7 ★ City Lights Bookstore.
Founded in 1953 and owned by
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, one of the first
Beat poets to arrive in San Francisco,
City Lights is now a city landmark, a
literary mecca, and one of the last of
the Beat-era hangouts in operation.
An active participant in the Beat
movement, Ferlinghetti established
his shop as a meeting place where
writers and bibliophiles could (and
still do) attend poetry readings and
other events. This vibrant part of the
literary scene and well-stocked book-
shop prides itself on its collection of
art, poetry, and social and political
paperbacks. @ 30 min. 261 Columbus
Ave. (at Broadway). y 415/362-
8193. www.citylights.com. Daily
8 Former residence of Alan
Ginsberg. It was here in 1955
where Ginsberg, a central figure in
the Beat movement, wrote his con-
troversial poem Howl, an uncensored
examination of modern life. @ 5 min.
1010 Montgomery St. (at Broadway).
9 Montgomery Block/
Transamerica Pyramid. The land-
mark Transamerica Pyramid sits on
the site of the former “Montgomery
Block,” which in 1853 was, at four
stories, the tallest building in the
American West. Among the many
writers who lived in the block-long
A plaque about Jack Kerouac Street.
building were Mark Twain, Ambrose
Bierce, Jack London, and George Ster-
ling. The lobby was the center of SF
society, and its unusual construction
atop redwood logs allowed it to with-
stand even the 1906 earthquake. The
Montgomery Block building was
demolished in 1959. @ 15 min.
Columbus Ave. & Montgomery St.
0 ★ Vesuvio's. This excellent
example of pressed-tin architecture.
was the preferred watering hole for
the Beats. Order a “Jack Kerouac,”
made with rum, tequila, orange/
cranberry juice, and lime, or a
“Bohemian coffee:” brandy,
amaretto, and a lemon twist.
Opened in 1949, it still maintains its
original bohemian atmosphere. 255
Columbus Ave. (at Jack Kerouac St.).
y 415/362-3370. (See p 122.)
The mural on the wall outside Vesuvio's, a favorite Beat hangout.