Hippies lived only in coastal cities or rural communes.
It’s easy to imagine hippies clustering in California’s Bay Area or among the Ivy League campuses of the Eastern Seaboard. In Scott MacFarlane’s “The Hippie Narrative,” for example, the author points out that Norman Mailer distinguished between “more visionary West Coast” hippies and “practical East Coast” hippies, with not a thought given to those who might have resided somewhere in between. Likewise, “The American Promise,” a high school history textbook, states that “hippie enclaves sprouted in low-rent districts of coastal cities and in rural communities.”
But hippies lived all over the United States, even in small and mid-size cities in the South and Midwest. The earliest flowering of hippie culture took place in coastal cities such as San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles, but head shops — purveyors of psychedelic posters, black lightbulbs and rolling papers — were popping up by 1967 in such cities as Atlanta, Cleveland and Omaha, as well as Austin, Ann Arbor and other college towns. Almost every city had a neighborhood or public place where hippies came together. Washington’s hippies hung out on Dupont Circle, while Baltimore’s gathered at that city’s Washington Monument.
Meanwhile, countercultural newspapers were launched all over the country. To name just a few examples, Middle Earth appeared in Iowa City, Iowa; Chinook in Denver; Kudzu in Jackson, Miss.; and the improbably named Protean Radish in Chapel Hill, N.C.