At the geographic heart of the storied youth revolution of the 1960s on Haight & Ashbury ... The area is what you imagine when you think of San Francisco in the 1960s: a strong hippie vibe, the smell of marijuana, lots of head shops, and small stores with names like Earth Song and Tibet Stars. The smell of pot is everywhere. It's a shock to see an American Apparel store or any chain store for that matter and, to its credit, these stores are far and few between on this strip. "Keep Haight Street weird" a chalk board intones cheerfully ... indeed, they are doing their very best to do so.
|Some Painted Ladies ...|
Coffee to the People, 1206 Masonic St., is a coffeehouse off Haight with passable coffee but, more interestingly, it features decorated tables containing pictures of dozens of buttons with political slogans.
While R and J search for vinyl I wait on the periphery of Golden Gate Park at the base of Haight Street - not the best idea for a timid soul such as myself. The park is filled with a combination of homeless people huddled together in groups seemingly with all their belongings, affluent tourists renting bicycles to ride through the park, supervised groups of children on an outing and young faux hippies. Middle class mom most decidedly does not fit in so I move along noting the numerous prohibitions on drug use, smoking, camping, etc ... likely all ignored.