SAN FRANCISCO ●Attractions●Neighborhoods/Shopping
image courtesy of San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury
Haight Street betw. Stanyan St. & Fillmore St.
It’s almost possible to step back in time here to the Summer of Love. A few locals still don bell-bottoms, tie-dyed shirts, and love beads, and these items are still for sale in some shops. Not yet gentrified, the area is a little rough around the edges, and Haight Street is now lined with an assortment of colorful boutiques and inexpensive restaurants and coffeehouses. Wavy Gravy describes his neighborhood as “a coexistence between the punks and the hippies, a little cutting-edge U.N. in action.”
Visiting here permits the chance to see some of the area’s magnificent Victorian houses, including:
710 Ashbury Street, where the Grateful Dead once resided
2400 Fulton Street, where the Jefferson Airplane lived in this Colonial Revival-style mansion with Doric columns in front
112 Page Street, where Janis Joplin once lived with Country Joe McDonald in apartment 3
1090 Page Street, where Big Brother & the Holding Company formed
558 Clayton Street, where the first free medical clinic in the U.S. still operates
636 Cole Street, where, on a more somber note, the notorious Manson “family” once lived
Though Bill Graham Presents has trademarked the term “Summer of Love” and not many hippy-dippy flower children are seen here anymore, strolling along Haight Street is still like groovy, man. Street people, teeny boppers, and used clothing stores abound, as do unusual boutiques, galleries, restaurants, and nightclubs. It is the place to get pierced and buy tie-dye. What makes it clear the times they are a changin’, though, is that now a Gap is ensconced on the famous corner.
Among the best of the far-out SHOPS are:
image courtesy of venue
Amoeba Music 1855 Haight St. Located where Haight Street meets Golden Gate Park and situated in a converted bowling alley, this massive independent music store offers the largest selection of music--including old vinyl--in the Bay area. Indeed, it is the largest new and used record store in the U.S. The classical music section has special listening rooms, and sometimes live performances occur on the store’s small stage.
Haight Ashbury T-Shirts 1500 Haight St./Ashbury St. Located on the famous corner, this well named shop is a trip and also has a really cool website. Shirts carry the images of all the great, gone ones: Janis Jiplin, Bob Marley, Jim Morrison . . .
Piedmont Boutique 1452 Haight St. Filled with outrageous fashion, this shop hits a glam slam with lingerie, hosiery, jewelry, feather boas, satin gloves, wigs, fetish wear, and things undreamed of by most.
Positively Haight Street 1400 Haight St./Ashbury St., (415) 252-8747. This shop stocks everything tie-dyed, plus posters, candles, incense, hash pipes, Indian clothing, patchouli-fragranced items, and more things ‘60s.
Stanyan Park Hotel 750 Stanyan St./Waller St. 3 stories; 36 rooms. Some kitchens. Afternoon snack, continental breakfast. No pets. No parking. Located at the edge of Golden Gate Park, this 1904 Victorian mansion survived the great quake of ‘06. It has been renovated into a pleasant hotel with attractively decorated rooms.