EEF33646-832E-47C7-9329-A006153AD436 Hippy | Baghdad By The Bay

Posts Tagged 'hippy'

Levi Strauss & Co.

Laser Etched Levi'sBlue jeans, denim, dungarees, Levi’s. We might call them different things, but they all started in the same place. Levi Strauss came to San Francisco to form a company in 1873 to sell dry goods from his brother’s New York company. Levi struck a deal with tailor Jacob Davis to make work pants out of a blue denim that is known today around the world as blue jeans.

Opening his business at 90 Sacramento Street in San Francisco Levi Strauss he later expanded the business to take over 63 & 65 Sacramento Street. During this time a tailor named Jacob Davis who was buying hemp cloth from Strauss to repair work pants came up with the idea of the copper rivets to reinforce the jeans. He wanted to patent the idea, but lacking money he suggested to Strauss that they go into business together. Interesting note was that Levi’s first jeans were indeed made of hemp and not denim which didn’t start until 1890 when the first pair of denim Levi’s 501 jeans were made.

Trivia Note: Levi’s 501 originally had a copper rivet right in front in the crotch where the front met the back. Unfortunately several workers at a campfire stood a little too close to the fire and warmed up the rivet enough to give them a rude awakening down there.

While modern jeans didn’t start to spread outside San Francisco and California until around 1920 they finally made their way back east around 1930 with the dude ranch craze that was popular at the time. During World War II Levi’s became the pants of the working class outfitting the thousands of people taking up arms and working for the various defense companies around the country.

It was the 50’s and 60’s that make Levi’s an American icon among the youth of the nation. The 80’s greasers with their slicked back hair had to hand roll the cuffs of the jeans tightly and perfectly to look cool while the hippies of the 60’s let it all hang out with the bell bottoms flapping in the breeze [personal note, I feel that bell bottoms were one of the best jeans ideas of all times to hide skinny calves].

Now every where you go you see Levi’s or some knock off brand just about everywhere you go. citizen’s of Russia were paying hundred of dollars if not thousands of dollars for a pair and now things have come full circle and we lucky San Franciscan’s can do so as well.

Levi’s has opened a store in San Francisco at 815 Market Street in the Old Navy store that used to occupy the space. While the 501 Jeans of the working man are still sold there and are a big seller they’re making newer types of jeans some not using denim at all. They have commuter styles, eco-friendly styles [made from recycled water bottles] and even laser etched styles for the hip fashionistas out there [tattoo your pants because skin tattoos are SO 10 minutes ago!]

After years of wearing Levi’s I had moved away from blue to black generic jeans. They were cheaper, I was fatter and they worked more or less. I actually found some 527 Levi’s slim boot cut jeans I bought the other day and I’ve fallen in love with Levi’s again. Levi’s just fit right. There is something iconic about the fading blue of the denim that I had forgotten and the slight flare below the knees [hence why they are called boot cut] hides skinny calves that the skinny jeans just accentuate. I actually feel younger and from what people have told me, I look younger in these jeans. I’m a happy man. Now to go get my jeans tattooed. Should I get the sailor’s anchor or the pin up girl on them?

Exploratorium: Hippy Cool

OK, I’m sure you’re asking what I mean by that headline. It’s not Hip & Cool, but Hippy Cool. That was a snobbish term I used as a kid to describe this museum because at the time the Hippies didn’t have a lot of money, but had some cool ideas so as a kid the Exploratorium had the look of an unfinished museum that was run by people who were at the time, well, hippie-ish.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing I soon discovered. Finished proper upscale museums that attracted the type of people who wore $2000 suits to drink champagne and say how much they loved science while getting their pictures taken and then went home to their Pacific Heights mansions never to be seen among the unwashed masses didn’t used to come here. That’s a good thing because science is a dirty thing. Just watch an episode of Bones or CSI and real scientists deal with some very gnarly stuff on a daily basis.

I think I learned this at a young age when I went to the Exploratorium and got to meet up with a Scatologist who was showing off some animal poop and then tearing it apart to tell us all what the animal had eaten. Gee, you can actually make money doing this? Then there was the Ornithologist who actually got me to help him pull apart owl pellets [that’s what owls barf up after they’ve eaten] to see if I could guess what the owl had eaten [I was right, it was a gopher.]

This was science that you could touch and were encouraged to touch. The floor back then was unfinished concrete and the place looked like a warehouse, but each exhibit was something you were encouraged to interact with and for a kid I liked that. I didn’t like the lectures where a scientist would hold up bottles of enbalmed dead things and then talk for an hour or two. I liked it when the scientists invited me to come closer and touch the junk they were playing with.

In the early days a lot of the things were donated from people such as their audio section that had an old theremin that had been donated along with xylophones and harps. They weren’t always up to snuff, but when you’re a kid you don’t really care if it’s in tune or if one of the keys is chipped. You got to bang on it and that for a kid was fun.

I think the biggest thing that kept me coming back was the tactile dome where you’re put into a large dark room with stuff in it. You don’t know what the stuff is, but because you can’t see it you have to use your hands to figure out what it is and if you can’t you have to use your imagination to try and figure out what your hands are touching.

The Exploratorium gave kids examples of science that they could go home and try for themselves, much to the chagrin of their parents. I remember filling soda bottles with sugar, yeast and water and sticking a balloon on top to watch it inflate and that was cool. I remember using potatoes to make a battery. I also learned that if you mix hydrochloric acid and lye together that you would end up with salt water, though my mom wouldn’t let me try that at home. I think that the Exploratorium brought the sciences to the masses better than any other museum because it handed them to you in a way you could relate to.

While it isn’t cheap any more it’s still half the price of the California Academy of Sciences and you’ll get more for your money there and you might get to ride a bicycle until you can light up a bulb or at the very least learn why people fart.

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