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August 14, 2007 / chrisisgross

the ’90’s died hard

most people when they think of san francisco think about the ’60’s as being the archetypal decade for the city. this is the fortieth anniversary of the summer of love and there have been commemorations of all that went around haight/ashbury during that time. in those forty years the city has grown away from that aesthetic.

if you were to go to the haight today nothing remains of the flower power decade. haight street itself is full of clothing stores and boutiques(on the plus side amoeba records) and sitting on these streets are tweakers; hitting you up for change in the ever charming crusty punk format of insulting you/begging you at the same time style. the houses around the haight/ashbury area are valued in the multi-millions. there is no flop house for the grateful dead of the ’60’s only homes for the dead of the present.

the decade that seems to live on forever(or for now) is really the ’90’s. its seems that everyday julie and myself see some awesome manic/panic hair, tribal tattoo’s or even a full mod get up, vespa included. if you look carefully you will realize that the tattoo is pretty new and not faded and that they are in their mid-thirties. the style and aesthetic of the decade has not gone away here at all.

i attribute this to a two part hypothesis. firstly, the most recent renaissance of sorts here was in the late ’90’s with the whole dot com boom. it is a common topic of discussion in all forms of media. this happened almost ten years ago now, but it is still firmly planted in everyones mind. the fear of the bust looms again as the tech industry here is blossoming again and crazy ipo’s and all sorts of insane amounts of venture capital are being thrown at start-ups.

so with this whole mentality of having learned your major lesson ten years ago, those who lived through that time are still grasping onto those halcyon days of money and anything goes. the parallel is there to the ’60’s if only with much much more money flying around. now that they have survived and the money has come back the styles of the past decade are everywhere. the punk scene is still the same as it was ten years ago, the mod scene still exists, the rave scene is still huge here(there is even a commercial dance radio station) and the power of burning man runs strong


since wordpress doesn’t have that “what i am listening to” feature i thought i would mention that i just realized that i am listening to a band i was into in high school and college, the olivia tremor control, which is about 10 years ago. san francisco ya got me.


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