Best Desecration of a City Landmark - 2004
There was a time when Haight and Ashbury used to be much more than an intersection. It was a sacred place that defined the cultural explorations of the mid-'60s, a spiritual beacon to all acid-dropping searchers throughout the cosmos. It was heavy, man. But today that legendary spirit is no more. This once-grand intersection is home to the most loathsome of all modern institutions: the Gap. (And pour some salt in that wound, Moonbeam, it's not even a good Gap!) What's next? Will the Golden Gate Bridge be painted green? Will someone put a rotating Starbucks on top of Coit Tower? Is nothing sacred? Apparently not to the khaki- folding fiends who man the store. We asked a Gap clerk named Grant what he knew of the intersection's history. "It has something to do with hippies, but I'm not really sure," he offered while organizing a display of vintage-style tees. We turned to the store manager, Angeli. "Across the street they have shirts with dancing Grateful Dead bears, the guys in there will know," she said. "I think a lot of hippies lived here and smoked pot."