Now: Any day of the week, the Upper Haight is filled with a potent mix of locals, tourists, and young homeless people. Many shops are geared toward luring visitors with some kind of reflection of the neighborhood's storied past. The carnival-like energy and strong vintage atmosphere comes through everywhere, from the clothing shops to the ornate Victorian architecture.
Then: Once the connection between the dense downtown area and the new Golden Gate Park was bridged by a cable car line in 1883, homes began to be built around Haight Ashbury. Although most of the neighborhood survived the 1906 earthquake and fire, it was a somewhat forlorn area through the first half of the 20th century. The 1960s brought an influx of young people and appreciation for the Haight bloomed.