Beloved Precita Playground Satellite Spinner Back in Action After Emergency Gyro-Stabilization Repairs



Astute observers and nearly all north slope children have long grumbled about the failing condition of Precita Playground’s much-loved (but very old) penultimate satellite spinner.

Fortunately, an emergency effort was undertaken to repair the satellite spinner and return it to service. This required the complete removal of the iconic spinner hull, however, which was upsetting to many Bernal Heights observers. Bad enough that the spinner was broken; Scenes of the spinner resting pathetically on the back of a crane truck were heartbreaking.


Once the spinner was gone, would it ever come back?? In a note to Bernalwood, Neighbor Victor summarized these anxieties well:

I suppose other neighbors have perhaps written to the blog directorship about the spinner’s recent disappearance from the playground in Precita Park, replaced by two city cones of purgatory orange. I wonder if anyone knows if this is a permanent loss, the first step (years in the making in the hearts of the least sentimental?) to make way for something quite different. Or will it remain a vacant mini lot of sand? Or will the spinner rise again like a phoenix from the dust?

These were not trivial questions.

Luckily, Neighbor Demece, Lead Warrior Princess of Precita Valley Neighbors, was on the case. Through her contacts deep inside the Recreation and Park bureaucracy, Neighbor Demece determined that the beloved satellite spinner was receiving a complete refit in preparation for a return to service.

Today she brought some very good news:

The spinner should be delivered today! Joe Padilla, Paint Supervisor at SF Recs and Park, personally painted the spinner and had it fixed. I have been told by SF Rec and Park staff that it is BEAUTIFUL!!!

Of course, it’s the spinner, and by definition a thing of beauty.

Yes yes, the spinner is now, officially back. Neighbor Gleeco immediately recognized the momentousness of its return:

The freshly repainted (Rasta edition?) and overhualed saucer is back. Been too long. Hopefully it’ll be good for a few more generations of kids!

Hopefully, indeed. And fair point about the paint job; it does seem rather rasta:


Irie, mon! Nevertheless, when Bernalwood’s Cub Reporter visited the spinner after its return, she declared her fondness for the new livery.

“I like it,” she said.

“Those are awesome colors.”

So the critics are pleased. The most important thing, of course, is that the satellite spinner is back, and working, and right where it belongs. To infinity… and beyond!

PHOTOS: From Top, Then, by Neighbor Shane. Now, by Telstar Logistics. Spinner on truck, by Neighbor Paul.

10 thoughts on “Beloved Precita Playground Satellite Spinner Back in Action After Emergency Gyro-Stabilization Repairs

  1. So glad to see this post 🙂 I really like the colors! Hopefully the rest of the playground can get a similar color update, too. And my boys are glad to have it back. We waited until after dark last night so they could spin on it by themselves. What a treat!

  2. There are amazing folks at Park and Rec that understand the value of keeping this piece of Bernal History spinning for the ages. I recently returned to my childhood town in New Hampshire to find that evil bureaucrats insisted that the town remove and destroy perfectly good pieces of playground equipment including a satellites dinner that not only had I grown up with but my mom. They also destroyed a really tall freestanding metal slide of similar age for the sole reason that it was too tall to be considered safe. I was heartbroken and no longer believe the “live free or die” emblazoned on the license plates.

  3. Glad there is still some old school playground equipment in use today. I’m still sad about the removal of the old “circle swings” that were in the Children’s Playground in GG Park. I’ll have to take myself over to Precita Park, and spin myself sick on the satellite! Good times…

  4. Pingback: Awesomeness: Todd Berman’s Bernal Hill Paintings Now Showing at Mission Pie | Bernalwood

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