Hoodline Highlights: Imagining The 'Outside District'

To close out 2016, we've asked our local neighborhood writers to choose their favorite stories from the past year, and to explain why they loved them so.

Today, we hear from Castro neighborhood editor Shane Downing:

It's easy to walk around San Francisco and see only what's in front of us. As Hoodline writers, this is a large part of what we do: be aware. 

However, when I was thinking back to my favorite story from 2016, one particular piece stuck out in my mind. 

It was a news story in the loosest of senses; something that didn't require me to react to an event or sift through bureaucratic jargon. It was a story that grew out of the question "what-if," and it allowed me to embark on my very own history lesson of Golden Gate Park—at the same time that it allowed me to imagine what our city would look like today if the park had never existed. 

Anytime I get to use my imagination and write a story for Hoodline and play with Photoshop, well, how could it be more memorable than that?

Below is an excerpt from the original story, published on March 19th, 2016.

Across the western half of San Francisco stretches 1,017 acres of rolling greenery: Golden Gate Park.

Over the course of its existence, the park, with its gardens, lakes, meadows, and museums, has cemented its status as a San Francisco landmark. But what if the city’s 19th century planners had instead annexed the Outside Lands not for a park, but for residential development?

Click to continue reading Shane's favorite story of 2016, "Imagining The Outside District: San Francisco’s What-If Neighborhood."

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Hoodline highlights imagining the outside district