and a small amount of other groups walking by the park. The dogs were just as diverse as the humans, small to large, young to old, short haired to long locks of fur. The owners kept their dogs to the north grass section from the art piece, away from the children in the play area. This was the predominate “toilet” of the dogs, were there were many patches of yellow and brown grass from urination. Many owners were courteous to pick up the fecal matter, few just walked away ignoring the...