When I was in high school I was obsessed with the musical HAIR. HAIR is about a group of hippies in New York City in the 1960’s during the surge of anti-Vietnam War protests. It was insanely popular when it was on Broadway in 1970 and it’s still popular today.
Three thousand miles from New York City, the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood is credited with being the birthplace of the hippie counter culture that I found myself loving so much. I read a lot about this little area in San Francisco after I fell in love with HAIR and so it was definitely one of the first places I went to visit when I arrived in 2009. I don’t remember what kind of research I did on the area beforehand – though arguably it could be said I didn’t do enough because I definitely didn’t go see the Grateful Dead house – but I managed to see a few places, like Jimi Hendrix’s home.
1524 Ashbury Street is where Jimi Hendrix lived during the 60’s.
I hopped on the bus from the Financial District where I was staying and a short while later, I disembarked from the bus and it felt like I’d taken a time machine back to 1967. I first walked by Buena Vista Park, one of the city’s oldest parks.
Quickly I made my way to see some of the famous storefronts – like the long legs sticking out of the window at Piedmont Boutique – a costume jewelry and wigs and make up, all of which are handmade in the store and will cost you more than a few dollars.
I grabbed a pint at the Magnolia Brew Pub and immediately grabbed a latte (and quite possibly another pint because I was one holiday after all!) at the People’s Cafe.
I wanted to move immediately to Haight-Ashbury after visiting the area. This is definitely an area that I want to revisit at some point and visit all the spots I missed, like the Haight Street Market and Amoeba Music. But hey, next time! For now, I’ll leave you with these photos of some of the more fantastic shopfronts on Haight-Ashbury: