Posted by: TomA | 1 May 2007

Day 2 – San Francisco

Our hostel is nicely located for the various old Beat hang-outs, much to Becky’s joy. Our first stop was the City Lights Bookstore, made famous for publishing Ginsberg’s Howl.

Inside, the shelves were delightfully crammed with everything you’d hope such a bookstore would be, as well as photos of Kerouac, Burroughs and Ginsberg in varying states of inebriation and undress (often in the store itself…). Becky left with a nice pile of books to read on our travels.

The area just north from here, North Beach, is predominantly Italian, and full of great cafes, small boutiques and great parks. It was slightly surprising to have somewhere in a huge North American city to have such a European feel, with narrow streets.

What follows is a condensed version, crashing laptops make typing stuff for the second and third time less appealing. Have some photos and a quick blurb:

Telegraph Hill, one of many many lovely hills in SF. Good views of bridges, Alcatraz and sweaty Yanks in fanny packs.

We’ve not yet been on a cable car or the vintage trams (below), both of which are rather tempting.

Jack Kerouac alley is a rather unassuming alleyway in Chinatown (inhabited by an elderly Chinese man dancing around trying to get a jacket on/off), next to Vesuvio, apparently a favourite drinking hole at the time. There were actually very tourists in there, though the regulars weren’t perhaps as characterful as you might hope…

Finally, we happened upon the (ex) strip club where it all began – the first topless dance and the first bottomless dance. All that remains now is the plaque on the wall outside; inside has been converted into an expensive seafood and jazz restaurant.



  1. Great photo of your feet Tom!

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