Friday, November 20, 2015

City Lights Bookstore

A  L  O  H  A !
we suddenly 
wake up and see 
that what we thought 
to be this and that,
 ain't this and that 
at all?” 
                       Jack Kerouac, 
                                     The Dharma Bums

Alley outside is the link between Chinatown
& Italian neighborhood. Full of art! [and tourists!]
“I am waiting
for the meek to be blessed
and inherit the earth...
without taxes” 
                         Lawrence Ferlinghetti
                                  [Still going strong in his 90's!]

Sign reads: "Poet For Hire"
“The Beats and the Pranksters showed us 
different ways of opting out of society. 
They were both the personification of 
countercultural movements. The Beats 
were trying to change literature, 
and the Pranksters were trying to 
change the people and the country. 
Kesey, in fact, was his own 
cultural revolution, striving 
to keep the upbeat, 
freedom-loving spirit 
of America alive.” 
                 Sterling Lord, 
                                Lord of Publishing: A Memoir


" Founded in 1953 by 
poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti 
and Peter D. Martin, City Lights 
was our nation's 
first all-paperback bookstore. 

This great independent bookstore
 hosted Allen Ginsburg 
and other famous Beat Poets
 for their earliest readings.

Visitors from across the country 
and around the world come every day 
to browse, read, and just soak in 
the ambiance of alternative culture's 
only "Literary Landmark." "

Back in the early 1960's tour buses 
showed tourists the "beatniks" by 
pulling up in front of City Lights! 
Today, the Beats' legacy of 
anti-authoritarian politics and 
insurgent thinking continues to
be a strong influence in the store."

" The City Lights masthead says 
A Literary Meetingplace since 1953, 
and this concept includes publishing books 
as well as selling them. 
In 1955, Ferlinghetti launched 
City Lights Publishers with the now-famous 
Pocket Poets Series; Today, City Lights has 
well over two hundred titles in print, with 
a dozen new titles being published each year. 
The press is known and respected for 
its commitment to innovative and 
progressive ideas, and its resistance to forces 
of conservatism and censorship. 
All City Lights Publications 
that are currently available are proudly 
featured in the bookstore and 
on their website as well.

With this bookstore-publisher combination, 
"it is as if," says Ferlinghetti,
 "the public were being invited, in person 
and in books, to participate in that 
'great conversation' between authors of all ages, 
ancient and modern." City Lights has become 
world-famous, but it has retained 
an intimate, casual, anarchic charm. 
It's a completely unique 
San Francisco experience, and 
a must for anyone who 
appreciates good books. "
From the Webpage

Thank YOU
for joining us

May you feel
liberated from the 
same old arguments
into a realm of 
possibility, and 
personal creativity!
                    Fondly, cloudia


Bob Bushell said...

Wow, that's something, I love all pictures and I love Jack Kerouac, travelling man.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

City Light looks AMAZIING Cloudia, I have a feeling San Francisco will be home to many such brilliant venues. Did you go inside and check it out?

eViL pOp TaRt said...

That bookstore is a tourist attraction in itself. Great find!

eileeninmd said...

Hello, Cloudia! I would love to explore this bookstore. I love the photos and the quotes! Happy Friday, have a great weekend!

Vagabonde said...

Just saw that you moved close to SF. That must have been quite a move. We are considering moving too – but we have lived here 39 years – so much stuff! I lived in San Francisco itself for about 10 years and got married there in 1967. I returned twice, last time this past July. It certainly has changed. It is no longer the old San Francisco of the 60s, that’s for sure. I did go back to City Light where I used to shop in North Beach – still have several Ferlinghetti books (my gosh he is 96!) and The Howl from Allen Ginsberg I bought there decades ago. The SF architecture is still there but the people are way different! It’s not the same; there are loads more tourists than when we lived there, and it is a new wealthy geek generation atmosphere, no longer the free spirited. You’ll enjoy it though in that area, it’s beautiful.

LOLfromPasa said...

What a bookstore. What an adventure for you.

A said...

Great shots

Charles Gramlich said...

trying to change society is a lofty goal. Hardly ever accomplished

Karen S. said...

Jack is so right! I totally enjoy their Chinatown, and that poet for hire looks inviting, as does that groovy bookstore! Read on!

Cloudia said...

Thanks friends. I appreciate all these great comments. Yes we did go in. So easy to get overwhelmed! We're going to take this area one bite at a time. Your support is so appreciated

Teresa said...

Looks like you found a totally cool place to visit on your first trip to SF as an official Californian. Hope you picked up some off-beat, counter-culture reading material for the cold winter days and nights.

RedPat said...

It is good to know that places like that survive today, Cloudia!

Elephant's Child said...

Somewhere I would LOVE to spend an hour or two/a day or two...

Friko said...

I can see that you will make your new home into a real home. Have fun exploring.

Su-sieee! Mac said...

Did you stop at Vesuvio's, too? When you have a chance, check out the Inner Richmond area, especially Clement Street. I don't know if it's the same from when I lived there, 20 yrs ago, but that area was known as the City's second Chinatown.

Fireblossom said...

Okay that was weird. I got hijacked by an advertisement half way through reading this. Anyway, got to love City Lights!

Merlesworld said...

A good place to check out the books.

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Great post... dripping in rich history and (counter) culture! I hope you are able to continue these types of post as you explore your new area. It enriches us all!

Cloudia said...

Thanks Friends!

William Kendall said...

Bookstores I can be completely happy in!