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Aerial photos of Dolores Park before and after unbelievable weekend crowd

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A drone’s unflinching eye shows park overrun with sun seekers

A huge crowd in Dolores Park.
A similar weekend in 2016.
Photo by Torbak Hopper

As many as 10,000 people pass through Dolores Park on a busy day like this past Saturday, which saw the Mission/Castro hot spot overrun with so many visitors that Park and Recreation spent 44 hours of labor and 460 trash bags just cleaning up after them.

But numbers alone might not be adequate to describe the scene. For that our perspective must ascend up to the sky and see what the park over the weekend might look like to a curious deity above—or to a photo-snapping drone, as the case actually turns out to be.

A local photographer shared a pair of cool overhead images to Reddit on Monday showing the park before weekend revelers arrived and then what the place looked like one day later:

(Note that most of what’s visible in the second image is people, not trash—or not just trash.)

Friday in the park looks downright serene, like a Zen ocean of grass and empty space where you go to contemplate nothing for a few hours. Then roughly 24 hours later, it’s Coachella without any bands.

Unfortunately, the overwhelming popularity of the city’s favorite park is also an overwhelming problem, as this warm and sunny weekend ended with the green space in ruins from discarded trash.

Some neighbors complained to CBS that the placement of trash cans around the perimeter of the park rather than the interior was to blame for the perpetual mess. A member of the cleanup crew suggested a simpler explanation to Mission Local: People are “just too drunk” by Saturday afternoon to bother.