Hayes Valley is one of the most intriguing neighborhoods in all of San Francisco. In the last decade, the area has grown to become a cultural and artistic haven that rivals some of the most vibrant neighborhoods in the city and beyond. Moreover, a short walk from the Hayes Valley condos at Fulton 555 will lead one to one of the best small parks in the region, Patricia’s Green.
San Fran is known for its phenomenal parks—it’s currently home to over 220. But Patricia’s Green is different than most, it is very basic in its layout, with the typical lawn and playground setup, but it’s the stunning open-air art gallery and the array of surrounding shops that truly bring the space to life. The park is named for activist Patricia Walkup, a woman who worked tirelessly with the city to ensure the removal of the damaged and abandoned Central Freeway and its transformation into a colorful and thriving green space.
The open-air gallery at Patricia’s adds so much to the space, as an array of pieces are consistently being rotated in and out to help make each visit a different and unique experience. There’s a refined mix of organic and inorganic that occurs here and the results coalesce rather impressively. It is common practice for pieces to be specifically created for Patricia’s Green gallery and thus, they are designed to work with and feed off the natural aesthetic of the space. Open air galleries can, at times, feel out of place as certain pieces just do not fit well in the open-air, but at Patricia’s Green everything feels extraordinarily cohesive.
The shops that border the park are another addition that bolsters its reputation. There’s incredible ice cream at Smitten Ice Cream, Chantal Guillon Macarons has some of the best, melt-in-your-mouth macarons you will find anywhere, and Hayes Valley Espresso serves rich and delicious, fresh coffee. The park is essentially an extension of the shops that surround it, it functions as a space to imbibe within.
Patricia’s Green is an area where one can relax with an ice cream cone on a bench and enjoy the sun, and minutes later take a stroll through a beautiful open-air art gallery. For a small park it has a lot of offer.