Saturday, June 26, 2010

Seward St. Slides, San Francisco

Two weeks ago, my wife and I moved to a new apartment over in the Castro. It was an incredible sunny and warm day to explore San Francisco, so we decided to go for a walk in our new neighborhood and trekked on up to Kite Hill. While there, we had a magnificent view of the city and a delicious picnic lunch. I thought that fine meal on the hill would be the coolest part of our meandering journey that day, but we discovered something on the way home that surpassed the beauty we'd just experienced.

While walking home, we came across a park on Seward St. with some truly fun concrete slides that the locals (logically and) affectionately call the "Seward St. Slides." We originally heard about the slides while reading Broke-Ass Stuart's Guide to Living Cheaply in San Francisco. As it turns out, this mini-park in Eureka Valley has quite a history. After doing a little research via iPhone, we found some interesting details: A) It was designed by a 14 year old girl named Kim Clark in 1973 during a "Design the Park" competition. B) Locals enjoyed this space so much that they fought for almost 7 years to keep the park and community garden from being developed into a 104 unit apartment building. C) The park celebrated it's 30th birthday in 2003, cementing its status as a community staple with a big celebration. You can find out more information on the slides' fascinating history by clicking here.

As I mentioned above, the slides are constructed of concrete, so they're not too kind to trousers. Many have realized this, so you'll find sheets of corrugated cardboard strewn about the top and bottom of the slides as pants protection. This cardboard also serves the dual purpose of allowing you to go faster on the slides due to its smooth surface.

Last weekend, we invited our friends Dave and Jen to check out Kite Hill and the slides with us. We took some video and pics to capture our time on the slides (see below). As you'll see in the video below, they definitely dig it too!

As most of my friends know, I like to go fast. Though the cardboard definitely helps in the speed department, we think that we can make things speedier. Dave and I are working on some ideas on how to mix cardboard and local materials to create an amplified affordable adrenaline rush at Seward St. -- Stay tuned!


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