If history repeats itself, which it’s understood to do, visitors will flood the iconic Haight-Ashbury district this season for the golden anniversary of the Summer of Love.
Merchants here are a part of an unlikely assortment when thousands of young people arrived, heralding of more than 50 city institutions and groups gearing up to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the season. To date, everything from the city’s symphony, ballet and leading art museums to its airport and annual How Weird Street Faire is involved.
“The kingdom of cultural result is even more fascinating than we believed.”
The 30th and 40th anniversaries were observed, too, but coordinators believe higher-than-anticipated interest in the 50th may be driven by rocky political times.
“Who could have forecast the alignment of situation that has folks starving to learn what happened ?” said a marketing manager at San Francisco Travel, Lisa Hasenbalg, a nonprofit funded through the city’s resort tax. In the circumstance of where we're politically, it makes this time resonate. There is strong renewed curiosity about significant social changes and also the spirit of the folks.”
Organizers expect the array of events and displays will add depth and context, beyond the well-documented explosion of drugs and rock ’n’ roll from the Summer of Love. It’s uncertain if there'll be a concert that echoes those in 1967. City officials have rejected request is permitted by one, but may reconsider, they say.
There’s already been an anniversary Human Be-In – a tribute to the Golden Gate Park assembly that included Timothy Leary first saying the words “turn on, tune in, drop out” – a psychedelic music show in the famous Fillmore Auditorium, a “Hippie Modernism” exhibit at Berkeley Art Museum as well as a display of rock music pictures at City Hall.
The de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park will investigate the visual and material cultures of a generation” with an exhibit, opening in April, of hippie trend, rock posters, photographs and interactive music and light shows. Rock concert photographs will be exhibited by San Francisco International Airport, that same month, as well as the Cartoon Art Museum will host “ Comix From the Summer of Love.” The historical society will open its own show in May.
Visitors will even take tours of Haight-Ashbury, long associated with the arrival of the hippie movement. It was run down, many storefronts were vacant, and stately Victorians and Edwardians were in disrepair.
Young people hung out jamming the roads and nearby Golden Gate Park. The city’s Department of Public Health, he explained, equated the flower children to “an outbreak of bubonic plague.”
A group of extreme community activists, the Diggers, organized an endeavor to feed people living on the road. A free clinic and shelter for homeless youths were founded. This year, both Huckleberry Youth Programs, and the Haight Ashbury Free Clinics, today called HealthRight 360 are observing their own 50th anniversaries. You can easily meet single hippies at many locations here.Continue reading »