Before Justin Herman Plaza's Court, Where to Get Your Bocce Ball On in the City
Earlier this week, Curbed reported that Justin Herman Plaza could get two bocce ball courts in the next few years. Hello, new lunchtime activity.
In the meantime, satisfy your urge to bocce at one of the city's current courts:
The Aquatic Park's famous bocce lanes are made of clay, soil, and crushed-up oyster shells, and they're flanked by a small building reading, "Aquatic Park Bocce Ball Clubhouse". One member who plays here, Benjamin Tosi, represented the U.S. during two world championships. Jump in and play with the Italian old-timers who are usually dominating the court, but be careful where you throw--there are dogs aplenty running around these fields of green, and sweeping views of the bay. Hyde St. @ Beach
Rossi Playground in the Inner Richmond is a well-kept park with intense Sunday afternoon bocce ball tournaments. If you like to get thrown right into the action, this may be for you. If you can't hold your own against the fierce resident bocce enthusiasts, seek refuge at the park's baseball diamonds, tennis courts and swimming pool. Arguello Blvd. @ Anza, (415)666-7014
Crocker-Amazon Playground is huge and delightfully unhip. I say "unhip" because it's truly a hang-out spot for neighborhood families and devoid of any hipsters or yuppies with small dogs to get in the way of flying bocce balls. It's so big that there's room for both bocce experts and amateurs alike, and there's no chance of getting bored because the park also has baseball, basketball, tennis, football, a half-pipe for skaters and ping-pong facilities. Just be sure to bring a sweater because it is, after all, the Excelsior. Geneva Ave. @ Moscow, (415)621-3260
The Monte Cristo Tango Club, opened in 1937, is probably one of the coolest hidden spots in the city, but sadly as far as we know, it's not open to the public. However, if you are Italian and you're near Potrero Hill, you might stand a chance of getting in and playing on their massive indoor bocce ball courts, typically reserved for off-duty Italian garbagemen. It's also a dance club and bar, and is frequented by all kinds of working-class Italians and their families. They have monthly luncheons, so drop by to see if you can infiltrate. Come prepared with a secret handshake. 136 Missouri St., (415) 641-0703.
If bocce ball catches on with your crew, form a team (and give yourselves a cool name) to join the San Francisco Bocce League. Games start in mid-August.
Tell us where you play bocce ball in the city!