Initially, the definition of ‘hippie’ meant not only a hairy and bearded man with bright bracelets, showing the index and middle finger up in the air all the time. Hippie was a person, who knew exactly, what was going on around at the moment. Hippies denied popular culture with all values imposed by it. They were the protesting individuals, but their distinctive feature was in loving and exhorting protest. These people are often associated with San Francisco and now we are going to find out the reason why. When you are visiting the USA, it is possible to rent manual transmission car NYC.
Beginning of the hippie era
It was the post-war generation – the denial of war was already in the blood. In the mid-50s, appeared Elvis and other pioneers of rock and roll, but even that was not enough for those, who wanted to find a foothold to turn the world upside down. Elvis could move his hips as much as he wanted, smiled to everyone, but he remained part of the mechanism and the measure of success for him were mansions with columns and pink Cadillac cars. Then the Beatles appeared, who conquered the whole world in a couple of years, earned a lot of money, also acquired movable and immovable property – and they realized that in general it was not at all what they wanted from life. The Beatles went into spiritual pursuits – they tried Eastern practices, experiments with different substances… All of this immediately affected not only the music, but also their appearance. Suits and ties were replaced by painted caftans, and the vegetation on the head and face became quite unkempt.
This was no longer pure teenage nihilism – they began to think about how to change the world for the better. Now it seems utterly naive, but then the youth seemed to really rediscover the word “love”, whatever it meant. Both in the universal, and in the everyday sense.
Haight-Ashbury in the history of hippie culture
Somehow, in a very strange way, it turned out that precisely the Californian city became a mecca for hippies. Not New York, in which it is too cold in winter, not London, which, despite its popularity, remained too stiff. The crowds rushed to San Francisco in the spring of 67th. Entire neighborhoods, and especially the famous Haight-Ashbury, were crowded with hippies. It was possible to come there from any part of the world, and that is all – you had a ticket to heaven in your hands.
It was the time, when the idea of holding a festival of contemporary pop groups arose for the first time in history. In the small town of Monterey, not far from San Francisco, Jimi Hendrix made his debut in home American land, as, by that time, he was already popular in London. In Monterey sang the great Janis Joplin, and Paul Simon’s duet with Art Garfunkel simply enchanted the public with only one guitar and two-voiced singing.
The festival in Woodstock, which happened two years later, of course, had and has a more iconic status, but it was Monterey, which was the first experience of this kind, the father of thousands of subsequent outdoor festivals.
Today Haight Ashbury is still a vibrant, energetic and crowded area of San Francisco. There are many thematic shops associated with hippie culture, designer boutiques, music stores and bookstores. Restaurants and bars compete with each other in originality, invariably proclaiming the values of hippies.
Among the attractions of Haight Ashbury is the historic ‘The Red Victorian Hotel’, which is located in 100-year-old mansion of carmine color. This hotel and the residential buildings of the late 19th century in the ‘painted ladies’ architecture style, characteristic of San Francisco, would charm you.
If you want to have a dinner in this area of San Francisco, here is a list of popular restaurants of American cuisine:
- Magnolia Pub & Brewery
- Pork Store Cafe
- Magnolia Brewing – Haight
- Memphis Minnie’s
- The Grind Cafe
- Haight Street Market
The hippies have left behind many of the time-honored works of art. The history of this culture worth paying attention on it, especially if you are having chance to visit San Francisco.