H is for Haight Ashbury

Summer of Love. Jimi Hendrix. Equality. Grace Slick. Tie Die. Carlos Santana. Peace. Jerry Garcia. Flower Power. Janis Joplin. Canibus. Grateful Dead. West Coast Woodstock. Black Magic Woman. Joan Biaz. Beatlemania! Hippies.
Regardless of what you may or may not have heard, the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco is ICONIC for all that it has been and all that it has desired to become!
The Summer of Love was officially documented on April 6, 1967 as the begining of a movement that took san Francisco by storm as 35,000 young adults left their homes and college campuses to come and “serve” their brothers and sisters. The movement was an experiment in community service that was to bring peace, goodwill, love of human kind and to outreach and serve the down trotten but quickly grew via word of mouth and literally left our city unprepared for the amount of visitors, community workers, friends, and lovers that came to help.
Most of the images and conversations about the Haight Ashbury district always end in references to drugs, free love, idealistic “children” that needed to go home to their mother’s and take a well deserved bath. But that was not the original intent, and it was not its lasting impact on the City and County of San Francisco.
Imagine if somebody threw a Youth Convention of 35,000 in your city and forgot to tell the hotels, city officials, police, fire departments, and social service agencies. Now imagine that each day an additional 2000 people arrived for an additional sixty days? Where would these people sleep? Would they open their public park for sleeping? How would they eat? The very agencies that they came to “help” were fledgling non-profit start-ups, trying to help veterans and drug addicted youth.
It was indeed a Summer of Love because that many youth gave up everything to come and serve, to come and love, to come and create changes that are STILL the cornerstone of Social Services offered here in San Francisco for example: Haight Asbury Free Clinic, Huckleberry House for Runaways. I will not idealize what took place during those who chose engage in “psychedelic experiences” but the innovative thoughts and paradigm shifts that resulted from the collective body created several hundreds of committed agents of change.

It has been 35 years and I believe the late Abbie Hoffman summed it up best when he said “The lesson of the sixties is that people who cared enough to do right could change history.”


E is for Exploratorium

Photo by Gayle Laird
© Exploratorium, http://www.exploratorium.edu

The Exploritorium is often referred to as the museum of science, art and human perception!

The Exploratorium was the brainchild of Frank Oppenheimer. At various times, Dr. Oppenheimer was a professor, a high school teacher, a cattle rancher, and an experimental physicist.

While teaching at a university, Frank developed a “library of experiments” that enabled his students to explore scientific phenomena at their own pace, following their own curiosity. Alarmed by the public’s lack of understanding of science and technology, Frank used this model to create the Exploratorium, believing that visitors could learn about natural phenomena and gain confidence in their ability to understand science, and the world. This was a groundbreaking idea for a science museum in 1969 when the Exploratorium opened. And the rest is history.

The Exploratorium is located at the Palace of Fine Arts, 3601 Lyon Street, San Francisco, CA 94123. It uses 110,000 square feet of floor space within San Francisco’s historic Palace of Fine Arts, plus offices and exhibit building shops in adjacent Presidio buildings. Facilities include:

  • Phyllis C. Wattis Webcast Studio
  • machine, wood, and electronics shops
  • life sciences laboratory
  • 125-seat McBean Theater
  • 9 wired classroom

Museum Hours Open Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • Closed Mondays (except certain holidays)
  • Closed Thanksgiving
  • Closed Christmas Day
  • Plenty of free nearby parking.

For a detailed list of holiday hours, visit our events calendar.

General Admission Prices

Adult (18-64) $15.00
Student (18+ with ID)
Seniors (65+)
Youth (ages 13-17)
People with Disabilities
Children (ages 4-12) $10.00
Children (3 and under) FREE
Tactile Dome (7+; general admission included) $20.00
Become a member

For more information about the Exploratorium visit: http://www.exploratorium.edu/

A is for Alcatraz

I have decided to do posts about my beloved hometown, San Francisco and all the things that I love from A to Z.


A ~

Alcatraz aka “The Rock” is one of the most traveled tourist attractions in San Francisco. Alcatraz Island offers a close-up look at the site of the first lighthouse and US built fort on the West Coast, the infamous federal penitentiary long off-limits to the public, and the 18 month occupation by Indians of All Tribes, which saved the tribes.

Alcatraz is 1.5 miles off the coast of San Francisco. Rich in history, Alcatraz was once the prison home of: Robert Franklin Stroud (the Birdman of Alcatraz), George “Machine Gun” Kelly, and Bumpy Johnson. There is also a natural side to “The Rock”, there are beautiful gardens, tide pools, bird colonies (brown pelicans), and bay views beyond compare.

There is no entrance fee to Alcatraz, however there is $10.00 round-trip ferry fee to and from the island.