Haight shows love

Haight-Ashbury neighborhood celebrates anniversary.


A de Young Museum visitor views vintage music posters at “The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll.” The exhibit commemorating the San Francisco phenomena will be open through August.

Cece Giarman, Reporter

This summer marks the 50th anniversary of Summer of Love, where over 100,000 people to flood San Francisco streets in 1967 that started a social revolution.The event not only brought lifestyle changes 50 years ago, but lives on into this summer through a park festival and museum exhibit near the animated Haight-Ashbury neighborhood.

Virtually a time capsule in the center of the city, the Haight-Ashbury area offers a peek into the social state that affected 1960s American life through its assortment of people, art and establishments.  

Newly opened since the catalyst summer of social change, trendy thrift shops like Wasteland and Distractions provide Summer of Love essentials from original Grateful Dead tees to period jewelry. Between the one-of-a-kind boutiques, a range of tie-dye apparel and vintage floral dresses can be found on every street corner.

For those drawn to spirituality and meditation, incense, crystals and other elements of ’60s’ culture can be found between Clayton and Ashbury streets in Love of Ganesha. The smells of the powerful aromas and nearby hipster coffee merge together as a reminder of Haight-Ashbury’s blend of culture and history.

Food enthusiasts can pop into Dragon Eats for a bite of the exquisite Vietnamese food with popular bánh mì options or into Ritual Coffee Roasters for a tasteful pick-me-up.

Many may know this area as the focal point of the late 1960s hippie movement — the original Summer of Love — where expressive music, art, fashion and voice combined to confront consumerist ideas and resurrect the importance of community at a newly opened de Young Museum exhibit.

The advances in art, design, music and social ideas define the Summer of Love as one of San Francisco’s, and possibly even the nation’s, most aesthetic communal movement.

A Golden Gate Park festival will also commemorate the social phenomenon anniversary with a set date to be determined. The city denied the namesake event, “Summer of Love,” a permit for the event — which was originally set for June, but plans to be rescheduled for early fall at Sharon Meadows.

Although the 2017 event is postponed, the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park is commemorating the Summer of Love through August 20.

“The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll” displays more than 300 artifacts from 1960s San Francisco, ranging from iconic fashion and costumes to classic music and films.

Visual reminders inside the exhibit enliven San Francisco’s past. A room covered floor-to-ceiling with epochal posters of band performances, community gatherings, and simple artistic expression of the ’60s’ instantly remind museum goers of the spirit and passion throughout the first Summer of Love.

With interactive rooms, the exhibit is a must-see for any native San Franciscan or those who truly want to understand the social history of the Bay Area. Bean bags, color changing walls, and soothing ’60s’ music allow all visitors to wind down in the exotic space.

The Haight is easily accessible by car, foot and public transit. The 6-Haight/Parnassus, 7-Haight/Noriega, and 33-Ashbury are three of the primary Muni lines that run through the neighborhood and the nearby Golden Gate Park.