Introducing The Haight Ashbury Hippie Trap

Introducing The Haight Ashbury Hippie TrapPhoto: Amy Stephenson/Hoodline
Amy Stephenson
Published on January 07, 2015
If you've walked down Haight Street near Ashbury recently, you might have noticed a bright and colorful contraption hanging about ten feet above the sidewalk on Ashbury between Haight and Waller. If you're like us, you may have thought, "Wow, someone was really into Christmas this year," or simply, "Oh, I'm in the Haight."
As it turns out, it's a vigilante "hippie trap" courtesy of The Bubble Stroller Guy (who, as always, prefers to remain anonymous). Here's how he described the project on its Facebook page:

Using modern LED technology, feral Hippies are painlessly hypnotized and captured in a cruelty-free manner.
We operate a catch-and-release policy; Hippies are released in northern Mendocino to forage for marijuana in their natural environment.
We renounce cruelty; we never subject them to physical or verbal abuse, forced showers, Phish concert recordings or gainful employment.
Selected Hippies are occasionally made available for adoption, please enquire.
If you own a domestic Hippie please ensure s/he is tagged, neutered and bathed annually.

The kicker: he set up a hidden camera, and let it roll. "The response from passers-by has been really positive. Much like the Bubble Stroller, it's especially appreciated by kids and drunk people," he told us of the general reaction.

Here's the video: 

If you're curious, here are the specs, courtesy of the project's inventor:

It's 1800 LEDs suspended from a wiffle ball and a giant hula hoop (actually two hula hoops spliced together) doing crazy apeshit trippy patterns. It uses about 300watts when they're all at full blast, but on average it's the equivalent of a pair of old-style lightbulbs. It updates at 60 frames/sec which makes it nice and fluid looking.

It has two sorts of motion sensor - one microwave and one passive infrared, it can be triggered to turn on when someone walks underneath it (which is quite surprising as it's invisible when it's turned off) , and the patterns can change interactively when you move... but right now I just have it run freely all the time.

The Bubble Guy's past projects include the Haight Ashbury Christmas Disco Ball and an LED Burning Man Suit. He says he'll leave the Hippie Trap up for a few more weeks, but after that, "eventually it'll get old, and there's always new things to invent." So make sure you see it (preferably at night) before it comes down.