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Jack Kerouac Alley

Jack Kerouac Alley
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Searching for Jack Kerouac in Chinatown San Francisco California United States

Searching for Jack Kerouac in Chinatown

You may not see it if you don't look beneath your feet in the bustling and bombarding crowd within San Francisco's Chinatown.
Once you stumble upon Kerouac Alley past the Vital Tea shop you'll notice you are standing before a plaque dedicated to a literary icon belonging to the Beatniks - a literary group of writers who went against commercialism, consumerism, and general masses. They broke the rules of writing and created some of the most important works in modern American history. This includes Allen Ginsbergs long poem called Howl which he first performed at the Six Gallery (on 3119 Fillmore St. now an Indian eatery but a plaque commemorates the event out front) as Kerouac scurried around the room collecting donations for wine.

Look down Kerouac alley and maybe even follow it and you'll find, just past the neon sign advertising drinks, City Lights - a sister book store to Shakespeare & Co. in Paris. A book shop that sold the Beatniks' books despite a ban on the literature due to profanity and sexual content.
Writers, pop in and pay your dues. Visit the poetry room where history was made.