Marshall’s beach in San Francisco

Marshall’s Beach in San Francisco is a great place for a sunny afternoon within easy reach of downtown;  you can be naked there and enjoy one of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

naturist 0000 Marshall's Beach, San Francisco, California, USA

That’s where Tam and I headed after Burning Man last year; in the wake of spending more than a week in a dusty desert, we were clearly drawn to large bodies of water (and it doesn’t get any larger than the Pacific Ocean).

pelicans 0000 Marshall's Beach, San Francisco, California, USA

We could have been just chilling on the beach, but we thought we’d rather have another session of acro-yoga, as I didn’t get enough of it during the festival, because I was mostly taking pictures of it.

naturist acro-yoga 0000 Marshall's Beach, San Francisco, California, USA

We kicked off with the ‘front bird’,

naturist acro-yoga 0001 Marshall's Beach, San Francisco, California, USA

and then moved on to more complicated poses.

naturist acro-yoga 0002 Marshall's Beach, San Francisco, California, USA

Tam was keen on practicing ‘basing’ with hands,

naturist acro-yoga 0003 Marshall's Beach, San Francisco, California, USA

and it worked out pretty well.

naturist acro-yoga 0004 Marshall's Beach, San Francisco, California, USA

The iconic Golden Gate Bridge surely provided a perfect backdrop for the photos.

naturist acro-yoga 0005 Marshall's Beach, San Francisco, California, USA

To me personally, it was also a bit ironic to do it by the symbol of San Francisco, because the very first time I tried acro-yoga was also naked, in the Golden Gate park of San Francisco, for which we ended up getting fines, even though it was before nudity became outlawed in the city.

naturist acro-yoga 0007 Marshall's Beach, San Francisco, California, USA

Well, this naked acro-yoga session ended just fine, since Marshall’s Beach is officially recognized as a naturist spot, so as the neighboring Baker Beach (where we went after Burning Man in 2012).

view 0001 Marshall's Beach, San Francisco, California, USA

And as pretty much any beach on the West Coast, Marshall’s Beach is poised to have a stunning sunset!

Petition to designate federal land for clothing-optional recreation

There is a petition to designate portions of public lands under management of the federal government for clothing-optional recreational use, and it’s gone viral on nudist networks in the US. Surprisingly, it doesn’t come from the Naturist Action Committee or any other naturist organization, but it was backed by American Association for Nude Recreation a few days ago. It is well written and you can get more information on the explanatory website, but I’m pretty sure if you read this blog you don’t need to think twice about it, so go ahead and sign the petition to the White House!

I’ve already posted about some areas in New York that I think could easily accommodate both people who like to be naked outdoors and those who prefer to remain clothed, just make it legal and give people choice! My first choice would be Fort Tilden park and beach, and North 40 Natural Area in Jamaica Bay would be great too! Too bad Central Park is not federal land, or is a lawn for naked sunbathing or frisbee too much to ask? Meanwhile in San Francisco, the fight for legalizing urban nudity seems to gain some success. Naturist activists in the Fog City got so much public attention and support that police decided not to interfere with a naked wedding ceremony in front of the City Hall!

Success of this event, however, doesn’t mean that nudity ban is revoked, so if you’re in the Bay Area, join them for Nudity Ban Protest next Sunday, February 2! Hopefully, soon nobody will get arrested for doing yoga naked in San Francisco 😉

NUDITY BAN PROTEST in San Francisco this Sunday

While in my last post I suggested to try to make North 40 Natural Area a naturist-friendly park of New York City, there is a group of naturist activists that is trying to bring body freedom to the city where public nudity was legal until February, San Francisco. It is outrageous that laws banning nudity are being passed in the 21st century, and in San Francisco, out of all places. I know how these silly laws are enforced on my own experience after getting a fine for doing yoga naked in a park in San Francisco. Even if for some reason you think it is not acceptable (unnatural???) not to wear clothes in public, just look at the video from this group’s latest protest and think if this ban doesn’t violate freedom of speech, so cherished in the USA.

Luckily, there are such people who don’t give up, and I wish they had more support from naturist community, as well as anyone who wants to keep our society as free and accepting as possible. You can read more at their website, as well as donate them @ www.MyNakedTruth.tv

Here is also information about their upcoming demonstrations:

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 15 @ 12 NOON – JANE WARNER PLAZA – NUDITY BAN PROTEST

Please, join us for another protest against the nudity ban at the Jane Warner Plaza. An award winning Norwegian documentary film maker Jan Dalchow will be filming the protest for his documentary film “The Naked Dream”. His crew will be flying in from Norway to document the body freedom movement of San Francisco. We would love to see you there. Please come and be part of the documentary!

In case of rain the protest will be held at the Sex and Culture Center at 1349 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 19 @ 12 NOON – SAN FRANCISCO CITY HALL – NAKED WEDDING – GYPSY TAUB AND JAYMZ SMITH will get married naked in front of the City Hall. We will also have a protest/march/parade after the ceremony.

Baker Beach in San Francisco

naturist 0000 Baker Beach, San-Francsico, CA, USA

Did you know that now massive Burning Man festival started from a gathering of a few friends at Baker Beach in San Francisco in the ’80s? That’s where I went after my first Burning Man experience last year, to relax after the festival and before the oncoming cycling trip down to San Diego with two friends.

Now, that public nudity is outlawed on the streets of San Francisco, Baker Beach may be the only place in the city where body freedom can be practiced in the open air any time of the year. As long as you find nice enough weather for that. Many people, including me, think of San Francisco as a warm sunny place, as the image of California usually presented in the media. In fact, it can get chilly and foggy there, even in the middle of the summer. Coming there after New York’s hot summer and then Burning Man, I was sort of shocked to see people in jackets. Luckily, the following days got warmer, so we could enjoy the beach.

naturist 0037 Baker Beach, San-Francsico, CA, USA

The beach is surrounded by a beautiful park,

naturist 0036 Baker Beach, San-Francsico, CA, USA

and it provides iconic views of the Golden Gate Bridge too.

naturist 0004 Baker Beach, San-Francsico, CA, USA

The bridge inspired us for some posing, doing the body bridge was the most obvious.

naturist 0005 Baker Beach, San-Francsico, CA, USA

It was also nice to move around, as it wasn’t that warm despite the sun, and the water almost never get warm enough for swimming there. So, if you don’t feel like volleyball (there is a pitch with a net at the beach) or jogging, handstand is a good way to warm up.

naturist 0003 Baker Beach, San-Francsico, CA, USAIt was a nice day to get into an active state of mind after our ‘post-burn decompression’ and we were looking forward to seeing Californian coast south of San Francisco.

naturist 0001 Baker Beach, San-Francsico, CA, USA

and it goes on… will we fight for our rights???

New York’s nudist community has been shocked by recent news: “Effective immediately, state nudity laws will be enforced at Fire Island National Seashore”

It means that three places that I’ve described here – Jones BeachLighthouse beach and the Pines of Fire Island – have to go off the list 😦

This is beyond sad, and there is no doubt that we need to fight for our rights, otherwise we’ll be easily stripped off them! The mere fact that “Public nudity has been prohibited in the State of New York since 1984 under New York State Penal Code 245.01”, i.e. it isn’t a vestige of some prudish pilgrim set of laws and is quite new, is scary enough. Look how situation developed in San Francisco: 2011, a towel law is proposed. I found it ridiculous that there had to be a LAW about it. It may be a courtesy, but do we need to put it in law that one has to hold the door for the next person, for example? Look how New York Times started there article: “Perhaps it should not be a surprise that San Francisco does not have a law against being naked in public, nor that a small, unselfconscious segment of the city’s residents regularly exercise that right.” And guess what, that was just a probe, they wanted to see how nudists and others would react, and reaction was very mild. So just a year later, a new law was proposed and passed prohibiting nudity in San Francisco entirely, except for specifically designated events. I myself thought to enjoy the last days of freedom and did naked yoga in Golden Gate park with a friend last November, but we got fined, because they had a law specifically against nudity in parks, which we didn’t know about. And already in February 2013, we’ve got first arrests for public nudity in San Francisco (see the video here): So what makes you think it won’t go any further? And if New York and San Francisco are the most liberal cities in the US, what can we expect other place in the US? What’s next?

Acro-yoga in the buff (which was too much for San Francisco)

Here are the photos from our acro-yoga session in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco that ended in such a dispiriting manner, with rangers issuing us a citation for “expose genitals”. Well, but it was a lot of fun until they arrived, and it’s worth sharing the pics, so you can see what our authorities consider an inappropriate sight for a city park as opposed to horse manure that police left behind them 😀

As Wikipedia says, “acro-yoga is a physical practice which blends elements of yoga, acrobatics, performance and healing arts. These three ancient practices form the foundation of a practice that cultivates trust, connection and playfulness between partners.” It is definitely a great exercise for balancing and stretching, and needless to say, all those aspects intensify  only more, if you do acro-yoga naked.

I first tried acro-yoga at Burning Man this year and was looking forward to doing it again; Dan’s  idea of doing it in a park in the buff sounded fantastic (as we didn’t know rangers wouldn’t allow it). So, we started from a folded leaf pose, which for me, being in the role of ‘flyer’, was mainly relaxing and getting comfortable with the idea of being dependent on Dan, the ‘base’. Other poses involved more power and strenuous control of balance.

naturist 0000 acro yoga San Francisco CA, USA

In the beginning, we did poses that used support of base’s hands.

naturist 0003 acro yoga San Francisco CA, USA

The we followed to the poses, where I was balancing on Dan’s legs only.

naturist 0004 acro yoga San Francisco CA, USA

It felt like I was learning to fly! The last one that we managed to do before the rangers arrived was the most difficult to maintain.

naturist 0007 acro yoga San Francisco CA, USA

But it felt amazing, because I lost understanding of where up and down were while I was looking at the sky!

naturist 0010 acro yoga San Francisco CA, USAnaturist 0009 acro yoga San Francisco CA, USA

We’ll definitely try to find a place where we could do acro-yoga in the buff in open air without being disturbed by rangers.

Nude is not lewd. Where does ‘broad-minded’ San Francisco stand?

Recently, there has been a lot of fuss about the proposed ban against public nudity in San Francisco (I saw it to be the top read news on BBC website). So on my latest trip to San Francisco I thought I might as well enjoy the last days (hopefully not!) when I could express the simple freedom and most natural right of being naked. If it was only that simple!

I used to live in Berlin, where nude recreation was really easy to achieve even in major city parks, so I feel a bit repressed in New York City, where I reside now. I was happy to hear that at least one major US city, San Francisco, allowed public nudity.

My San Franciscan friend Dan and I had an idea of doing acro-yoga at Golden Gate Park and did about 20 min of acro-yoga naked on one of the lawns, while our friend Niko was taking photos for us (I’ll post more pics later, in a separate blogpost, this just to give you an idea of what it looked like).

naturist 0003 acro yoga San Francisco CA, USA

Then, all of a sudden, a park ranger showed up, told us to put on clothes and asked for IDs. Another one followed soon. The first one appeared to be quite indifferent to the matter though, whereas the second one made it clear that it was her personal interest that we’d be punished. She went into assumptions that we simply didn’t have our own children, and also noted that we wouldn’t be the first case she’d win in court unless we’d get a liberal judge! So, without giving us any warning, they immediately produced a citation for us, and the second one continued her verbal harassment.

naturist 0011 police and rangers, San Francisco CA, USA

We honestly had no idea there was a specific law against nudity in parks, but they didn’t care. Actually they tried to persuade us the law was city-wide! Three police officers soon came as well, they didn’t really try to interfere, but two of them were quite chatty. They didn’t seem to know exact law about public nudity, but at least they appeared to be ready for discussion, at least one of them, we felt, was on our side. But too bad, it wasn’t their case. We made a quick search online, and we found the following:

There is a rarely enforced anti-nudity civil ordinance in the parks of San Francisco, including Golden Gate Park. This ordinance was put in place in 1970 in response to a custom which had developed in early 1969 among some hippies of dancing nude in a circle every Sunday in Speedway Meadow in Golden Gate Park. The parks are run by an unelected Parks and Recreation Commission who draw up the park codes. If the Park Rangers encounter someone nude in a city park, they will inform the nudist that he or she is violating a city ordinance. At that point, the nudist can decide whether to dress or to be issued a citation, which would require time and effort to have discharged. No criminal charges are pursuable from the encounter.

Not only did it sound weird that in a city where nudity was allowed it was illegal in parks, the most obvious place for nude recreation, we were not given any warning and choice to act according to the ordinance. It is worth noticing, that one passer-by shouted from the car “Don’t arrest them!”, and another, a runner, stopped and asked what was happening in the park that he apparently frequented. When he heard the story, he seemed worried and said it could have been him… It was nice to get all that support, but the rangers left us with citation nevertheless… And the policemen just left a pile of horse shit after them.

naturist 0000 police left horse shit, San Francisco CA, USAnaturist 0001 police left horse shit, San Francisco CA, USA

We could only wonder why in our culture, our own body is considered inappropriate, but other animals, including the well-endowed horses, can walk around naked; do they really think our bodies were filthier than horse manure?

Later on, we went to Castro district, where Harvey Milk and Jane Warner Plazas are well-known hangouts of urban nudists. We spoke to a policeman there, he confirmed that it was legal to be naked on the streets of San Francisco but not in the parks; however, he wished us luck at the court. We also met Lloyd, one of the local nudists.

naturist 0004 Castro District, San Francisco CA, USA

It is thanks to Lloyd and people like him, that inhabitants of Castro district seem to be accustomed to nudity human bodies and are accustomed to it. Tourists? They want one of those ‘only in San Francisco’ shots!

naturist 0001 Castro District, San Francisco CA, USA

We strolled with Lloyd for a bit, and discussed the current affairs with the proposed ban on nudity in the city.

naturist 0000 Castro District, San Francisco CA, USA

Visit to the Hot Cookie pastry seemed almost mandatory :p

naturist 0002 Castro District, San Francisco CA, USA

Later in the evening,  quite a big crowd gathered to commemorate Harvey Milk at the Plaza that bears his name; it was anniversary of assassination of this prominent activist for equal rights for gays.

naturist 0005 Harvey Milk commemoration, Castro District, San Francisco CA, USA

Although, the fight for gay rights is far from over in the US, this made me think that naturists might be the last group that is discriminated so openly in this country. And certainly, no one can accuse them in practicing something unnatural.

This coming Tuesday,  the San Francisco Board of Supervisors takes the final vote on the nudity ban. There is a group of nudist activists that run a rally against this ban. Maybe they will manage to stop it and who knows, even reverse it to allow nudity city-wide, including the parks. Then, hopefully, San Francisco could again become the pioneer city in promoting human rights.

Nudity ban passed in San Francisco

😦 :’-( :-(((

Nudity ban passed in San Francisco

I was quite surprised to find out that many people didn’t take it seriously, thinking that it wouldn’t happen, ‘not in San Francisco’. Now it has happened. Mind you, it all started with a law that required naked people to put a piece of fabric or a newspaper when seated in public places just about a year ago. Obviously, they didn’t plan to stop on that. What’s next? And we’re talking about the ‘most liberal city’ in the country that positions itself as a stronghold of democracy…

Naturist Activists, Friends and Guests in Bay Area!

This Wednesday, if possible, you should take part in the historic RALLY FOR URBAN NUDITY in San Francisco. I wrote previously about an attempt to strip San Franciscans and guests off their right to be clothes-free in public places, but here is a chance not only to stop the ban, but perhaps help to secure and expand this overlooked basic freedom?

So, here is a copy of the announcement, hope it will be success:

Greetings Body Freedom Supporters and Friends!

A reminder that on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at Noon, the  RALLY FOR URBAN NUDITY will take place on the steps of San Francisco City Hall, (across from Civic Center on Carlton B. Goodlett Place).

Clothed, nude or anywhere in between, if you support the right to choose your own form of attire without government interference, come join us!