I wound my way onto Market Street because it looked like the biggest street on the map. The plan was to go back to Haight Street, and they seemed to connect further down. But then something caught my eye.


It beckoned to me. It was like a high school idealist magnet. The outside of the store was painted with swirly colors and covered with cool. I had to go there.

Only, it was on the right side of the street. My heart sank as I passed sign after sign that screamed "No Right Turn." I watched the store fade in my rearview mirror.

But I would not be that easily daunted. Finally I found a place to turn right. I thought I'd just wind my way back.

Now, here would be a good place to mention that I grew up outside of LA. An area that, if God had his way, would have been a big, flat desert. When you build a city on a big, flat desert you can afford to make the thing a big grid, with evenly spaced streets all at nice, comfy, 90-degree angles.

Not so in San Francisco.

There is a grid in that part of town, sure. But Market Street cuts through it at some weird angle that my freedom-addled brain had failed to comprehend.

So I got lost. Real lost. Real fast.

Eventually I got frustrated and thought I'd find the store easier on foot. So I took the first parking space I could find (30 minutes on the meter – what luck!) and set out for the Psychedelic Shop.

The amazing thing is, I actually found it.

It was worth the hunt. I was lost in rows of tie-dyes, stickers, and pipes. This was the mother of all head shops and I was taking no prisoners. I had a wad of hard-earned summer-job cash in my pocket, and it was going fast.

I picked up a shirt or two and a few stickers and headed for the door. I had a good five minutes to get back to dad's car before the meter expired, and a full two hours to get back to Berkeley. I was gonna be fine.