There are few things as delightful as an invite to a Saturday afternoon techno picnic appearing in your inbox on a Friday. Imagine, then, how much more delightful it was when I discovered that there were two parties in the park that day a mere few hundred feet from one another. The first and original invitation was from the kids in People Muver and Bassaholics Anonymous, whom I know through the Kontrol parties. The second I found out from a very exuberant gay boy in bug-eyed sunglasses named Mike who led me over to Speedway Meadows where a good hundred or more people were getting down to breaks provided by the Brass Tax crew.
Parties in the park are one of the true joys of living in San Francisco; some of the best times I have ever had were at the bandshell dancing to DJs from Skills, the Phoenix Family, F8 and a whole host of other local collecives. What makes these events so special is, first, they are totally free and open to anyone, and nothing makes my day more than seeing someone randomly happen upon one of these parties and spontaneously get down. At the bandshell I once saw a trio of elderly, white-haired women walk by, watch for a moment, then start dancing. At the Doin' It in the Park party, I saw a crusty homeless guy begin to clap and jerk himself around (rather well, actually) to minimal techno. If you have any doubts that all people can respond to well-made, beaty music, a park party is sure to dispel that. Second, these parties are really presented as a gift by those who create them to those who participate; the organizers ask nothing more of you then to come and enjoy the music, the space, and the companionship that they, in turn, enjoy providing.
Though I showed up without the boyfriend this time (he being busy at work creating mixes for a CD release of last year's bluegrass festival), I had no lack of company. Monica Kat, who sent me the original invite, and I had some lovely conversation, and all of the kids at this smallish (maybe 50 people) party were friendly, outgoing, and more than willing to hang out with anyone who shared their interest in electrotechnobooty fun. I heard Tom Kat, Farzana, and several other DJs spin and enjoyed all their sets, but Farzana wins the award for most harcore techno chick I've heard in quite a while.
At 6PM, as the sun gave way to clouds, I had to make the trek back my abode, and I was sorry that this afternoon that was so momentarily utopic had to come to an end. And so, loyal readers, I leave you with this; whether you have the chance to go to a party in the park, or you are thinking about doing it (all it takes is picnic and sound permit), you should absolutely do it.
Postscript: If you needed any further reason to oppose Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier's attempt to ban alcohol in public parks, the fact that it would prevent all of us from having a glass of wine, or beer, or champagne at events like this should be all the reason you need.