Finding the Secret Garden of Golden Gate Park

September 19th, 2010. Categories / San Francisco

Much like Mary Lennox, J and and I are sickly, sallow and sour-faced girls. We never had the benefit of our chambermaid telling us of a secret garden, but through our own wandering we found one.

Our journey began in search of Vietnamese soup, of which we had delicious steaming bowls. We walked to the end of Balboa, along Ocean Beach, and back up into Golden Gate Park. In the street, we found a key. It didn’t unlock a ivy covered gate, but it offered the protection of a shiv. Farther up, we caught something orange in our periphery. It was sulphur shelf fungus growing on a stump at the opening to a path. It beckoned us.

Along the path was dog(?) poop coated in hairy, white mold. Through the trees, we spotted an assortment of graffitied structures in the middle of rubble-filled field. Climbing down a crumbling embankment, we passed through a torn chain link fence.

On the other side was massive pile of debris that been overgrown with plants. Hobo nests were around: pots and pans, grills, bedding, empty bottles of cheap booze. But in the middle of this blight was an amazing assortment of edibles: squash, pumpkins, chilies, tomatoes. It was unclear if they had been planted intentionally, as the were growing randomly over the old rubble pile. Many of them looked uncared for, but some appeared tended to.

“Look there,” I said, “if tha’s curious. Look what’s comin’ across the grass.”

When Ms. J looked, she threw up her hands and gave a little shriek.

Across the lawn came a golden-haired drifter and he looked as we had never seen him. With his head up in the air and his eyes full of laughter, he walked as strongly and steadily as any boy in Yorkshire!

My new golden anodized bar ends, to replace the rusty chrome ones.

Hand painted sign.

More hand painted signs.

Steaming soup.

VHS tapes on the sidewalk.

Two people contemplate the giant camera on the hill

Large crow.

All over the beach were juvenile seagulls, resting.


J taking a photo of BeATNIK.

Face incorporating drain hole.

The Dutch windmill at the end of Golden Gate Park.

The tulip garden, with no tulips to be found.

Sulfur shelf fungus.


Moldy poop.

The quaint, un-menacing buildings near the secret garden.

Patriotic pipe.


Cheap vodka in a plastic bottle.

The general location of the secret hobo garden.


Grizzly man loutering in Taurus.

Caution, plants.

Tai chi.

More sulfur shelf.

The anus.

Beautiful peeling eucalyptus bark.

Shady path.


Dog watching a gopher popping its head out of the ground.

Man feeding birds a massive amount of bread and crackers. The white dove is about to crotch punch him.

Another shot of the man and his dog, the latter trained to stay away from the birds.


One Comment

Lovely photos, Nik.
Gorgeous shot of the raven.

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