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oct 21 2010

San Francisco: A must-have guide to Haight Ashbury

Visitors interested in checking out Haight Street, famous for its role in the 1960s hippie heyday, should pick up a copy of the Haight Ashbury Map and Guide, by longtime Haight residents Jack and Gay Reineck (and published by Rufus Graphics).

Too often a trip to the Haight only involves a stop at the famous Haight Ashbury intersection, a trip to Amoeba to flip through records, and a somewhat kitchy souvenir, like a tie-dye T-shirt at a head shop (for the uninitiated, a head shop sells smoking paraphernalia). But with this guide, you can see beyond the surface of the Haight area. The book offers historical and cultural information and photographs from 1906 and beyond, with extensive coverage about the 1960s, including the music, social activism, drug scene, sexual revolution, and the media's sensationalization of the Flower Children.

In addition to historical content, the tome also includes a full guide to all the shops, restaurants, walking tours, and restrooms (important when traveling!) in the area, as well as public-transportation information. Some of the highlights include the former homes to celebrities like the Hell's Angels (719 Ashbury), Janis Joplin, and Hunter S. Thomspon (318 Parnassus).

The map includes information about local murals, current celebs in the area (including Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist), and the best spot to see the wild parrots in the summer (around Parnassus and Willard Streets).

Pick up a copy at Booksmith, an independent bookstore on Haight, or pre-order it online. ($8.95)

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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