Walk through Ocean Beach, particularly down Newport Avenue, and you’ll pass all sorts of weirdly wonderful shops. Look into some windows and you might think you traveled by time machine back to the 60’s.
I paused for a moment in front of The Black, a store that sells stuff that fits perfectly with OB’s alternative lifestyle. Coming down the sidewalk were surfers, retired hippies, free-spirited youth and sandal-wearing professionals. I looked into one window filled with dragon figurines and small toy robots.
My eye was then caught by a nearby historical sign. It explained that The Black’s rather plain-looking building, dating from 1918, has been home to a variety of more traditional grocery stores and markets selling meat, fruit and fresh produce. But that was decades ago. Long before the counterculture’s rise in the 1960’s.
One fascinating thing about history is that a community can change in ways that seem rather unexpected!