If I did not know better, I would think my parents were of the hippie generation.
Listening to the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin, hanging out in San Francisco’s Haigh-Ashbury neighborhood and attending Woodstock. But that is not my parents, who are great-value folks from the South and are not of the 60s generation, as evidenced by the fact that my name is not Moonbeam and my sister’s is not Sunshine.
Still, there’s a reason that I can relate to the hippie culture. And that is why, after three years in San Diego, I have finally bonded with Ocean Beach. “OB” as the locals call it.
I came to this conclusion sitting on the seawall sharing beers handed to me by a guitar-playing swagman from Oklahoma during the annual Chili Cook Off street festival. I attribute it to the fact that, like many hippies, I sometimes just like to kick back, listen to music and have a beer at the beach. No hurries, no worries.
Ocean Beach is San Diego’s “hippie beach,” a place where you can share beers on the beach with guitar-strumming strangers, thrift shops and gritty dive bars line Newport Avenue and punk rockers walk the same streets as pretty Southern California blondes. Okay, it’s the latter that snaps me out of the 60s and into the current era, tho it’s nice to blend the two eras together. That, folks, is Ocean Beach in a nutshell.
Now I’m no squid when it comes to OB. I love the Holding Company, which not only has an awesome rooftop weekend brunch – complete with a tower of mimosas, whoa! – and live music (I saw Jimmy’s Buffet there, an excellent Buffett tribute band). When I moved to San Diego three years ago from up the coast in Manhattan Beach, it did not take me long to find South Beach, the first bar off the beach by the pier with its excellent $10 Mai Tais, tho I do need to spend more time around the corner at the multi-level Wonderland Ocean Pub to get to know that place better.
I must admit that I am a bit concerned about the fact that the San Diego media is showing videos of the homeless – a major problem all over this otherwise fine city – attacking people here, so I advice having your guard up and be aware of your surroundings should you go there. That goes pretty much anywhere you are, tho.
Moving forward, I will continue to get to know and bond more with OB. My instinct has been to spend my free beach time in PB (Pacific Beach) because it more closely resembles the still-in-college party mentality that I am used to in Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach.
Yet this is San Diego. And can – and will – do it all.