At the center of Haight Ashbury is one of the most famous intersections in America. The epicenter of the counter culture movement, home to the Grateful Dead, the Haight Ashbury Free clinic, and the hippies of the 60s, today Haight Ashbury still retains a heady whiff of those free-spirited days, grounded by a new civic awareness and neighborhood pride.
Tourists still come from around the world to check out the action on Haight Street, and they find plenty of it. Trendy boutiques like Upper Playground, Buffalo Exchange and American Apparel sell the coolest looks. Independent record store Amoeba offers free in-store performances and proves there's still life in the music industry. When the hubbub of Haight Street proves too much, Golden Gate Park, with its new world-class museums, the DeYoung and the California Academy of Sciences, offer a calm oasis.
Renovation of the neighborhood Victorians continues apace. Converted to apartments in the 60s these homes are being rediscovered by families who take them on as hobby, pastime, passion, and investment. For families with young kids, the Haight Ashbury Coop Nursery School, now in its third decade, provides an inexpensive alternative to day care from its home in the Alma Street playground.