Where does my hippie come from? / De dónde viene mi hippie?

“C’est une maison bleue. Adossée à la colline. On y vient à pied, on ne frappe pas ceux qui vivent là, on jeté la clé” Máxime Leforestier (‘San Francisco’)

Advertisements
Golden Gate Bridge iluminated by a low winter sun, San Francisco

Golden Gate bridge, an afternoon in November, San Francisco, California (2015)

(Spanish version follows below) For all of us westerners who were teenagers in the 60’s and 70’s, a little hippie inhabits our hearts. These ideas of unbound love and universal peace, community building and social harmony made their way to our thinking thanks to the music and pop culture of those years. You didn’t even have to be a hippie to understand one: such was the power of truth, such was the power of youth, and such was the power of -ahem, ahem- the media.  Hippies wished to break with the corrupt views of our predecessors, a promise of a truly new humanity. Where did the counterculture movement start? In a recent visit to San Francisco, the answer became obvious to me: this was it. San Francisco is crowded with counterculture references. Among them, the “maison bleue”, the Castro district house that inspired Maxime LeForestier to write his signature song “San Francisco”. To hear this song, click “here“. Leforestier’s “blue house” was a house whose door was never locked, a community that welcomed just about any visitor, a place where dinner was shared with strangers. Not anymore. These days, the blue house only lives in our memories and our imagination. Will humanity ever be that humane again? *

DSC_0020

3841 18th St, the fairly ordinary and yet famous “Maison Bleue”, San Francisco (2015)

Cualquier occidental que vivió su adolescencia en los años 60’s o 70’s, alberga a un pequeño “hippie” en su corazón y, caramba, yo no soy la excepción. Estas ideas de amor ilimitado y paz universal, formación comunitaria y armonía social se colaron en nuestros pensamientos gracias a la música y la cultura “pop” de aquellos años. No había siquiera que ser hippie para entender a los hippies: tal era la fuerza de la verdad, tal era la fuerza de la juventud y tal la fuerza de, ejem, los medios de comunicación social. El deseo de un hippie era romper con el pasado corrupto de nuestros antepasados, la promesa de una nueva humanidad. Dónde se inició este movimiento contracultural?  La respuesta me sorprendió, como una epifanía, cuando visité a San Francisco por primera vez. San Francisco es una ciudad saturada con referencias contraculturales. Entre estas referencias, está la “maison bleue”, aquella casa en el distrito Castro que inspiró a Maxime Leforestier a escribir su éxito “San Francisco”. Para escuchar la canción en cuestión pulsar “aquí“. En la casa azul de Leforestier nunca se cerraba la puerta con llave, la comunidad que ahí habitaba le daba la bienvenida a todo visitante y ahí se compartía la comida con el forastero. Ya no más, obviamente. La casa azul vive ahora solo en nuestra memoria y en nuestra imaginación. Volverá la humanidad a ser así de humana alguna otra vez? *

 

 

 

 

Author: Constantino

A Chemical Engineer born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. He has worked for the oil refining industry in threes countries under different capacities. With photography and writing as hobbies, he has traveled the world (and has still to settle somewhere). Loves movies, Latin Jazz, black coffee and red wine... Kampai!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s