Hashbury Lives On

It’s been 47 years since the Summer of Love in San Francisco. It is safe to say that we certainly made an impression on the world.

In May of 1967, The New York Times Magazine ran a story titled, “The Hashbury is the Capital of the Hippies,” by Hunter S. Thompson. Hashbury was the nick-name Thompson invented, combining the street names Haight and Ashbury, with a nod to the drug culture of the time. If you need a reminder of who self-described “Gonzo Journalist” and 1960s counter-culture icon Hunter S. Thompson was, here is a mini-tv-segment-bio from 1991:

Just as his invention of the term Gonzo Journalist ended up in the dictionary, Hashbury continued to be used. From 1967 to 1975, we had a weekly television police drama set in San Francisco called “Ironside,” starring Raymond Burr as Chief of Detectives Robert Ironside. Here is a clip of the March 21, 1968 episode titled, “Trip to Hashbury:”

Thompson continued to write books and magazine assignments, in addition to being a regular columnist for the Hearst-owned San Francisco Examiner in the 1980s. Cartoonist Garry Trudeau based his “Uncle Duke” character for his Doonesbury comic strip on Thompson’s persona. In 2005, Thompson died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home in Colorado. His legacy is his writing, including his invention of the word Hashbury.

If you Google “Hashbury,” you can see a reference to a fictional district in a fictional place called San Fierro, San Andreas. Hashbury is a place, “dominated by a counter-culture vibe, boasting such retailers as the Hippy Shopper and Bing’s Bongs, and basks in the general euphoria and laid-back sentiment that pervades the neighborhood,” according to information about the video game called, “Grand Theft Auto.”