Park officials confirmed this week that Yosemite National Park, one of the world’s foremost natural treasures; site of thousands of waterfalls and over 800 miles of trails; and vacation destination of almost 4 million annual visitors; will be renamed “Fuck You National Park” on March 1st of this year, capping months of press releases detailing an unfathomable level of corporate dick-headery that would makem even Chief Tenaya himself rise from the ashes of his spirit dream to shed one last tear in the canyon bearing his name.
In addition to the park name change, many of the park’s iconic features will also be renamed. Henceforth, the Badger Pass Ski Area, the park’s only, shall be known as “Darth Go Fuck Yourself Glorified Bunny Hill”. The 140-year-old Wawona Hotel, a rustic lodge for park visitors dating back to 1876, the United States’ first centennial for god’s sake, will be re-branded as “Ha Ha Ha Kiss Our Asses You Sucka-Ass Fools Sleepatorium”. The Yosemite Lodge at the Falls will adopt its new moniker, “The Say My Name, Bitch Lodge”. The Merced River, proud aorta of Yosemite Valley, will become “Martin Shkreli Creek”; and the Tuolumne River, lifeblood of the park’s northern canyons, will be known forevermore as the “Bend You Over Just Because We Can River.” The new name of Tioga Pass will be “Please Sir May I Have Another Gap.”
The move is the result of an effort by the Delaware North Corporation, former administrator of the park’s low-ass-quality concessionary services- a post the company has held for the past twenty years, providing the park’s lodging, retail and food services at inflated prices and with virtually no QA oversite, to strong-arm the National Park Service into lining up, as so many others have been made to do before, to beg for the very privilege of suckling at the dry teat of corporate assery.
I mean, have you had that pizza at Curry Village?
Oops, I’m sorry. I meant “Suck It Village”. I’m still adjusting.
Everyone knows that Dream Candlestick is dead at last, right? You did get the memo, yes?
Earlier this week, I threw the Peanut in the car and headed down to walk the outer perimeter of Candlestick Point and check in on the ongoing demolition of its namesake park.
Truth be told, San Francisco’s historic Candlestick Park, once proud home to both the Giants and the 49ers, as well as the site of countless storied concerts over the years, has been dying a mercilessly slow death for the past 25 years.
The first major blow came on October 17, 1989, when the Loma Prieta Earthquake, a 6.9 oblique slip-fault rupture which radially dispersed an extensive wave of catastrophic damage- carnage structural, geological, and human- across the San Francisco Bay Area and much of California’s Central Coast region, interrupted Game 3 of the World Series, so far baseball ‘s only ever so-called “Bay Bridge Series“, between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics, sending fans ducking and running for cover as the earth shook the stadium recklessly, like a snow-globe with a busted synapse or three.
Then, on Halloween 1996, two years after Candlestick Park had been awarded 1999’s Super Bowl XXXIII, the game was pulled and re-awarded to Miami, out of concerns that insufficient retrofitting had been done to secure the park in the wake of Loma Prieta. So that was another big blow for the ‘Stick.
Then, for the 2000 baseball season, the Giants abandoned the Candlestick for the newer, swankier pastures of world-class Pacific Bell Park (now AT&T Park), a brand-spanking new, properly-retrofitted, fully-modern, cutting-edge ballpark, located conveniently within walking distance of downtown San Francisco (as opposed to Candlestick Park, which, in addition to sitting on the outer fringes of the city limits, situated squarely in the heart of the city’s poorest and most crime-ridden district, was never in its entire existence adequately served by any public transportation worthy of mention).
The final blow to Candlestick Park’s long life as one of San Francisco’s most beloved and venerable institutions was cast on Monday, December 23, 2013, when the 49ers triumphed over the Atlanta Falcons, winning 34–24 to secure themselves a playoff berth, bringing closure to a storied 53-year era.
After the 2013 season, the 49ers would sell out, moving forty miles south to Santa Clara, to live as puffed-up, hollow big-shots in the monstrous, sterile, bloated, and hilariously over-priced and over-hyped Levi’s Stadium. Though in all fairness, it must be acknowledged that San Francisco, the city, choked pretty hard, pig-headedly attempting to call the bluff on the 49ers organization’s repeated threats to relocate to another city if a proper stadium was not constructed to house the team, only to find out that they weren’t bluffing after all.
And that was the end of Candlestick Park’s life as a sporting institution; but just as a body does not disintegrate into nothingness at the precise moment of death, the corpse of Candlestick Park endured, a withering and decrepit structure that had almost run out of stories to tell.
But there was one more story for Candlestick Park. On August 14, 2014, in a most fitting end for the stadium, Paul McCartney played an epic 3-hour concert, here in the very same venue where the Beatles had performed their legendary official final concert, 48 years earlier, on August 29, 1966.
So that was it for the ‘Stick. The demolition commenced in November 2014, when they started tearing the seats out and selling them off to fans eager to own a piece of history; and in March of 2015, the demolition became visible to those outside the park, as the wrecking ball was finally brought to bear on the outer walls. There ain’t no coming back from that shit.
The rapid decomposition of the carcass had begun at long last; and soon all that will be left of Candlestick Park will be the phantoms of memories, the fading roar of ghost-crowds, and the echoes of wooden bats cracking and splitting, radiating out across San Francisco Bay, in memory of what was.
I love San Francisco. I love it; and I have for the past 18 years. And I hold myself to be a fan of both the Giants and the 49ers.
That said, as much as I love and cherish everything San Francisco, the sports teams that really get my blood pumping will always be the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots, because that just simply cannot be taken out of a true Bostonian.
No matter what they build or tear down out here in California.
I’m tired of people just rounding all dogs down to “public nuisance”, as if it’s somehow reasonable and equitable to paint them all with the same brush.
As it is, our hounds are for all intents and purposes banned from National Parks across the board (only allowed on paved trails, or tied up in campgrounds- woo-hoo!!). So can’t we just throw them this bone?
The battle rages on. See here for the latest on the dogs vs assholes battle for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
Look- there’s a lot of land out there (even here in San Francisco); so let them run wild. We’ll pick up the dog shit.
But more than anything else, what this early peaking of the waterfalls portends is that a pretty dry summer in the high-country is in the offing.
Sure, the Mist Trail is all jammed up with day-hikers soaking up the sprinkles and slipping their way up the stone stairs; but the smart money says that the sun will set on this party long before the folks stop dancing on top of the waterfalls.
But this being what it is, let it be said here and now that Yosemite’s waterworks are currently in their full spring swing; and the park’s air temperatures are just about at levels that make you want to pounce in the water.
Of course, as always, the water temperatures will likely make you think better of the idea.
But after all, that is just Yosemite’s version of air/water equilibrium, and so far that has not changed. Yet.
So it’s kind of now or never, folks. For this year, anyway.
Despite being one of the Bay Area’s best spots for day-hiking to the ocean, Point Reyes, like anywhere else along the Pacific Coast, demands vigilance and careful-stepping. And maybe a bit of good luck. These two didn’t have that.