… be sure to wear some flowers in your hair …
Ah yes, that beautiful song by Scott McKenzie.
The Hippie Movement has always intrigued me. The flower children advocating peace and love, dressing differently and creating a new form of ‘psychedelic’ music which literally changed cultures and lifestyles for the young, all over the world. I think I would have happily been a hippie but unfortunately was born in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
Oh well, no harm then visiting the site where early hippies hung out and began their love trips. (Better late than Never.)
Haight-Ashbury ~ where it all began
When the influx of young ones, also known as Hippies, began growing for their Summer of Love event, Haight-Ashbury soon became known as “Hashbury”. Even today, it is so appropriate and in my humble opinion, it’s a very sweet nickname. 😆
The scent/aroma was just there! It made me wonder if I would feel the effect of the second-hand smoke (not that I’m complaining).
Jimi Hendrix lived at 1524 Haight Street
It would have been a bonus if some ‘smoke shop’ had played Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze while I strolled by.
How can I possibly not visit one of the oldest Chinatowns (which can be traced to have begun around the mid 1850’s) in the USA?
I wasn’t sure if one is supposed to begin one’s exploration via the entrance or simply walk through using many of its mini-sidestreets.
The “entrance” to Chinatown.
We roamed the steep gradient streets and found the official entrance which had the slogan 天下为公 (read from right to left) meaning The World is for All and decided to re-do our walk-in.
We were greeted by several of our primate ancestors’ effigies so I decided to capture a photo of one, simply as a reminder.
Me and my Gorri
Apart from the usual touristy shops, what captured my attention was the street wall-art. No matter which Chinatown one visits, wall art will always pertain to Chinese astronomy, religion and movie celebrities.
Chinese Zodiac Animals
Luke Dragon and a touch of Black History
Lord Buddha and Bruce Lee
The late Kung-fu celebrity Bruce Lee was born in San Francisco in the year of the Dragon, which is how he ended with the screen name 李小龍 or Little Dragon Lee. Thus, many of the images I saw of Bruce Lee had dragons for company.
A few hours of walking got us hungry, so did we settle for Americanized Chinese takeaway? Korean-Sushi cafe food? We (at least I did) wanted real Chinese food with no substitutes or toned-down versions, hence a mini food hunt began …
We had booked our air ticket much earlier in 2017; then came Hurricane Irma with her wrecking ball. Oh well, if Mother Nature can destroy, she can also re-create, right? Let her have her way. No reason to change our travel plans.
In the meantime, sadly, she decided to destroy parts of our vacation venue as well. Our 1st stop out of Florida was San Francisco. In the news for many days was the devastating wild fire that swept Napa, Sonoma & Mendocino counties.
We smelt the smoke & saw the haze ~ a sad sight indeed.
Scene of haze taken while I rode on the BART (Bay Area Transport Service)
Visits to the (burning) vineyards and wineries were out, so on to the next iconic site of San Francisco ~ The Golden Gate Bridge.
Part of what was visible of the Golden Gate Bridge,
A sad scene …
Consolation: Not many visitors get to see the Golden Gate Bridge clouded in smoke, fog maybe, but not whiffy smoke, right?
Alcatraz (sometimes called The Rock) – made famous by the movie Escape from Alcatraz, starring Clint Eastwood as Frank Lee Morris – also grimly stood in the haze.
The prison that housed some famous inmates.
OK, enough of scenes in the Bay area and their sad state.
Time to move inland …