UPDATED – Remember When: The Day DiFi Laughed Her Way Down the Esmeralda Slides


Once upon a time, several years before she became a United States Senator with a thing for national security issues, then-Mayor Diane Feinstein came to Bernal Heights on a warm winter day in 1979.

She was here to celebrate the dedication of the Esmeralda Mini-Park on the west side of Bernal Hill, and to test drive the extended-length children’s slides that had just been installed after an intense community-organizing effort.

Neighbor Barbara Bagot, who kindly shared this image, remembers:

I found the Bernal Journal slide photo on Mike Nolan’s Facebook page.  (I think that’s my brother Bucky, top left.)  Difi came prepared–wearing slacks instead of her typical skirt.

Since that groovy moment in time bears so little resemblance to the DiFi we know today, let’s zoom and enhance for a closer look:


PS: In the story below the photo of DiFi, notice also that even back then, people were wondering what was up with the wacky, wonderful Beatles House on Precita.

UPDATE: Neighbor Michael Nolan just shared the flier printed to announce the dedication of the Esmeralda slides. So cuuuuuute! So pre-desktop publishing!

Esmeralda Mini-Parkflier020379

9 thoughts on “UPDATED – Remember When: The Day DiFi Laughed Her Way Down the Esmeralda Slides

  1. If tragedy had not hit San Francisco in November of 1978, that would have been Mayor George Moscone coming down our slide. We’re grateful the new Mayor came for the launch in early 1979.

  2. I remember the original slide fondly. It was way more fun than the one there now. The bump was much bigger and came at the end of the slide. Seems to me the whole slide was slicker and faster too. With a slick bit of cardboard to slide on, it would send you airborne. Of course, fun like that is verboten now. I’m glad we still have any slide at all, but the new one is wimpy by comparison.

  3. Why can’t we have new slides? I’m thinking the Tompkins steps from Nevada to Putnam would make an awesome slide, Folks going to the Framer’s Market on Saturday morning would get there zippy fast!

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