Monday, March 3, 2008

Hippie Hill

Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park near Haight-Ashbury.

It's a nucleus of activity, mostly spurred on by the faint memory of the Summer of Love in 1967. But, unfortunately the era that lures everyone to the verdant green hills of the park isn't coming back, and little of it remains.

Keyword: little.

There's a tinge of hippiness that is still present, which was surprising to me because despite the glorification of the 60s and 70s, it's rare that you actually encounter someone who embodies that ideal.

But, there they were.

There were a lot of people, but at the same time not many. On the paved path, someone had created a giant peace sign in dirty chalk and paint.

Because surreal is such a tired word, I think phantasmagorical might be the best way to describe what was happening at Hippie Hill.

We stumbled upon a drum circle that epitomized this scene. It emanated deep but frenzied rhythms as a fever of twirling limbs took place in the center.

Around the outside, people smoked marijuana without fear of punishment. It was a free atmosphere. A sense of acceptance and relaxation. A scene that doesn't occur in the sphere of normal life. It didn't matter why you were there and, except in a few cases, names took secondary importance to the activity ephemeral moment.

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