By Crystal Corbelli
Affectionately referred to as the “Dog Park” by my family, Dolores Park and my impressions of the place have gradually evolved over time.
Early in my life, the park was a place for me to let loose and have fun. My mother would often take us here after church, where we would play alongside family and neighborhood friends, while also taking in all the sunshine that Dolores, and the Mission District in general, had to offer (especially when compared to other parts of San Francisco). The original playground in which we had spent most of those years has since been renovated. These new facilities are nothing like the old facilities that I was acquainted with, but I am sure no less fulfilling than the playground of my memories.
Still, the Dog Park was called “Dog Park” for a reason. Besides the playground, we came here to welcome neighborhood dogs of all sizes. As children, I remember wanting a dog so badly that it hurt. However, getting one simply did not make sense for our family: There was a new baby along the way, an existing baby to tend to, or a perennial lack of time. Our makeshift solution: We resorted to playing with other people’s dogs. This was a solid plan and adequate substitute, indeed.
Now that I am a big girl and I can confidently say that I have matured, I mostly find myself at Dolores lounging with friends drinking beer, playing cards, and enjoying the beautiful views of San Francisco’s cityscape. There have also been countless moments where I find myself along the hillside people watching, tattoo viewing, and dog petting. Despite the changing of time, I cannot resist a lovable canine and the opportunity to relive a small piece of my childhood, one pet at a time!