Entries Tagged as 'USA- CA, San Francisco'

San Francisco- North Beach Festival

On Saturday, June 15, 2013 I went to the North Beach Festival(on and around Columbus Avenue) in San Francisco.  And overall, it was a great way to spend the day.

There were booths selling colorful hats, dresses, shoulder bags, and jewelry.  And don't forget about the t-shirts, travel posters, towels, and dog collars.  They even had a booth selling henna tatoos!

Then there was the food on offer.  Everything from Thai to Indian to traditional American, much of it grilled right before my eyes.  And the smell...fantastic!

My favorite thing at the festival, though, was the upbeat live music, which energized me and the rest of the crowd.  Perfect exclamation point to the end of a great day!

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San Francisco- Amoeba Music, Land of the Sun, Booksmith, Ashbury Tobacco Center

One of my favorite spots to hit in the Haight is Amoeba Music(1855 Haight Street).  It's the largest independent music store in the world.  And that's not even mentioning all of the movies and documentaries contained therein.  Perfect place to lose yourself for an hour or two looking for that Jefferson Airplane or Rolling Stones cd you just can't find anywhere else.  It's also cool just checking out the posters of various bands(eg-Eric Clapton, Janis Joplin, The Beetles) lining the perimeter of the store.    

Another good place to visit is Land of the Sun(1715 Haight Street).  There you will find Jimi Hendrix banners, Grateful Dead hats, tie dye shirts, and Frank Zappa posters.  You name the souvenir, and they probably have it!  And did I mention how nice the owner is?  

Booksmith(1644 Haight Street) is also a cool space to peruse.  It has a good selection of books on the sixties(eg- the Haight, the peace movement, the bands of the era).  They even sell English, Irish, and French newspapers.

And if you still haven't had enough of that sixties vibe, check out the Ashbury Tobacco Center (1524 Haight Street).  With banners of  Bob Marley and peace signs galore, it's a kick to explore.  This place even supposedly inspired a song by Jimi Hendrix!

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San Francisco- Colorful Murals of Haight-Ashbury

One of the highlights of a visit to the Haight is checking out its Colorful Murals.  These murals are usually located on the sides of the neighborhood's commercial buildings.  And it's of no use for me to tell you where they are located, because they're always changing.

One of my favorite murals is of Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix.  These men have been skillfully rendered using several shades of blue, which give them a haunting, almost ghostly appearance.  And this is appropriate, because they have long since passed.

Jim Morrison was the mysterious frontman for the rock group "The Doors."  His moody hits like "Light My Fire" and "Break on Through to the Other Side" weave a hypnotic spell on its listeners that is impossible to ignore.  Such was his influence that to this day, thousands of people from all over the world make the pilgrimage to his grave in Paris.

Jimi Hendrix was one of the greatest guitar players ever to walk the earth.  He was born to play the guitar like Shakespeare was born to be a playwrite.  So great was he that when he went on tour, the other bands would refuse to perform after him, because Jimi would make them look like amateurs.  And after his incredible performance, he would light his guitar on fire, which would bring the house down!

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San Francisco- Haight Street Market, Decades of Fashion

The Haight Street Market(1530 Haight Street) harkens back to an older time when everyone knew their grocer.  And, indeed, you can usually find the owner on the premises.  The store's delightful painting of a farmer plowing his field and green and white striped awning beckon you inside to look at all of its fresh produce, piled high.  These include yams, pumpkins, pomegranates, bananas, pineapples, oranges, apples, and on infinitum! 

And there's also the fascinating Decades of Fashion(1653 Haight Street), where you can find a hundred years of women's clothing(1880s-1980s).  I thought its 1920s collection in particular was pretty cool, especially the stunning red dress that reminded me of the one Adriana wore in the movie "Midnight in Paris."  The only thing that surprised me was how heavy the dress was, due to the large number of beads it contained.

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San Francisco- Blue Front Cafe, Magnolia Pub and Brewery

If you happen to be hungry in the Haight, just look for the genie serving up good eats at the Blue Front Cafe(1430 Haight Street).  There, you can devour a delicious lamb shawerma wrap with hummus, all washed down with some refreshingly ice cold lemonade.  Continuing with the Mediterranean theme, you might even order some mint tea, so you can feel like a pasha of old!

Then foot it to the Magnolia Pub and Brewery(1398 Haight Street), which is housed in a cool old Victorian building that has its address etched in stained glass.  Here you can kick back at an old fashioned wooden table and order one of their excellent homemade beers.  And did I mention the great views of the neighborhood you get through their large picture windows? 

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