Back to the Haight, on to the Future

View of Haight Street from Red Vic room window
Haight Street at Night, San Francisco

Before we got to L.A., we stopped in San Francisco to see old friends and reminisce about our life back in The Day. Veering from our usual frugal routine, we splurged and stayed at the Red Vic Inn in the Haight, just around the corner from the old party house where I spent the better part of my 20s.

Back in 1995, I was a slacker with five roommates inhabiting a non-stop party house. Jim was a long-haired biker posing as a responsible marketing guy in a Saab. One night Spoonie played matchmaker, and brought us together. Despite the vast differences in our lifestyles, our lives converged and we were never the same again.

Franks Liquors in the Haight

In December, thirteen years later, we were back where we started, at least for a night. After a walk through the city and several cocktails, we returned to our room. I promptly climbed out onto the fire escape overlooking the scene on Haight. I had to take it all in again, at least one more time.

The energy below felt exactly the same as it did in 1995. All of the same characters were there. Street punks with their dogs, musicians playing on corners, bicyclists coming home from work, and strolling tourists. Nothing ever changes.

I sat outside, barefoot and hoarking down an Anchor Steam. My mind played back scenes of our life together; they went through my brain like the pages in a flip book.

Rene and Jim at the Gold Cane in the Haight, where they met
The Gold Cane on Haight, Where We Met

We’ve been through so much together, and come so far from where we started. It’s been a wild ride getting here, and after all these years, it just keeps getting better. I can’t wait to see what’s around the corner when we hit the road again in a week or so.

8 thoughts on “Back to the Haight, on to the Future”

  1. I played softball for Rockn Robbins in early 80ā€™s had so much fun returning for first time in 40+yrs wondering if it was still there? Iā€™m assuming no but curious? New spot? Thx Birdie

  2. My name is Tawny. I was Kris’ girlfriend in the mid eighties. We worked at Rockin’ Robins together. We lived down in the Haight. Is he still around. One of the post made it sound like he’s no longer with us. Please let me know!

    Thanks, Tawny

  3. Ah Haight street….many many memories. I miss the freedom of those days.

    Thank you guys for being a bright beacon in the world of relationships theses days….it give the rest of us somethingto stirve for.

    I love you guys….. (hic)

  4. Doesn’t it feel great when we see our near and dear ones? Yeah. Feels great to see you both together. Cute smile. šŸ™‚
    There is a special feeling when you saw him the first time. Its LOVE. It made you people unite together. Good luck. Have a nice time. šŸ˜€


  5. We were on our way to uncle Val and aunt Ruby’s place somewhere in San Francisco for our annual Thanksgiving family get-together. My dad was a crusty old dockworker who was not a fan of “those damned hippies”, as he put it.

    The scene that’s etched forever into my mind – the first hippie I’d ever seen, at least one who wasn’t on TV. He was crossing in front of us, his long, flowing hair billowing out from under the psychedelic headband. Huge bell bottoms were ragged down around the cuffs, revealing feet in sandals with no socks, of course. He was carrying a guitar, but managed to do so with only one hand because the other was flashing a peace sign at my dad. A huge grin emanated from under a bushy black beard.

    The peace sign was in answer to my dad’s mocking him.. “Aw, look at the little girl with the long hair, isn’t she pretty?” Mom was embarrassed and asked him to tone it down, but we were at a stop sign and the girly-man was crossing right in front of us! How could any tough-as-nails Long Shoreman worth his salt resist such a scene without tossing a few taunts out there?

    The place – Haight and Ashbury, at the intersection.

    The year – 1968.


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