Fertility in the Tenderloin

Our weekend, in summation:

FRIDAY: The Alameda County Fair. Walking towards the entrance, Fern began squeaming (squealing and screaming at the same time) at the sight of the carnival rides. Which we couldn’t go on, because she’s too small. Except for the carousel, where Fern insisted on nursing, so that the entire fair got a 360 degree view of my boob.

We went to see the animals,

which was going ok until an employee snatched a wooden duck out of Fern’s hands. This employee obviously had no idea of the rule by which we all live in our family which is IN ORDER TO AVOID TANTRUMS, DO NOT HARRAS THE BABY. The most peaceful experience of the afternoon was sitting on the grass, flanked on one side by giant backyard “grilling station” demos, and by model bathrooms on the other. Thank god for kettlecorn.

SATURDAY: We went car camping! We had a tent! An inflatable mattress! Camp chairs with foot rests! Snacks! Bug balm! Too bad the regional park didn’t have any campsites available. Dear Bay Areans, a Word of Advice. Always always ALWAYS make a campsite reservation before you drive an hour and a half only to spend an hour angrily eating chips and salsa and watching turkey vultures circle above your head waiting for you to drop from annoyance before you get back in the car to return to the city, where you get to unload the car you just packed and THEN hunt for parking on the eve of Pride weekend. Consider yourselves warned.

SUNDAY: A trip to the East Bay to retrieve Jeff’s car, where it had been left in anticipation of being picked up after a weekend of burnt marshmellows and starry skies. We decided to go to Little Farm in Tilden Park. Which doesn’t allow dogs. And which didn’t have any animals since they were all locked away in some secret animal barn, hidden from the scorching sun and small children on motorized scooters.

Thank goodness I took pictures on Friday morning or else this post would have been very short.

Friday morning Shane and I attempted to go blackberry picking. The blackberries weren’t really ripe yet, but we managed some good mischief in spite of the FAIL front that was fast approaching.

We went to Bernal Hill, which is one of those microclimates I mentioned on Friday.

Lots of potential, but it was Not Yet Time.

Gaius eatius many Shnacksius.


It was a beautiful day, so after a stop at Mission Pie, to fulfill our baked fruit needs, we decided to head over to:

Neither of us had been there, since The Tenderloin is not a neighborhood we frequent (except on the rare occasion we need a hooker.). Situated in the former Cohen Alley, this little greenspace and garden is a miracle in what is unmistakably the grittiest and most downtrodden artery of the city.

Protected by a gate, the forest is open from noon to 5pm.

The big ship sails on the alley alley oh…

There’s even a cob oven.

And many art installations like this wave made from plastic CD cases.

As well as mixed-media murals

There was a little cob shed with garden tools, photographs of neighborhood characters, a hand drawn plant ID book and a place where you were encouraged to:

A redwood tree representing endurance.

The Tenderloin National Forest can be found off of Ellis St., between Hyde and Leavenworth.

Happy Monday!


2 thoughts on “Fertility in the Tenderloin

  1. i want that picture of you two on the carousel.

    and i want to find hidden forests in my town. ummm. i guess i should go looking, then, huh? they will look very different. i’m pretty sure i know every square inch of this little place’s town. but the real woods, now that i could go exploring in for sure.

    magical art gardens. i am in love. with art. and gardens. and friends. and carousels.

  2. So sorry to read your mid-adventure in camping in the East Bay. Reminded me very much of our first Bay Area camping venture when our first one was 6 months old. Lake Chabot, car camping. But we got a spot. I would have been livid if we hadn’t. Good thing I wasn’t with you. 🙂
    PS Thanks for that “hooker” link. I thought, “blogging about sf’s hookers? really?” and then salivated greatly. Obviously I know what’s important in life. Cheers to you.

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