Now-a-days walking down the street giving out hugs to people with no shoes on isn’t too common. While you’re walking around in this particular town you will find trendy, hippy stores, the ongoing aroma of incense, and small cafes with menus full of organic and natural foods galore. With the smell of marijuana lining the streets coming from basements, cars, and anywhere possible that has a vent you could only be in one of few places in the United States. The district of Haight-Ashbury, in San Francisco, California. One of the few places you can go to be relaxed and seem to be surrounded by the most peaceful people at the same time, who knew?
Haight-Ashbury was named after the intersections of the streets Haight and Ashbury. The culture of this particular district was influenced from the hippie movement of the 1960’s and not much has changed since. The “Summer of Love” in 1967 was influenced by the beat movement and those who were involved in the movement moved to the Haight district.
On the streets of the Haight-Ashbury district you will find many head shops that sell everything from a bong to Bob Marley tapestry. Throwback t-shirts from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s are sold at almost every clothing store which are vintage and have that ‘already worn’ look. The prices aren’t at all expensive and the smell of incense will forever stay on the clothing.
Every year, on the second Sunday in June, Haight-Ashbury Street holds its annual Haight-Ashbury Street Fair. The fair consists of the natives of the district also tourists flock to this event. Bands play on both ends of the fair and the explosion of music and people can be heard from miles away.
Along with head shops and bare foot bearing hippies, you will also find a diverse group of people living in the community. When walking the sidewalks, you can notice who is a resident and who isn’t by walking by one another. Most residents wear no shows, rock out dread locks, and look (and maybe smell) like they haven’t showered in days. The employees at the stores are so laid back and will not hassle or bother you with sales. Even though the native’s of the district appearance might be frightening, their personality certainly isn’t. Their motto isn’t peace and love for nothing, after all.
The question is: why wouldn’t you want to go to this heavenly place? It may not be for all people, but for most (like myself) it’s a small piece of our history when hippies ran the streets. The era that Haight-Ashbury represents is one of the most famous and most liked in a couple centuries. It represents the love we have for one another and how peace should be world renown.
The entire street has a bohemian feel to it that you just can’t seem to shake. You’ll have the music that was being played in the stores stuck in your head and have the sudden urge to wear no shoes. Haight-Ashbury Street will leave a last impression on anyone no matter where they are from or where they are going. The feel of the street will make you want to throw on your aviators, sing along to the Mama’s and the Papa’s 1967 hit “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair),” while having the urge to light a particular herb on your way home to relax the mind.