Summer of Love: San Francisco

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San Francisco is a wonderful city with great food and museums. We decided to go to the “Summer of Love” exhibit all about the “hippy” days and movement that started in San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury district. The Museum describes the exhibit:

“The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco present The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll, an exhilarating exhibition of iconic rock posters, photographs, interactive music and light shows, costumes and textiles, ephemera, and avant-garde films at the de Young. A 50th anniversary celebration of the adventurous and colorful counterculture that blossomed in the years surrounding the legendary San Francisco summer of 1967, the exhibition presents more than 400 significant cultural artifacts of the time, including almost 150 objects from the Fine Arts Museums’ extensive permanent holdings, supplemented by key, iconic loans.”

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“The 1967 Summer of Love was a defining moment in San Francisco’s history,” states Max Hollein, Director and CEO of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. “With the de Young’s proximity to the Haight-Ashbury district, our exhibition is the cornerstone of a city-wide celebration. The work created during this period remains a significant legacy and we are uniquely positioned to present this story in all of its controversial glory.”

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In the mid-1960s, artists, activists, writers, and musicians converged on Haight-Ashbury with hopes of creating a new social paradigm. By 1967, the neighborhood would attract as many as 100,000 young people from all over the nation. The neighborhood became ground zero for their activities, and nearby Golden Gate Park their playground.

img_5038It was particularly amusing to see so many individuals wandering through the crowd who could not possibly have been alive during the movement but who were completely caught up in the psychedelic posters and bizarre clothing.

The exhibit is worth seeing just for the history of the times even if one didn’t participate in the movement.

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img_5031And when you are finished walk outside and to your rights and wander through the Japanese Garden. Complete with ponds, carp and pagodas, it is a small taste of the elegance of traditional Japanese culture. It is even relaxing in a slight drizzle.

For fun one evening we went to the Fairmont Hotel that has a great bar and ran into a wedding party from Nigeria resplendent in their native dress and headdresses – some of which made my neck hurt just thinking of the weight of the cloth but were beautiful.

For our one night dinner in San Francisco we went with friends to Le Jardiniere, a wonderful French restaurant with great ambience as well as elegant preparation of their delicious food. (And the wine list is impressive as well.)

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For lunch one day we just wandered to China town and ate at a 8 table restaurant that was full of Japanese and had fantastic shrimp and chicken dishes. No alcohol was served but the green tea was perfect.

It was delightful to be in mid sixties weather while DC sweltered in the 90s! A great getaway!

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