San francisco flowers in their hair

Lombard Street, Coit Tower, San Francisco

San Francisco, Bay Area

This boy was at the top of Lombard Street. Famed crookedest street in the world that’s not really the most crooked even in San Francisco. The locals loved telling the visitors that after they’d hiked up the gradient.

Aside from the slight colour clash, this lone guy fit right in the scene. He had what looked like all his wares in his bag and khaki pockets, plus a pink blossom in his beanie. Of course, Scott McKenzie’s tune started up (in my head), and there, in 2010 amongst affluent houses over the city, the sentiment still felt legit.

Then, San Fran was a whirlwind drive-through (or as much through as its confusing one-way lanes and hills could afford) that left me completely wired. Winter must be pretty tart if my head and hair  had been that completely whipped by the ocean wind in summer.  The vibe was so different from its southern neighbour Los Angeles, orange and dusty in shorts and cool tans.

And yes, actual vibe there was, which everyone, comfortable or shelterless, seemed to partake in: alternative everything and at the same time, a sweet sweet delight in the pretty things life has to offer. Flowers on display everywhere, and pretty pastels per housing block. I guess being the gayest city on earth must have something to do with it.

Going back, i was cracked on excitement and curiosity: I knew it as a momentous fringe of all things flippy and cutting-edge. Summer of Love, Sillicon Valley and Herb Caen; San Fran’s where people learn and love.


If you’re going to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you’re going to San Francisco
You’re gonna meet some gentle people there

For those who come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there
In the streets of San Francisco
Gentle people with flowers in their hair

All across the nation such a strange vibration
People in motion
There’s a whole generation with a new explanation
People in motion people in motion

Here’s the song at where it was written for, 1967’s Monterey Pop Festival itself. I really like how he’s almost delivering a political exhortation.


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