It appears that everyone is up in arms at the moment over the Stow Lake Boathouse. I’ve been thinking about this for awhile and whether you like it or not…here are my thoughts on it.
Currently we have a family called the McLellan Corporation [that rarely uses that name because it makes them sound less, well family-ish] who has run the boathouse for over 67 years that is in the midst of being pushed out by a group from New Mexico called the Ortega Family that runs spots at Carlsbad Caverns and Muir Woods. The funny part is that most of the attention is that people who aren’t from here shouldn’t be running something in San Francisco. Think about that for a second. How many people who run stuff in San Francisco are from here in the first place?
If the San Francisco mayor had to be born in San Francisco just like the President of the United States has to be born in the US then I would be one of the few candidates for Mayor. I think I would be running against Eric Mar and Ron Dudum. San Francisco has always been a cultural melting pot of people from other places coming here to mix it up with people from other places. The It’s-it is a San Francisco tradition that’s now made in San Bruno and the video on their site on it’s history is with an executive of the company who is East Indian. Not a caucasian man in Victorian dress with a handle bar moustache and mutton chop sideburns.
But I digress a bit. Let’s get back to the boathouse. It needs a major make over. It looks the same as it did when I was eight and that was forty years ago. Actually, it kind of looks worse because I’m not sure if it’s been painted since then. The soda that you buy there is still the watery semi-flat syrup and co2 injected water. The hot dogs are just as tasteless as back then and in general the food they offer isn’t very healthy. The McLellan family could have changed the menu over the years to include more healthy locally produced food, but they didn’t.
The argument seems to be San Francisco wants healthy fare vs. we’ve owned it for so long we’re a San Francisco legacy. That strikes me as a form of racketeering. We’ve owned it longer so we should get to continue to serve garbage to the fine citizens of San Francisco. That doesn’t fly well with me. San Franciscan’s don’t seem to like change except when it comes to upgraded public restrooms. I on the other hand enjoy when things get an upgrade. The Beach Chalet used to be a dive bar that only the die hard drunks would go to and now it’s a huge gathering place for people and their kids. When my family and I go to Stow Lake now the last place we think of going is the boathouse.
I do believe the Ortega family who’s done a good job in Muir Woods would do great at the Stow Lake Boathouse because they’re listening to what the people of San Francisco want. The days of a walk in the park and eating carnival crap are gone. This is San Francisco and you can’t have a LEED certified build [the Academy of Sciences] less than half a mile away that everyone’s using as a sign that we’re number one and you’re serving up high fructose, saturated fat wielding, red dye no.2 garbage. The McLellan’s could have changed that, but they didn’t. Some people are arguing that an out of town company wouldn’t use local, healthy products. I doubt that. Any company looks at it’s bottom line and it would be far more expensive to ship in healthy foods than to get them locally. San Franciscan’s hate change, but love it after they see the change happen. I just prefer to sit on the cutting edge and see it before it happens.
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