Everyday, there’s rollerbooters doing their circuits and dances on the smooth asphalt at JFK Drive and 6th in Golden Gate Park.
I love them.
Sunday is the real party. They bring tables and snacks. Pensioners jive with 4-year-olds, ex-cons swing with folks who’ve shed the suit for an afternoon. The posse has its favourite tracks to which they dance and kick their boots in lined formation. Between the routines that function as the glue for the group, they’ll float around in anti-clockwise circles. From sunrise to sunset thousands of people pass by — some throw down blankets and watch for hours, others stop a moment and take a snap. All smile.
I was riding my bike through the park a few weeks ago and wondering why no-one had ever made a feature documentary about this group of typically atypical San Franciscoids. Then, last week, I spotted this.
Totally Free is a film-short made by Daniel Soares (Instagram). And it is beautiful. I sent it to a friend who moved to New Orleans a couple of years ago. He doesn’t have speakers on his computer but watched all 300 seconds of it in silence. He said the footage was hypnotising.
The whole rollerbooting community is hypnotising. I love them. They’re in their bliss. They’re taking it easy for all us sinners out there.
Golden Gate Park was once the crucible for the counter culture movement. Hippie Hill still has its moments, but really the realest community I know that survives is gliding around that most precious and historic 30 x 100ft oval.