Sunday, January 29, 2012


last semester i did a research paper for my rhetoric class about the Beats in San Francisco, namely the effect of Ginsberg's "Howl" on free-speech and censorship today. gosh, it was one of the best papers i ever written in respect to both the final paper and the research/writing process.

the Beat Generation practically started with San Francisco. and North Beach was a great start for this essay. after deciding on Ginsberg's infamous poem for the center of my paper, i spent half my time out there on Stockton and Columbus and even red-light district Broadway, just to get all that i could for this outcome.

notable places:

City Lights Books, it wasn't open by the time i needed to get info and i couldn't stay til it did, but thank goodness their role in the "Howl" trials of 1957 make the store a big tourist attraction to devote window displays to the event

The Beat Museum, this killed me. i didn't expect the close and warm treatment that i received from the owner and curator Gerry Cimino, who met me when i was waiting around for the museum and bookstore to open. gosh, the things i saw here just made me smile. the photos, the confiscated second-editions of Howl and Other Poems published by City Lights, AND JACK KEROUAC'S JACKET. this was a place i'm sure glad i spent $5 for. actually, because i was waiting and very upbeat about the whole visit and museum walk, Gerry let me in for free admission! as for the bookshop, great selection, and Gerry was very eager in presenting me with the necessary books and DVD documentaries that would certainly help my cause. what a pal!

Vesuvio/Jack Kerouac Alley, too bad i couldn't go here because it's pretty much a bar and i'm not 21 yet. it looks so dark and jazzy i'm just itching to come in here once November 4th's passed! the alley isn't much, but it's a sure recollection of these remarkable artists who did change the course of writers being oppressed by authority. it's cool, dark, and the pavement's embedded with quotes about literature especially ones from Kerouac himself. i was dreaming in that moment my feet were on the floor of the alley that around the corner Dean and Sal (of On the Road) would be approaching me and smiling with an invite to some swank dancing or drinks downtown.

just when i thought i'd discover it all, i hear about this. i need to come here, look up into the gable of the attic where Kerouac would look out and write-- and probably tell Neal and Carolyn Cassidy about-- his next new beat thing.

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