Box of Soap?

Been wondering about a few things, like that poster on Guerrero Street for the past few months, featuring a cow and advertising a free soapbox race in Dolores Park. The Red Bull Soapbox Race, specifically, which answers the next question: What was up with that fleet of can-shaped Red Bull cars I passed on the way home from work yesterday?

Now I’m pretty excited to see what these soap boxers will do, besides make my weekly date with Dolores (Saturday) a little claustro. Good news: it’ll be completely free, unless you decide to make a purchase from the food stands, bev stands, craft stands, nearby shops, or strolling vendors.


23 thoughts on “Box of Soap?”

  1. According to the website, while the event will be free of money it will also be free of:

    “Illegal” Substances

    Sounds like a corporate takeover of Dolores Park on one of the best weekends (weather-wise) of the year.

    And yes, I’ll probably be there.

  2. you and 15,000 other people (including me and the brood).

    i think we don;t really have to worry about restrictions on beer & weed & dogs. i’m sure everyone will bring some to share, as usual.

    if it takes a corporate giant to make a cool event i am OK with it. whatever. it’s the way of the world.

    the part that sucks is, Dolores Park will be positively disgusting (i mean more than usual) till the following Tuesday or Wednesday when the poor parkies finally catch up on the garbage that will blanket the entire place. and they’ll never be able to clean up all the really gross stuff…the piss and crap and food ground into the grass. ick.

    i wonder why the city doesn’t get some $$ for the park out of these events? to really clean up after, at the very least…but maybe to actually improve it over time? or maybe they do, and it gets stolen…uh…otherwise appropriated?

    and gosh…what will happen to the esteemed residents of the park when all these regular people show up with their beer & weed & dogs & silly race cars? isn’t this an outrageous infraction of their right to pass out wherever they please? isn’t this really just a bunch of yuppies showing that they hate poor people? someone might wake them up from their peaceful slumber, or disturb their fix!!

    please…won’t someone think about the bums!

    (i was in the park at 715am today, and the event folks had completely lined Dolores with hay bales. one bum had already passed out on one around 19th…and a couple others were crouched behind a larger pile doing their morning fix. fucking lovely.)

  3. I live on Dolores and 19th and have seen this takeover happening for the last few days… They told me they expect 40,000 people in the park on Saturday. I am scared… I really hope this does not become a yearly activity. Maybe Fillmore in Pac Heights next year? They would love this!

  4. holy shit…40,000 people?

    never mind. i’m staying home and only heading east.

    and when i said “Tuesday or Wednesday” on the clean-up….make it “a full week”

  5. zinzin said: It’s disgusting and the city’s lazy and I hate poor people and blah blah typical zinzin comment (Honestly, I could just write these for you…) … then adds: “i wonder why the city doesn’t get some $$ for the park out of these events?”

    Well, rather than zipping off a comment unsubstantiated by fact, you are already ON THE INTERNET… so why not JFGI? They do charge, they do make a profit beyond the cost of clean up.

    I’m sure Red Bull paid a pretty penny for the space (as they should), especially since this will result in street closures. And when a for-profit company disrupts normal city life to advertise for their product, I hope they pay a lot.

    The permit costs are why Dolores Park Movie Night (scrappy upstart, youth-based) takes place in the small corner rather than the obvious location as Film Night in the Park (Neighborhood Associations) — permit fees.

  6. mcas…so if that’s true, why is the park turned into a smorgasbord for rats (or dogs) for a week after every event?

    my point was, i am SURE there’s money paid (thanks a lot for your pedantic response anyways)…but it doesn’t go to improving the park, obviously.

    and it sure doesn’t go to clean up…because the same 3 overworked, underpaid parkies that clean up after the hipster parade on monday mornings (which in a way is even worse, because many littering hipsters actually live in the hood) will clean up after this and it will take a week.

    not clear on what part of that is too complex for you to understand. if i can assist, please let me know.

    oh, and if you want to write about this stuff, be my guest. no one else seems to care one fucking bit about it. i could use the help. please… let’s see you pump out a scripted “zinzin” comment machine. would be great to see it.

    i personally can’t get by on self-satisfied, lazy hipsterism or self-satisfied “progressive” rhetoric. personally, i’d rather find things in need of work and try to fix em.

    (and i do not hate poor people, nor have i ever said that i do).

  7. There are a few things that are fucked about this event-

    Trash (we all agree it shouldn’t be all over the place, but will)
    Corporate takeover of the park- Red Bull is a direct contributor to the obesity problem and the problem of shit food. Why do we glorify them simply because they buy off the city and let people race shit down dolores, we could do these anyway

    At least the trash helps support the bottle collection cottage industry.

    I regularly go to the park and it is generally pretty clean. I don’t get all of the dirty park hate? Or maybe I’m dirty? Or progressive? Or both?

    How about the fact that half of those 40,000 will drive to the event? Royally fucking the Mission in terms of traffic and also spreading the pollutants, etc. etc.

  8. agree on all points JimBeam.

    a local sponsor (or the city itself?) would be bettter. easier to call on the moneybag bigboys, from the perspective of the event organizers, i am sure. they employ folks whose whole job it is to toss $$ at events like this.

    and you’re right, the park is generally clean (bums / fallout notwithstanding). i tend toward hyperbole. that said, it’s on the back of a few dedicated hard working city employees. they call em “gardeners”. they spend a lot of time picking up trash…poor guys.

    everyone should say “hello and thanks” to these guys when you see them. they’re nice guys and they work hard for our hood.

    but after an event like this? i can’t take my dog / kid over there and chuck the ball because it’s an ocean of icky sticky trash everywhere.

    seems silly to me.

    (and yes, you are progressive. i don’t know if you’re dirty.)

  9. Zinzin: You might not have ever said explicitly that you hate poor people, but equating a group of people to garbage regularly is close enough, don’t you think?

    …as for the cleanliness of the park (with bonus hipster insult- zing! No cliches here!) The vast majority of people who use the park on any given day clean up their mess and take all of their garbage with them to the bins- ‘hipster’ or not. So what are we complaining about? It’s a public space- it is bound to have some level of litter, and the more we all do to maintain the public space cleanliness, the more our neighbors will as well.

    As for Red Bull corporate ownership ‘taking over the park’– They will not be charging admission into the public space. The event will take place on the street (logical guess) and not actually in the park and there will be space to do your normal activities away from the actual race, I imagine.

  10. We just got back from Dolores Park and it looks like Red Bull will indeed take over the whole thing. As well as Dolores, 20th, Liberty and 21st Streets. We took lots of before pictures (and pictures of many of the ‘cars’) – we’ll have to see the aftermath on Sunday.

  11. mcas – far as the park or the permits or red bull…whatever. i don’t really give a fuck. the place will be a fucking cesspool for a few days and the poor parkies will clean it up. it’s happened 1000 times before and it’ll continue to happen. i’ll drive my dog to mclaren for a few days. yes…agree, not worth arguing over. i like less garbage…you & jimbeam like more. we’ll all try to be better neighbors and clean up everyone’s mess again and again. the mission is dirty…stop complaining, blahx3. fine. you win. let’s not care.

    but seriously…. i never equated anyone with garbage, and i don’t hate poor people. please. that’s actually pretty bad. and it’s just the thing “progressives” say when i deign to argue with the dogma.

    because i don’t take pleasure in the army of bums the city has swept into our neighborhood…that means i hate poor people?

    the truth is, professor, i am NOT happy about the new wave of bums, and i’m not apologetic about that either.

    the SF homeless community is ridiculously mismanaged and the city’s laissez faire attitude creates unsafe situations. plus, the ineffectual “progressive” cottage industry built on the backs of the homeless is appalling. hood after hood (civic center, soma, hayes valley, haight) are expelling bums because they’re sick of it all or because of politics – they’re hiring private cops ( – and the bums are being shuffled into the Mission. ask a cop. ask an EMT person. ask an outreach person. ask one of your neighbors. ask a fucking homeless guy. i have. have you…? this is not my story. this is happening in OUR neighborhood.

    so me saying this is an unacceptable situation…
    me being pissed that the mission gets the fucking short end of the stick AGAIN…
    me not being on board for the mission as the “progressive” poster child when what it really means is the number of deranged junkie bums in the hood triples….

    that means i hate poor people? please. this situation is bad for everyone.


    howsabout me saying middle class housing should be planned & fought for along with low income housing? and (gasp!) maybe more, in some cases? does that mean i hate poor people too?

    or me saying we need increased social services AND increased police activity? hating on poor folks?

    or me saying 16th & mission is a travesty and shouldn’t be tolerated? IHPP?

    no on K?
    safety around housing projects?

    or any of the other zinzin cliches (there are many by now)?

    that all means i hate poor people? i don’t think so, professor. it just means you dont agree with me, and you don’t like me debating the dogma.

    and when i make fun of the hipsters, it’s with love. i’m a hipster from way back. all my friends are hipsters. everyone i work with is a hipster. everyone i’ve EVER worked with is a hipster. i just got a new tattoo this week, and it’s all i can do not to grow a big fat lazy self-satisfied handlebar mustache. if it’s a cliche, so be it. it’s fun.

  12. tgrl/zinzin: You can do everything you said above– but as long as you continue to equate poor and homeless people with garbage, your message is muddied by bigotry.

    What I’m saying is that people are people- regardless of their current housing situation or monetary income- just because you call them ‘bums’ because they don’t appear to have a home or they live in an SRO doesn’t give them less right to be in public space– and they don’t need to be ‘cleaned up’ like a pile of garbage as you imply. Be more careful with your words and you concerns will be amplified instead of undermined.

  13. tgrl/zinzin: I’d also love to hear some hard numbers on what ‘middle class housing’ means to you. Please feel free to let me know what you believe is the dividing line between low income and middle class rents in this city– I’d love to hear it. $600 a room a month? $1,000? $1,500? You give me that line and I can fill you in on how much housing is available in each of those categories– I think you’ll be surprised…

  14. mcas, you’re totally (and typically) either misunderstanding me, or refusing to understand me. i seem to have this problem with a lot of rhetoric driven “progressive” types who have it as a life mission to tell others they hate poor (or brown, or homeless, or addicted, or whatever) people. the constant lecturing must be exhausting.

    let’s get it straight: i DO NOT “equate poor and homeless people with garbage”. you can say it as many times as you want, professor. doesn’t make it fact.

    also, it’s very convenient for you to make no distinction whatsoever between a deranged person barking epithets (or passed out, or shooting up, or soliciting tricks, or taking a shit) on the corner, and a working family trying to get past them on the way to BART. these are very different people. maybe they share some economic development needs, but their place in and impact on the community is very different.

    the only people i’ve ever made a big fat stink about are deranged bums (and hos, drug dealers and pimps too….granted). but for you, i’m bigoted against all poor people. i like the way you just tack that “and poor people” on there. sorry, it’s just too convenient.

    so here’s what i think:

    A. the homeless community in SF is mismanaged. the “progressive” machine likes it that way, because 1) it’s in bed with the cottage industry built on the backs of the homeless and 2) it makes a nice billboard for just how progressive we are. i don’t get it…the more homeless people on the streets – particularly in gentrifying hoods – the happier “progressives” seem to be. maybe they think it will scare away the yuppies. i don’t know.

    B. everyone in need should receive EFFECTIVE AND APPROPRIATE services. these services are, unfortunately, essentially non existent in SF. we can all fight for that. (amazing how this is the case given our “progressive” powers that be, and the 250M municipal spend…).

    C. in the case of severely debilitated individuals who cannot care for themselves and are a danger to themselves or the community, acceptance of these services should be mandatory. non-acceptance of the mandatory services should come with some sort of consequences (ie getting checked-in, or getting locked up).

    D. it’s not OK for deranged people to be living on the street endangering themselves or others. living in Dolores Park isn’t “using public space”. passing out on the sidewalk, or using my driveway as a toilet, is not “using public space”. it’s not “their right”. it’s unsafe for everyone…regardless of economics. it’s our responsibility to help them, and this means getting them off the street, and into services. like it or not.

    E. it’s also not OK to have a 2 block, open air, 24/7, crack & ho market blocking access to public transpo in a family neighborhood. again, this isn’t “using public space”. this part is a different story.

    F. my main point in all of this is: THE MISSION IS BECOMING A REPOSITORY FOR THE CITY’S MOST CHRONIC HOMELESS COMMUNITY. read my other post. this is not my story. this is happening in our hood RIGHT NOW. other neighborhoods are hiring private cops and sending their homeless folks to us, and the city is complicit – actually taking credit for “solving the homeless problem” in these other hoods – because NO ONE GIVES A FUCK ABOUT THE MISSION…and WE HAVE NO VOICE. (other than, perhaps, the hollow “progressive” voice that thinks it’s OK).

    so there you go mcas. sorry i’m not more “careful with my words”.

    to me, it’s pretty transparent.

  15. far as low vs. mid income, i don’t pretend to be an expert. there are specific definitions, and levels, and i guess i should be more educated there.

    i do know that there’s a CONSTANT battle to build more low-income (i think it’s below 40k annual?) rental apartments for “service workers” (and in the mission, recent immigrants). we’ve all seen the MAC work and the graffiti. and this is all well and good. i have no arguments….

    i also know that firefighters, cops, teachers, folks reaching their late 20s – early 30s, folks that work in banks, carpenters, electricians, etc. middle class. a person making 55 – 75K maybe. they want ASSET DEVELOPMENT….they want to own a home. and we’re driving them out of the city.

    i recently read an article in the Chronicle

    “In September, the Planning Commission issued its regular housing report. It showed that, from 1999 to 2006, there were 4,342 units built for very low-income households (such as a family of four that earns less than $48,000 a year); and 1,113 units for low-income households (earnings of less than $75,000 for four.)

    As for “moderate income” households, such as a family of four that earns between $75,000 to $113,000 a year? Just 725 units in seven years.

    Of course, you can predict the howls of protest when those numbers are rolled out. Are we really saying that a family making $100,000 – 120 percent of the area median income – needs help with housing?

    In San Francisco they do.”

    mcas…is this data incorrect?

  16. Zinzin:

    1) I was TOTALLY wrong about the park takeover. That was insane.

    2) You have a habit of talking about garbage followed by homeless people– in a previous thread, you referred to ‘cleaning up’ the 16th St. BART– I know you probably don’t have poor people or homeless people– very few people do. Heck- even C.W. Nevius probably doesn’t…

    3) That data sounds about right. The issue that you are failing to realize is: those numbers are newly built housing– not available housing stock, which is currently primarily for the 75-150k range. The issue is, you can’t obviously (and shouldn’t!) tell a landlord ‘hey, drop your rent!’, so that rental rates stay in middle income range. So, it’s up to the developers and cities to build in more affordable housing when new housing is built.

    FYI: The Area Median Income for San Francisco to decide affordable in 2008 is for 1-person household: $66,000 and 2 person household: $75,450.

  17. We headed up at 10am on Saturday, the trash cans were already full, and the event wasn’t supposed to start for an hour. Surprise, there were a lot of people so the decision went down to close 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st between Guerrero and Dolores without any notice or warning. Did they come and clean those streets, nope….

    Sunday night at 7pm, they were still cleaning up the mess….

    I very much would hope that the city gets a big chunk of money for this, and that the police overtime was covered by Red Bull, not SFPD funds…

  18. chalkman:

    Give the Parks & Rec Department a call and ask them how much they charged Red Bull– they would be required to provide it to you- it’s public record. (I don’t want to poke around in their process for professional reasons, otherwise I’d do it…) Call them and ask to see the approved Permit and Contract, which should include all the financial info and whether or not it’s been paid: (415) 831-5500. I’d love to see it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s