By Sunshine "Sunny" Powers, Owner of Love on Haight (1400 Haight Street)
When people think of San Francisco they envision . . . the Golden Gate Bridge, Pier 39, or a hippie standing on the corner of Haight and Ashbury. The Summer of Love in 1967 shaped how San Francisco is viewed by the world and laid the groundwork for who we are as a society. This summer, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love and, just like in 1967, we are expecting 100,000 people to come to San Francisco and honor the magic that happened here fifty years ago.
Hopefully, we as the community of the Haight are able to recreate the feeling that emulated from these sacred blocks so long ago. In doing so . . . we may also shape the next 50 years for the better.
Focusing on Today
During this Summer the merchants are going to focus on what made the Haight great and what is happening today that makes this communiety on the forefront of social change and improvements.
The focus will be on the local non-profit, Taking it to the Streets (www.takingittothestreetssf.org) This is an organization that provies shelter to the homeless youth of Haight Street in exchange for them keeping our community clean through street sweeping and graffita abatement. Taking it to the Streets has gotten over 143 homeless youth off the street in the 2 years since its conception. It is programs like this one that find real solutions to real problems that help make a better society.
With the help of the Taking it to the Streets kids, the merchants will be doing "The Haight Street Hearts" similar to the Hollywood Stars. The hearts will run up and down Haight Street celebrating the Love and the people that have and continue to make Haight the epicenter of consciousness. The merchants will also be adorning the poles and trees with rainbow lights . . . 'cause, let's be honest, rainbows make people smile, and the Haight needs more light! We will also be having the Taking it to the Streets kids make peace buttons with their art on it . . . all the shops will be giving these buttons away and asking only for a donation for the Taking it to the Streets organization. We will also be having late night shopping, community events, and gatherings.
We feel as merchants that if we can focus on what made this community great . . . Peace, Love, & Kindness . . . that everything will fall into a wonderful place!
Note: Sunny Powers will be at HANC's February meeting to discuss neighborhood plans to celebrate the 50th Anniversary with events throughout 2017. Please join us at our general meeting on February 9th, 7:00 p.m., at the Park Branch Library, 1833 Page Street, to discuss and participate.