In the late 60's the Haight in San Francisco was a place where people were rejecting one culture and building a new one. Today it is a place to buy shoes. There are a surprising number of shoe stores on Haight street. I visited all of them this weekend in search of cool shoes. And I was unsuccessful. Why? I have a theory. I'm not a very fashion conscious guy. I predominantly wear jeans and t-shirts and hiking shoes. And this is what I was wearing as I walked into the store. I found a pair of smart looking campers on the shelf. I walked over to the salesperson: an energetic young woman in camouflage, dreadlocks, pierced and pierced again. Her eyes were sparklers burning tracers into the air as she moved her head, darting. I walked up to her with the shoe in question. She sized me up in one glance, and her expression said, these shoes are too cool for you. She went into the back for quite a while. She was making it look good. She returned, glancing from side to side, and said, "um, we don't have those in a size twelve. sorry. you might try next door." I smiled and thanked her. I knew she had just played her *real* role as fashion monitor; matching up shoes with their proper owner. And I didn't fit the profile. A scene like this was repeated in every store. It was somehow satisfying not to spend money there. And the lyrics of the Grateful Dead came to mind as I walked past the Ben and Jerry's on Haight and Ashbury, I don't know, now, I just don't know, if I'm goin' back again.