Cannabis Issue: Our favorite places to "toke it all in"
SEWARD STREET SLIDES
In 1966, Seward Street minipark was the site of a neighborhood sit-in that saved the last remaining open space between Seward and Corwin streets from encroaching development. Honor the community protesters' struggle in true '60s spirit by lighting up, grabbing a cardboard box, and flying down the polished concrete flumes for freedom (you can also slide at the chutes in Children's Playground and Bernal Heights). Getting blazed is a good way to mitigate small bruises and the burn of climbing to the top of the remarkably long chute. But if intoxication and high velocity isn't your favorite mix, there are plenty of places to perch peacefully and watch the action.
Acme between Seward and Corwin, SF
This locally-owned grocery chain is a stoner's dream, whether you alight on the 40,000 square foot megastore or the sleek new western location complete with parking lot: an added convenience for pre-browse hot-boxing. From asparagus to zatar (a Lebanese spice related to mint), the Technicolor aisles tantalize tokers' taste buds, and are the ideal playscape for customer antics — shopping cart drag races are not unheard of. Feeling peckish? Avoid being "that hippy" shoving patchouli-scented paws in the bulk bins. Try baking among the baked goods at the store café, where you'll find plenty of fresh soups, sandwiches, and company to ponder universal truths with.
2020 Oregon, Berk. (510) 843-6929; 920 Heinz, Berk. (510) 898-9555, www.berkeleybowl.com
WESTFIELD MALL ESCALATORS
Try to accomplish anything at the Westfield Mall while sober and you will surely end up crying outside of Jamba Juice, then struggling for hours more just to find the first floor exit. A better way of approaching the shiny downtown consumerist behemoth is to get faded and ride the escalators for, like, a really long time. The inter-floor specimens at the Westfield are a sight to behold. Unlike boring linear escalators, these zigzag upward and downward in Escher-esque profundity, caged in the mall's dome-like interior. Those seeking ascent or descent must navigate a loop of shiny retail spaces just to find their way to the next moving staircase. Keep your wits about you — if you know which way is up, you may just reach Century Theatres!
865 Market, SF. (415) 512-6776, www.westfield.com/sanfrancisco
Seeing the sights while stoned is all well and good, but you can give your optic nerves the night off and still totally trip off of SF. The wonder that makes it all possible is the Audium, where synapse-stimulating sound sculptures are unleashed on listeners seated in a round auditorium that is darkened to blackness to further heighten the experience. This place was constructed to get you high off auditory fumes. Sayeth Stan Shaff, the composer who co-masterminded the Audium concept back in the 1950s: "As people walk into a work, they become part of its realization. From entrance to exit, Audium is a sound-space continuum." Somehow we've made it through this entire paragraph without using the term "mind-blowing." Shoulder pat.
Performances Fridays and Saturdays, 8:30 p.m. 1616 Bush, SF. (415) 771-1616, www.audium.org