Part of the beauty of a picnic is that it avoids all the pomp and circumstance of going out to a restaurant. You grab your food, you grab a hunk of grass, and you eat. But a public park in San Francisco has recently courted a lot of controversy by adding something to the world of picnics generally associated with fine dining: reservations.
As part of a two-month pilot program, the city’s Recreation and Parks Department is offering people the opportunity to reserve parts of Dolores Park. As the SFist points out, we’re not talking about picnic tables or grilling areas or something like that; these are just grass areas in the middle of the lawn. The service is not offered as a courtesy: Reservations come with a $33 to $260 fee depending on the situation, not to mention a $200 security deposit. And of course, it isn’t much of a reservation system without someone enforcing it, so as Rec and Parks’ spokesman Joey Kahn was quoted as saying, on weekends, “we have staff on-site to make this a seamless process.” Why is it that when someone says a process will be seamless, it always sounds like the process will not be very seamless?