The Hawkeye

The Rise of the Haight

By Charlotte Pla

It is difficult to simplify a city’s history of enlightened and liberal nature into one representation; but a stroll down Haight Street will bring the closest understanding of San Francisco’s progressivism and cultural history.

According to the Huffington Post, the intersection of Haight and Ashbury remains one of the most widely known intersections, and serves as a refuge from the society’s rat race. Previously known as a hub for all-things tie dye, rock and roll, and hallucinogens (to put it nicely), many credit Haight Street as the birthplace of the hippie movement, as stated by the Huffington Post. Similar opinions recall the street as the culmination of love, peace and counterculture of the 1960s “Summer of Love.”

Shortly after 1967, Haight Street began seeing less people and eventually was reduced to a colorful street barren of the crowds that once filled its sidewalks. According to the Atlantic, the downfall of Haight’s popularity is partially due to police and government action taken to end the unlawful activities that took place on the street, but the extent of its outreach earned the street a permanent spot in all San Francisco guide books.

Contemporary Haight Street still maintains many of it original businesses, but is now also adorned by the occasional big-name chain establishment.

Today, the street is missing some of the street performers, street art, and hippie philosophers that it saw in the 1960’s, but walking down this influential street, one can still witness the proof of its memorable peak in cultural history.


Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 2.00.00 PMSenior Charlotte Pla eats brunch at least once a week, but more notably will be editor-in-chief on her high school newspaper, El Gato, next year. Attending Newsroom by the Bay, she hopes to collect new journalism insight to bring to El Gato. Charlotte has served as a world section editor and humor section editor for the paper, and aspires to pursue a path in journalism and, when that doesn’t work out, screenwriting. Until then, she resides in the Santa Cruz mountains and continues her weekly brunch ritual.

The Rise of the Haight