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Centered on one of the world’s most famous intersections, Haight-Ashbury has two distinct areas. The neighborhood is encompassed by the Golden Gate Park, the Buena Vista Park, Market Street and the Panhandle. Upper Haight is the fashionable section that runs from Masonic Avenue to >Stanyan Street. Also known as the Haight Fillmore District, the Lower Haight extends from Divisadero to Webster.
Each area has its own culture and history. Wealthy San Franciscans lived in the Upper Haight, and minority groups lived in the Lower Haight. The Upper Haight fell on hard times during the Great Depression, and the counterculture moved in during the 1960s. Although memories of the Summer of Love live on, the neighborhood has undergone significant changes. The Upper Haight is now a collection of chic restaurants, trendy nightclubs, Internet cafes and high-end boutiques. The neighborhood contains numerous renovated Victorian-era homes, known as painted ladies because of the palette of colors used to emphasize their architectural details. The Red Victorian bed and breakfast is housed in a turn-of-the-century home. Buena Vista Park is one of the oldest public green spaces in the city.
Remnants of the bohemian atmosphere linger, especially on Hippie Hill near the entrance to Golden Gate Park. Iconic landmarks include the houses where the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Bobby McFerrin and Sid Vicious once lived. There is also a wide range of restaurants, coffee bars and eateries.
The Lower Haight is home to a renowned bicycle route known as the Wiggle. Riders rely on mnemonics, landmarks and signage to stay on track. Native Americans and early European settlers followed a similar route to avoid hills. Haight-Ashbury hosts several cultural parades and festivals each year.