How the Summer of Love Created the San Francisco Sounds

Karen Lau's picture

Perhaps no art form more exemplifies San Francisco's Summer of Love than the music of the era. It led an explosion of culture and expression in the balmy summer months of 1967, and a counterculture revolution swept through the city by the bay. Tens of thousands of young folks swarmed to the Haight-Ashbury and Golden Gate Park, and they brought with them the sounds of change.

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Leather, Lace and Levis: San Francisco’s Wildest Costume Events

Karen Lau's picture

Just who do you think you are? Thanks to San Francisco’s long history of cherishing outrageous self-expression, you can dress up as just about anyone you like. There’s no surer sign of a typical day in the City by the Bay than people-watching in a sidewalk cafe and seeing someone stroll down the street in a strange, gorgeous and/or sexy outfit.

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9 Legendary San Francisco Gay Bars

Karen Lau's picture

There’s something magical about walking through the doors of a gay bar or club that's older than you are. You can almost feel the personal stories, the come-ons, the banter, the longing for freedom seeping out of the nicked wood of the bar.  

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10 Amazing San Francisco Highlights From the History of the Radical Faeries

Karen Lau's picture
Photo by Louis Raphael

What could possibly be more radical than a faerie? Especially when that faerie is part of a worldwide movement to elevate queer consciousness and liberation through spiritual exploration, which was the whole message of San Francisco's Summer of Love. For decades, San Francisco has been home to a life-changing movement known as the Radical Faeries, a loosely-organized group of free spirits who prize creativity, freedom and spirituality.

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9 world changing moments from San Francisco’s history of sexual liberation

Karen Lau's picture

From gay liberation to non-monogamy and same-sex marriage, America’s sexual revolution came to the forefront in the 1960s, with much of it taking place within San Francisco. Since then, the city has solidified its standing as the world’s freedom pioneer, showing the power in simply getting naked and being unashamed.

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9 ways San Francisco created hippie–then hipster–fashions for the world to enjoy

Karen Lau's picture

How did paisley, bell bottoms, and flower-headbands become the uniform of the sixties hippie? Well, you can thank San Francisco and the Summer of Love for that. To this day, the look is endlessly recreated everywhere from fashion runways to Hollywood films. How did that look emerge, evolve and influence the hipsters of today? Check out this list of inspirations that helped define an era. See if you can capture the spirit on your next visit to San Francisco.

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The Time San Francisco Launched A Rock Music Revolution

Karen Lau's picture
There was no more iconic year for San Francisco than 1967, dubbed by historians the “Summer of Love.” It helped cement the city’s reputation for embracing creativity, individuality, and change, no matter how radical. During those summer months, thousands of travelers swept into the city’s hippie enclaves to find themselves and create a better world for everyone. Dropping by Golden Gate Park at the end of Haight Street that year, you might have bumped into a young Janis Joplin or Jerry Garcia. Harvey Milk had not yet moved to the city, but gay men and lesbians were already establishing a beachhead. Stonewall was still two years away, but gay liberation got a major boost in ’67. Love meant love, no matter the gender expression. Throughout the 60s, San Francisco played host to countless music festivals and concerts that gave life to the ideals of the summer of love. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love in 2017, we’ve come up with a list of some of the most notable music festivals of the era, including a few that continue to this very day (with tickets available for intrepid music lovers).
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10 Wild Milestones In The Twisted History Of San Francisco’s Sisters Of Perpetual Indulgence

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Sisters Of Perpetual Indulgence
You’ve probably seen them out and about, or maybe on TV: a group of strange nuns, manly and often bearded, covered in gems, feathers, polka dots, fur or any manner of strange decorations. They’re usually collecting money for a cause. They’re the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a group that’s part-protest, part-performance, part-charity and 100% wonderful. The Sisters have been going strong for nearly 40 years. Here are a few of the most amazing moments in their history — and what they’re up to today.
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Bet You Don’t Know This About The Castro’s Fabulous New Sidewalks

Karen Lau's picture
If you’ve been on San Francisco’s Castro Street in the past year, you’ve run into some sidewalk construction. Rest assured, it wasn’t in vain. The sidewalks are now wider and more pedestrian-friendly. The palm trees add greenery and decoration. The street lamps turn the street into a kind of dramatic stage set at night.
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