More affectionately known as The Haight...I don't think there's a soul on the planet that hasn't heard about this neighborhood unless they've been living in a cave for the past 40 plus years (although a few of the street kids often appear as though they may have slept in one the night before...but I digress). It's "Heyday", of course, dates back to the mid to late 60's (1967 to be exact) when news got around that The Haight was the place to "drop out" and "tune in". In fact, it was spring break in 1967 that sparked the summer of love, and to say that it "took off" is an understatement at best. My Grandparents lived out in the Inner Richmond neighborhood at the time, and I was only 5 years old, but I distinctly remember a few walks over to Golden Gate Park with my Dad. Hippies, Dead Heads, and lots of 'tie dye'...it was hard to miss. Of course, I thought it was all very colorful and everyone seemed to be having a great time (wink).
My parent's first apartment after they got married in the mid 50's was in The Haight, but you can bet it was a completely different neighborhood at the time. In those days, if you wanted to hang out with hipsters and beatnics, then North Beach was the place to be. In fact, as neighborhoods often do, evolution has taken over once again due to climbing property values and the well preserved Victorian and Edwardian housing that abounds the neighborhood. It's still a "cool" place to hang out (albeit very gentrified, and flooded with tourists on a daily basis). There are of course a few folks, who by appearance and occasional activism seem to be having a hard time letting go of those 60's dreams even to this day. Then again, it just wouldn't be "The Haight" if a few of them stopped lingering around for the next wave. All in all, The Haight in my mind is the quintessential San Francisco neighborhood that says, "Everyone is welcome" without having to actually say it! That's a good thing. ;-)
From the Zephyr Video log...
Once synonymous with the counter culture revolution, today's Haight Ashbury is a decidedly more grown up neighborhood. Here you'll find some of the City's most unique homes, parks and shopping. Of course, it's still a tourist favorite. The Haight radiates around one of the city's most popular shopping destinations. You can find books and art, vintage and trendy attire, high end chocolates and second hand records. There are many popular dive bars, but that doesn't keep up and coming mixologists away. And when dinner rolls around, the dining options are endless. The neighborhood is home to many Victorian and Edwardian homes, some of which have been restored in eye-popping palettes. Homes near the Panhandle are exceptionally desirable. There are also multi-unit apartment buildings and condos for the investment buyer. Beautiful parks surround the Haight. The Panhandle is a great spot to bike, shoot hoops or just chill out by the bandstand. Golden Gate Park is home to many cultural attractions and outdoor pursuits. And Buena Vista Park is near the eastern edge of the neighborhood, pop
ular with joggers, dog walkers, and anyone who loves a great view. Running along the north edge of the neighborhood, both Oak and Fell streets are major thoroughfares offering quick auto access to downtown and freeways. A number of busses serve the area, and a Muni street car stops just south of Haight. Bicyclists utilize a path called The Wiggle to access the neighborhood without taking on major hills or busy intersections.