Monday, February 1, 2010

Mission Creek (not the Mission but just as cool)

Perhaps you've heard that somewhere in San Francisco folks live on houseboats. Where could that be? Most of the City's waterways now lie under our houses (and flood our basements - karma kickback). Mission Creek still runs free on the east side of town (if you can find it - the Mission Bay development road closures makes it even more of a challenge than usual). That's where you'll find the Mission Creek Conservancy folks living on houseboats who care for the creek and its shoreline park. The houseboat community negotiated a long-term lease with the Port, and good thing too, because if it hadn't been for them the creek would have been buried below concrete long ago. Birds use the creek as a rest stop as they cruise the Pacific Flyway. The gargantuan Mission Bay buildings present an urban counterpoint to this bucolic bit of heaven. An unlikely new park has recently opened under the freeway adjacent to Mission Bay along the creek and it will blow your mind. Volleyball and basketball courts, a colorful kayak shed, chairs and tables to sit and gaze at the view. Low-maintenance landscapes that wind beside serpentine walkways. And just the right amount of grass. Too much dog poop (don't get me started) but otherwise very pretty, and green because it's February.

Take Channel Street from 3rd near the ballpark to find the houseboats and walk along the creek. The park is on the other side, accessible from 16th Street. Be respectful (Hey! You with the dog! Pick up the poop for cryin' out loud.). This is someone's neighborhood.

The park was built by the SF Redevelopment Agency and is managed by MJM Management Group that also manages Yerba Buena Park, Union Square, etc. The best thing about MJM is how they manage public spaces while remaining virtually invisible. They totally get that it's a buzz kill to see guards in uniform patrolling our parks.

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