Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Shining a (City) light on a brave new world

Gareth, Nick, Jamie, Will and Jeff
Travelling around San Francisco and taking in the delights of this energetic diverse city has been a journey of discovery and rediscovery. I first walked the steep streets of San Francisco in 1986. One of the reasons I was drawn here as a 19 year old was the spirit of the Beat Poets like Alan Ginsberg and cult author Jack Kerouac. Both have an important cultural legacy here, held up at City Lights bookstore in North Beach.

I support independent retailers and love the curiosity and magic of a bookstore, but I was a little deflated by this visit to City Lights. Amongst the shelves of Anarchist poetry and rows of Noam Chomsky there was no place for two contempary and important books I would like to buy while I'm here - books by Richard Florida and Michael Lewis, both authors with something relevant to say about the world and modern America.

Anyway, ten minutes of browsing and I was off. Back over the road to have a chat to the rest of my party about other things that fascinate us - the new Raspberry Pi, University spin outs, satellite technology and IBM's re-invention. And City Lights wouldn't have any books that had anything to say about any of that. More's the pity.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Did you not go in Vesuvio , the pub next door? The ghosts of the beats still haunt that bar.

Ted Stockton
Posting as mellorview