Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Friday 22 May: Haight-Ashbury, what better place for the Pursuit of a Legend

In Haight-Ashbury, which has a big place in modern history, along with other revolts against various things in various places from Beijing to Berkeley, Prague to Paris, in 1968.

A place of vision, visions, some hallucinations and more.

Some remember, some can't, some pursue; while all the world's young and affluent benefit and have no great sense of battles before.

The right to turn things over is a scary and elusive thing these days.

We risk failing to realise that futures-away-from-stoopid depend on what statisticians call 'outliers', those variants that for them shoud'n be included, they get Winsorised. Variants, outliers, yells in day and night, outrage urgencies: their uprising and existence enable the general throng of people to swing wider, dream bigger, go further, find new happinesses and self-fulfilment... and also out there somewhere mutual goodwill and caringnesses. There is the wide end, the fix-worlders, there is the absorbed-just-here end. You can't have one without the other.

Back to Haight Street..

There still be dudes...

and dudettes

There's a lot of style around. We met a beautiful Nigerian family come from Lagos to celebrate their US resident son's graduation with a degree in urban planning.

We coffeed in a wonderful family run Armenian hole in the wall. Shot a little breeze with our hosts about my love of William Saroyan's stories in times past.

My companions shopped well at Goodwill

where warmth abounds and grown people conduct themselves in ways intolerable in Australia

Liz showed off the shoes she plans to buy when she gets her first royalty advance from a publisher.

I bought shoelaces for my ten year old can't-live-without Rockports, which I plan to get cleaned and polished in Mexico.

and Helen went in pursuit of that elusive LP by Ray Rivamonte, one of which, she alleges, was once seen in an American record shop.

So we went to the biggest of the indie bigs, Amoeba Music... having unknowingly but conveniently parked the Mammoth Maxima right outside the door.

The music being broadcast through the shop in this movie is fascinating... see how nearly everyone slips and slides to it, slowed down, slewed over, into the mood, into the buying groove...

Postscript: the record was found eventually on eBay two years later, by which time Helen had recovered from the virus evident in the movie... 

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