Thoughts for Thursday – Kerouac haunts

Here are some places in North Beach, San Francisco, where Jack and the Beats hung out (and where I hung out on my anti-birthday)…

City Lights Bookstore on Columbus (and Jack Kerouac Alley)

Inside Vesuvio’s, where the Beats got drunk.

The new Beat Museum, across the street from Vesuvio’s and City Lights. (Cool stuff: A check to a liquor store signed by Jack Kerouac and the original shirt worn by Neal Cassady when he drove Ken Kesey’s bus Furthur.)

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12 Responses to Thoughts for Thursday – Kerouac haunts

  1. Literary Bo says:

    I love San Francisco! I haven’t read Kerouac but have always wanted to. Do you recommend his work?


  2. I love Kerouac and am wishing that I can get back to san francisco one day… I’ve been spending some time re-reading the Dharma Bums and Tristessa, and I gave a new copy of “On The Road ” to a non reader in the hopes that he’d get caught up in the wonderful story…here’s hoping. He seemed quite happy to get the book. I often sat in the restaurant where O.Henry wrote, and sometimes I sat in the same spot where he wrote The Gift of The Magi” they had a copy of the story on the wall right there, in a little snug he loved to sit in.I remember my father reading me O. Henry stories when i was little, and how the twists at the end always thrilled me-that someone could write that way.


  3. Bob Dylan says:

    Kerouac is great.


  4. Has it inspired you to do any writing ?


  5. BikeProf says:

    Very cool pics. I once saw Ginsberg give a reading at City Lights. Is that perfect?


  6. Andi says:

    Oh wow! I’ll have to share this post with my friend and fellow blogger, TheOtherFeminist, because she and her husband took a longgg road trip devoted to the Beats a few years ago. She’ll love these pics.


  7. Tai says:

    Excellent locale for an antibirthday.I have a little fantasy about being locked in City Lights after closing time and then finding a secret tunnel under the street to Vesuvio’s where I’ll drink Irish coffee and curl up for a good long read (it’s foggy in this fantasy, of course).


  8. Ah, a fellow beat lover. Hail from theotherfeminist. Andi sent me this post and I am glad she did. The long Beat inspired trip did not come to complete fruition. We planned on going coast to coast like Jack, Neal, and others did, but alas, we had to cut the trip short and cut through the Dakotas and Colorado; however, we did go to “The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poets” while in Colorado. Anyway, I am aching to visit City Lights bookstore and after reading your post and viewing your pictures, I am determined to go this summer. Does the museum include any of the women Beats such as diPrima?


  9. LK says:

    Hi, everyone!Literary Bo, I promise a future post riffing on Kerouac and his writing. He is definitely an American original. A good place to start is with On the Road.D Chedwick, that’s a great anecdote about O. Henry and your father. Can you share the name of the restaurant (and city)?Princess, I’m working on it!BikeProf, good to hear from ya. Lucky you!!!! I hope you got a snapshot.Andi and Tai, thanks. I like the tunnel idea a lot. OtherFem, yes, the museum included a (small) area dedicated to Beat women, giving some history and background. I think that, unfortunately, the women at that time were still considered appendages to the men. But many of them kept trying to break out (or maybe I should say, to break in).


  10. bloglily says:

    Happy un-and anti-birthday LK. i’m with you on that, by the way. Drinks, food, friends, and books. Who needs anything else? xo, Lily


  11. danielle says:

    Looks like a wonderful way to celebrate you anti-birthday!!


  12. Pete’s Tavern on Irving Place (Grammercy Park Neighborhood) NYCThey say that William Sydney Porter (O. Henry) wrote his famous Christmas short story, ”The Gift of the Magi,” in two hours in a booth at the tavern in 1905. When I was in Copenhagen, I was in a tavern where they claimed Han Christian Andersen wrote “The Little Mermaid” I was always a huge fan of Andersen’s Fairy Tales… but the place was terribly crowded as I was there on a weekend. These things are always in the guidebooks, for ‘bookies’ like us.


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