Tuesday, August 23, 2005

San Francisco Summer of 1996




Back in the late summer of 1996, my friend, Ritchie and I took a hastily thrown together trip to the City by The Bay. I'd never been before, and I was charmed and befuddled by this strange city with its cable cars and hills and old hippies and young urban professionals and, sadly, it's huge population of homeless folk.

None the less, The City, and its charms worked their magic on me and I fell in love.

That first picture is a panoramic view of San Francisco, the somewhat phallic structure on the left is Coit Tower.

Of course while there I had to make the pilgrimage to The Haight; the area where the hippies gathered during the Summer of Love. Of course, what we saw was pretty much the remnants of that era and a lot of gentrification. It was cool to walk those streets, but ultimately it was nothing more than a tourist trap.


Being a fan of Jefferson Airplane, I had to find the infamous "Airplane House" located at 2400 Fulton Street. In its heyday this mansion was painted in psychedelic colors and Grace Slick and the gang hosted parties there. In 1996 it was white-washed and privately owned with "No Trespassing" signs posted. Still, Ritchie and I both posed on the steps while a camera at the front door watched us ... screw it. No one complained

If you've ever read any of Armistead Maupin's Tales of The City books, you'll know that Grace Cathedral figures in the second book (More Tales of the City) with it's group of way-ward Episcopalians that take transubstantion a bit to far ... luckily, that's all just fiction and the church is an amazing and awe inspiring structure based on Notre Dame in Paris. This place is a must see for the Rose Stained Glass Window front and center, and the two labyrinths that are invitations to the seeker to walk them while contemplating and making your way to inner-peace (or possibly a dizzy spell).

If San Francisco has a magic time, it's after the sun goes down, the temperature drops, and the fog rolls in. Yup, it's just like in the movies

One day I'll get around to scanning the hundreds of other photos I have from this trip and maybe post them.

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