By Bill Clarke
So here is what the 4th of July looked like at Marina Green Park.
Families gathering for another Bay Area pastime as they might for the Giants or Warriors, tailgating before a 49er's game or perhaps a concert at Stern Grove. The enormous difference from the above is the proximity to nature, to the water, to the views...an event space like no other, everyone arriving early to get their area staked out, grills set up, chairs arranged for family and friends, tailgate stocked and ready to make an evening of it. What struck me was the crowd: for the most part they weren't Marina residents, maybe they were not even from San Francisco, but they wanted to be here to experience the fireworks that punctuate a big summer holiday. They wanted an experience that only our waterfront could provide.
They most definitely were not boat owners...I was here on mine and of the 15 boats on my dock finger and the one in front of me and the one behind, no one was here. What does that say?
Like during covid when the parking lot was full of citizens burning out from cabin fever, a craving for contact with nature, and the need to be safe but communal, people came for various reasons, but they needed to be here.
Boat owners had their boats, but before I had mine, I was one of them, and I will never forget the solace this place offered during those uncertain times. That is why I am in it for whatever it takes. Mayor Breed, and other naysayers, more than likely haven't spent any time next to the seawall and waterfront to speak of; they offer opinions and directives disclosing their obliviousness, and yet they are willing to diminish the area nonetheless.
Last night everyone here cheered at the end of a great evening, a testament to what happens when everything aligns to create a perfect, communal experience. For me, the fight is about those who have no idea what could be in store for a place they love and rely on, and have no reason to doubt, will be there for them...