CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 7, 2010 |
From 1958 to 1966, the Venice West Cafe served as a gathering place for disciples of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and the other pioneers of the Beat Generation who planted the seeds of L.A.'s counterculture movement. Ray Manzarek, keyboardist for the Doors, recalls the spot as a hangout for post-beatnik intellectuals in dark turtlenecks and jeans, where he and bandmate Jim Morrison, under the influence of LSD, drank espresso and ate croissants while reading Camus and Sartre. Although the style of the building on Dudley Avenue near Ocean Front Walk is listed as "commercial vernacular" and nobody seems to know who designed it, the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission is expected to decide today whether to recommend that the site be designated as a city historic-cultural monument.
August 31, 2007 |
LOWELL, Mass. -- Manya Callahan, manager of the Barnes & Noble Downtown store, sees them all the time, young and old, looking for books by Lowell's most famous citizen. "They're usually wearing backpacks and they kind of have a sense of adventure about them," she says. "They walk inside, looking kind of nervous, then go up to me and ask if I have anything by Jack Kerouac."
April 22, 2007 |
All this was before--before Adler Alley had been rechristened Kerouac, before the Condor Club tossed its kitschy sign (complete with stripper Carol Doda's flashing red pasties) and long before anyone, anywhere, would have the temerity to open a "Beat Museum."
December 17, 2006 |
THE cautionary tale is one of the casualties of the 21st century -- along with telegrams, Playboy magazine and poise. Sex tapes are released, and the only time eyes blink are to swish away tears of scornful laughter. Lawsuits and settlements are the new bootstraps by which one aims to pull oneself up. When all is forgiven, when no one really cares anymore about things like shame and personal ruin -- after all, it didn't happen to you -- what place has such a story in the modern world?
June 16, 2006 |
Half a century ago, a young writer named Jack Hirschman wrote to Ernest Hemingway, seeking advice. He was stunned when perhaps the world's most famous author wrote back. "I can't help you, kid," Hemingway wrote. "You write better than I did when I was 19. But the hell of it is, you write like me. That is no sin. But you won't get anywhere with it." Hirschman took the advice, developing a working-class style of poetry that made him a vital, if lesser-known, voice of the Beat Generation.
April 9, 2006 |
IN 1950, a young writer from Lowell, Mass., published what he hoped would be an important American novel, a book that evoked the country at a critical cultural shift. His name, John Kerouac, the book, "The Town and the City." Despite largely polite, even generous reviews, Kerouac was weighed down by doubts. It wasn't the story, it was the telling -- which to his ear, lacked urgency.