In case there was any question about that, one way or another. The answer is a decided, "Um. No. I am not hip."
This morning, Husband & I decided that we'd hop in the car and head here. We've been wanting to go for a long time, and hooray, today was going to be the day.
Except that it wasn't. Because the Conservatory is in the middle of the Golden Gate Park (which, by the way? One of the very best things about living here--it is my original "happy place" & I always feel completely content and at peace when we are there). See, today was San Fran's 2010 AIDS Walk and it's epicenter was right where we usually park our car. Every major thoroughfare in the park was blocked off and street parking was all but impossible. There would be no Conservatory today...grumble, grumble, grumble....
But rather than admit adventurous-outting defeat, we decided to head to the neighborhood that sits adjacent to the park, the Haight-Ashbury district. You know, that mythical zone of 60's free love, drugs & long-haired hippie freak happiness. I've been twice before in my life, in my younger, unmarried, child-free days. The first time I was there, a guitar-strumming, long unbathed, dredlocked hippie sitting on the sidewalk offered me a foot massage for a dollar as I walked by him. No, thanks, but fascinating! The second time I found myself in the Haight was when I drove x-country with my best friend in '98 & we spent hours trolling through all the vintage shops, marveling at the amazing clothing and kitchy little tchotchkes.
This time? Eh. I think my Haight-Ashbury days might be behind me. The people watching is & always will be RIVETING. No question about that. But I'm not in the market for a hookah or a tattoo. That pretty much cuts the shops of interest for me in half. I also am, sadly, not dressing like Betty Page these days (erm, never was, but I *could* have). There go more shops down the interest drain for me. So really we're looking at a book store and the Ben & Jerry's shop.
I can go to a bookstore a mile from my house & get myself a pint of Ben & Jerry's at the Safeway down the street. I know it's not the same in terms of "ambiance," but I'm fairly certain that at least in my 'hood, I can do each of those things without circling the neighborhood interminably searching for the elusive parking space or having to step over a steaming pile of poop on the sidewalk (seriously, what is it about poop this weekend?! we cannot escape it, people!)
One of the things I'll always love about the Haight is the artwork on the walls--murals are everywhere & they are amazing and give you a feeling that the neighborhood itself is just alive.
Yeah, we wandered a bit, gave each other the hairy eyeball about every 10 paces, and then took our unhip asses home to the 'burbs. ::hanging head in shame::