50 years after it’s official Summer of Love, San Francisco is still an amazing trip… Go there (but don’t move in, cus it’s bursting at the seams)!
I went head first into the city – saw loads, did loads, & met some amazing people. Too much to do justice to in one page. Some highlights..
A LGBT paradise
I went to an amazing play-in-progress reading & discovered the story of ‘Compton’s cafeteria riot’ – a drag queen / trans uprising against police brutality in San Fran, 3 years before the Stonewall riot. Two of the three writers hung out at Compton’s during the time. Afterwards I went to ‘Aunt Charlie’s’, a gay bar where it’s constantly Christmas, on the only street I know of that has been officially named after a transexual icon – Turk Street’s second name is ‘Vicki Marlane’.
I also spent time on the rainbow lined Castro, GLBT museum, & learnt more about Harvey Milk & his massive impact upon the LGBT community despite just 43 weeks in office. Reflected a lot on how much ‘hidden history’ is so easily lost, and the danger of people losing touch with recent struggles.
A hippie haven
I loved learning about the Summer of Love in 1967 – again, just a few months of hope, positivity & a slice of something different that had a lasting social impact . . . the Summer of Love inspired more people than the people who started it imagined – so many that they became generally overwhelmed & held a ‘death of the hippy’ ceremony to try and discourage more people from coming! Was it a revolution? Or an alternative lifestyle that got too popular? Could it happen again?
I also met so many incredible people – family of friends & friends of family – it is a wonderful place to pull up a chair & start chatting to a stranger. For me, that was a personal challenge & amazing experience in itself. Embracing the unknown. All i got was positive responses!
An exciting anomaly
I got real close to a real life police chase WITH GUNS! Ok, one gun. It may have been an air rifle. . . But it was scary & exciting! The chap running from the police (who went right past me!) eventually made the decision to lie on the street & get arrested, as opposed to being shot.
And so so much more! What an amazing place.