Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco’

Eating Out: Pups on the Patio

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Raja and I go on about this now and then, but we feel this is an important topic representing a new American Frontier for good dogs.  We are only talking about good dogs.  Barkers, snatchers, growlers, whiners and moochers don’t get any respect with this topic. 

A slow revolution is happening in the nicest places in the USA.  Dogs are being allowed in some restaurant patios.  Not just sidewalk cafés, but patios. 

Imagine how pleasant it would be to give your beautiful best friend an outing with you when you eat out in the fresh air .  (But, imagine how unpleasant it could be if such patios were filled with the irritated yips of dogs who want a meatball too.  Only a room filled with chain cigar smokers would be worse.)  

Maybe it’s the recession… seriously.  Restaurants can’t really afford to turn away potential customers.  Huffiness is uneconomical.  We saw dogs sitting with diners on patios all over California and Oregon last month.  Raja was one of them.  

Right now, the dog friendly patio restaurants mostly seem to be the nice places, i.e. the expensive places.  The hostess at Gather, an entirely green restaurant in a green building in the green town of Berkley, California accepted my saying, “This is Raja the travel dog.  He won’t need dinner since he ate already, but could you bring him some filtered water?”  Sure it was cheeky, but Berkley prides itself in being cool about people being themselves.  And they charge an enormous amount for tomatoes with a more impressive pedigree than the Westminster Best in Show.                   Um… organic, artisenal, heirloom, sustainable, unobtainable, non-stainable… yeah. 

What would be really nice would be if the affordable patio places were also just as dog friendly.   Why such a big deal to take Fido out to watch people while you eat? 

Raja and I are totally for dogs at dinner.  Europe does it and nobody gets bitten up, barked out or dirtied up.  Why can’t it work here? 

Readers, if you know any dog friendly patio restaurants in your fair cities, how about you tell us about them?  We’d love to know where we can go while summer lasts. 

Your Dog’s Park

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Urban dogs, suburban dogs who love to run, dogs on trips all need a park.  This post, Raja and I want to invite our readers to contribute stories about their favorite parks… where are they and what’s so nice about them?  Here’s how you do it:  Scroll down to the end of this post.  See the phrase “Share your thoughts, comment here!”?  That’s where you do it.  Just click and type.  This comments section is exactly the same as before…with one little essential exception.  Your comment won’t appear right way (but I’m working on that).  I have to moderate them… NOT so I can only put up comments I find flattering, oh no (Raja and I uphold free speech), but to keep the spam crawlers from advertising pills on our comments page.  (You don’t want that either.) 

Raja’s favorite park is Duke Island Park in Raritan, New Jersey.  Although the goose population is excessive in some seasons, he loves the big trees, the rustic trail by the river and the short commute to get there. 

His second favorite park is Fox Hills Park in Culver City, California.  Well, dogs aren’t allowed there- big mistake- but nobody checks.  It’s just a scruffy little town park… what’s the big deal?  Anyway, he loves the plateau with the soft grass and shady spots. 

Other city parks Raja likes include Parco Ninfeo di Nerone in the middle of Rome right near the Coliseum.  It’s got some lovely views, but it isn’t all that well kept or daunting for a dog who just wants to play.  Many Roman dogs play there off leash.  (The fallen columns aren’t all that sacred there either.)

He also likes Russian Hill Park on Bay Street in San Francisco.  There’s nothing to it except a long stretch of grass with some casual landscaping on the hill in the back, but it’s the perfect little run for a small dog to stretch his paws while going about town. 

Where’s your dog’s favorite park?