SAN FRANCISCO’S HAIGHT-ASHBURY SCENE…
(still…rolling its own…dubbies that is)

Some fifty years and a couple of generations further on, it seems that San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury scene is still…rolling its own… dubbies that is.

In those way-back times of hippy counter culture flower power, beads and peace…sex, drugs, and rock and roll were the mainstay of life there. Today, however, mainly because of the money flows from an influx of well-paid techies, the Haight is mostly into a more hardened and rampant drug environment. The old laid back style of getting happily high on weed-laced brownies appears to have been replaced by violence instead as the purveyors of drugs duke it out for control of that trade…with one location there being the site of over 1000 violent incidents requiring police intervention just in the past two years alone.

While the sex bit is no doubt still there, the rock and roll part has probably faded out for newer forms of musical expression. Still…Haight-Ashbury retains its reputation where almost anything can be left to…all hang out…as the saying goes.

Meanwhile, the denizens of City Hall are mulling over ways and means to curb that violence. Other than just using more policing muscle, they don’t seem inclined to consider other alternatives. Alternatives that might not only work better, but could also bring in some much needed additional revenues for their coffers as well.

Let’s face it, no matter how much they may rant and rave about it there’ll always be a whole lot of “sinning” going on. California’s Nevada neighbors figured out how to profit from it, not just attempting to curb it (an impossible task) a long time ago. And our Dutch friends back across the Atlantic pond came up with –The Reeperdam – area in Amsterdam which also contained the effects of sex, drugs, and rock and roll within acceptable bounds (while generating beneficial revenues besides).

So, perhaps it’s time San Francisco’s civic leaders consider making their own adaptations of those examples, and create the necessary rules by which these could be implemented. After all, Haight-Ashbury is as much a historic part of the city as the old Barbary Coast ever was…perhaps even more so.

CENTURION