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Photos: From 420 to a naked bike ride, this was the most San Francisco day ever

a woman in profile smokes a joint on a slope in a park with a crowd behind her
Saturday was 420, sure, but it also saw a Swiftie pub crawl, a naked bike ride, a lowrider parade and a historic bar's reopening. The Standard set out to do it all. | Source: Gina Castro for The Standard

Saturday, you may have noticed, was an exceptionally busy and spectacularly beautiful day in San Francisco. 

Not only was it 420, but Taylor Swift fans embarked on a pub crawl, low-riders were out in the Mission and the World Naked Bike Ride was busy weaving around town. On top of that, the city’s oldest queer bar, The Stud, reopened in a new location after a four-year sabbatical.

Instead of allowing ourselves to become paralyzed with what-should-we-cover indecision, a Standard reporter, photographer and video producer gave themselves an assignment: Let’s see if we can do everything, from bongs to songs and buns to (drag) nuns. It was like a San Francisco pentathlon.

But first: Chilaquiles behind the Ferry Building

If you want to have the Best Day Ever, you better start out with your full recommended daily allowance of tortilla chips smothered in guajillo sauce and cotija cheese. 

Lines at Primavera, the long-running, cash-only Mexican stand that pops up behind the Ferry Building every Saturday, tend to run long. But this absurdly delicious plate of chilaquiles might contain the city’s richest-tasting refried beans, and organic eggs make all the difference. Washed down with a jamaica (or hibiscus) agua fresca, they’re enough for two to share.

a plate of chilaquilles with eggs and refried beans sits on a rail at the waterfront with choppy SF Bay and the Bay Bridge visible
If you want to have an action-packed afternoon, you need to eat properly—starting with chilaquiles from Primavera, a Mexican food stand found every Saturday behind the Ferry Building. | Source: Astrid Kane/The Standard

Nudists on two wheels: World Naked Bike Ride

As San Francisco as it gets, the Earth Day edition of the World Naked Bike Ride brought almost four dozen cyclists—many fully disrobed, others in various states of relative immodesty—on a slow-moving, 16-mile cruise from the Embarcadero to the Castro, by way of North Beach’s Washington Square.

Although one or two passersby screamed in horror, the reactions from most people along the city’s busy waterfront ranged from amusement to awe. A lot of people whipped their phones out to record the parade of those who had whipped it all out.

Paul, who’s lived in San Francisco for a year, was among those who were entirely clothing-free. Although biking is his primary way of getting around, he’d only heard about the ride a few days prior. 

“It’s a cool way to bring awareness to having alternate modes of transportation,” he said, exactly as the Ferry Building’s clock struck the noon hour. “And expressing your body!” 

nude cyclists face away from the camera on a sidewalk in downtown SF
Just in time for Earth Day, the World Naked Bike Ride brought several dozen cyclists in the buff to the Embarcadero for a 16.5-mile ride around SF. | Source: Gina Castro for The Standard
A person wearing a helmet and sunglasses rides a bike on a street, with cars visible in the background.
A nude cyclist rides on North Point St. in San Francisco for World Naked Bike Ride 2024. | Source: Gina Castro for The Standard
A person with a straw hat and sunglasses is sitting on a bike, shirtless, with a building and a car in the background.
A nude cyclist poses with his bike during the World Naked Bike Ride 2024. | Source: Gina Castro for The Standard

420 at Hippie Hill: Canceled in name only

The annual 420 smoke-out at Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park was canceled this year—technically. 

A struggling cannabis industry means promoters were unable to secure enough sponsorship money for stages and entertainment. But thousands of cannabis enthusiasts descended on the rise adjacent to Robin Williams Meadow anyway.

The city’s Recreation and Park Department set up volleyball and kickball tournaments so there’d be something wholesome to do, while the cannabis-centric Church of Ambrosia stepped up to donate medical staff, water and port-a-potties. By mid-afternoon, the scene was much like prior years: drum circles, vendors hawking edibles and plenty of people getting absolutely baked.

Wearing pot leaf leggings and bright purple lipstick, Karina Ochoa—and her pups, Honey and Diva—came to the park from Marin County, as she does every year. 

“They tried to cancel it, but we’re still here!” she exclaimed.

a huge crowd of people on blankets on Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park
Officially, the annual 420 smoke-out at Golden Gate Park's Hippie Hill was canceled—but not everyone got the memo. | Source: Gina Castro for The Standard
A person is sitting outdoors, inhaling from a bong with smoke visible, and holding a lighter.
Source: Gina Castro for The Standard
Two women sit on a sunny park lawn; one wears a flower crown and smokes, the other holds sunglasses and talks.
Rachel Rayl, left, and her sister-in-law Raine, right, smoke joints on Hippie Hill on 420. | Source: Gina Castro for The Standard

Dolores Park: The other 420

If Golden Gate Park was chill, Dolores Park in the much-warmer Mission District was anything but. If anything, The Standard found it nearly as packed as it was for Easter’s Hunky Jesus and Foxy Mary contests three weeks ago. 

The sheer number of people selling bacon-wrapped hot dogs—catnip for anyone with the munchies—rivaled the impromptu night market that springs up outside the exits from Outside Lands every August. But for anyone looking for something a little less processed, Academy of Art University student Saloni Patel had a tasty alternative: dahi puri from Pani Puri SF.

For $12, Patel was serving six fried cups of semolina filled with a citrusy, peppery mix of potatoes, chickpeas, various chutneys and Greek yogurt that she topped with chaat masala.

“It gives it that umami flavor,” she said, calling it a “way of eating that will make you forget your phone.” 

Three people sitting on a blanket with food at a sunny park, smiling at the camera.
For $12, Saloni Patel was serving six fried cups of semolina filled with a citrusy, peppery mix of potatoes, chickpeas, various chutneys and Greek yogurt that she topped with chaat masala. | Source: Jesse Rogala/The Standard
a huge crowd of people in a park
Not to be outdone, Dolores Park was filled to near capacity. | Source: Astrid Kane/The Standard

Lowriders for Selena: Classic cars in the Mission

“Anything for Selena,” the San Francisco Lowriders Council’s flier read.

Some 29 years after pop star Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was shot and killed by the head of her fan club, the legacy of the Queen of Tejano somehow only continues to grow.

Starting at around 4 p.m., customized and effortlessly gleaming lowriders came out in force along Mission Street between 24th and Cesar Chavez streets, some with impossibly jaunty hydraulics. Although more than a few cruised up and down the drag, it was less a proper parade than a vintage auto show, with Chevy Bel Airs, Ford Fairlanes and Cadillac Eldorados displayed by Mexican American clubs from around the Bay Area parked at rakish angles for maximum showing-off. 

a woman in profile with an updo and red lips holds the steering wheel of a classic car
Helen Marchiorlatti steers her 1946 Cadillac, one of many beautifully restored lowriders that paid homage to the late Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez. | Source: Gina Castro for The Standard
A man stands with custom lowrider bicycles, wearing a cap and a hoodie with a woman's face. A sports team flag is in the background.
Ricky, who declined to give his last name, poses for a photo in front of his lowrider bike. | Source: Gina Castro for The Standard
A woman with a red flower in her hair smiles on a sunny street with cars and pedestrians in the background.
Stephanie Recinos poses beside a lowrider during a Mission Street event honoring the late singer Selena. | Source: Gina Castro for The Standard

They can do it with a broken heart: A Taylor Swift pub crawl in Cow Hollow

Barely a day after Taylor Swift dropped her hourlong, two-volume album The Tortured Poets Department, the extraordinarily prolific singer-songwriter with the extraordinarily devoted fan base was feted with a late-afternoon pub crawl across Cow Hollow.

Like Catholicism’s Stations of the Cross, this devotional made 14 stops and involved a lot of tears, with karaoke at Silver Cloud on Lombard Street and friendship bracelets and glitter tattoos at Westwood. 

Swifties could throw back a Cruel Summer Cocktail (vodka and pink lemonade) at Del Mar and an I Knew You Were Trouble (a whiskey and ginger with lime) at Trinity. The timing was musically fortuitous, as Saturday was also Record Store Day. And The Standard can confirm that there were lots of wedding dresses, too.

Four women smile and make goof poses at a bar
Taylor Swift superfans gathered at Silver Cloud, a bar in San Francisco's Cow Hollow, for a pub crawl one day after their idol released her 11th full-length album. | Source: Gina Castro for The Standard
A woman sings into a microphone with vibrant wall art of female faces behind her.
Georjean Morado sings in Silver Cloud during a Taylor Swift-themed pub crawl to celebrate the release of the singer's album, "The Tortured Poet's Department." | Source: Gina Castro for The Standard
Two smiling women in Taylor Swift T-shirts pose together in a room with floral wallpaper.
Breana Mertz, left, and Hope Miller pose for a photo inside of Del Mar bar. | Source: Gina Castro for The Standard

And lastly: SF’s oldest LGBTQ+ bar reopens in SoMa

If you’d spent the afternoon taking hits from the bong, pedaling in the buff or bouncing in a tricked-out Buick, you could be forgiven for calling it a day by 5 p.m. But the climax of our Best Day Ever was a truly poignant occasion as 57-year-old queer bar The Stud reopened on Folsom Street with a humongous rager after a four-year closure.

The 17-member collective that runs the beloved dive saw the writing on the wall early on in the pandemic and made the painful decision to shutter a venue they’d saved only three years before. Saturday night’s eight-hour marathon saw DJs and drag performers pay homage to every era of the bar’s hedonistic history, from disco to new wave to the club kids.

See The Standard’s full rundown of The Stud’s jubilant renaissance here.

Long live The Stud—and long live San Francisco, this eternally magical city where any Saturday will always be whatever you make of it.

a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence performs a ritual at a bar patron on a patio with a Leather Pride flag hanging in the background
Sister Bubbles Bathory, top right, "un-baptizes" a patron of The Stud with glitter during the historic LGBTQ+ bar's grand reopening on Folsom Street. | Source: Estefany Gonzalez/The Standard
A smiling woman with curly hair, holding a clear cup, enjoys a bustling outdoor event.
Mim Schafer twirls her fringe leather jacket dance during the grand reopening of The Stud on Folsom Street. | Source: Estefany Gonzalez/The Standard
A person in vibrant drag makeup and attire playfully sticks out their tongue, surrounded by an amused crowd.
Fauxnique, right, performs during the grand reopening of The Stud on Folsom Street. | Source: Estefany Gonzalez/The Standard

Correction: This story was updated with the proper spelling of late pop star Selena Quintanilla-Pérez's name.