The San Francisco Beat

Breezing through the windy city for a brief 24 hours last week, with the gust of energy from Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild” still brushing at our heels, Louise and I had an opportunity to step beyond the thrills of production and out into the world to engage with the thinkers and creators up north who are contributing to the literary beat in SF.

Just off of Market, we stopped by the Center for the Art of Translation,  a small non-profit promoting literature in translation through author events and their own small press.  A few blocks down, SF’s famous indie book store City Lights shines bright, packed tight with bookshelves boasting titles on the beat generation, poetry, and world lit.  I happened upon one of their own titles (they also publish through their own small press),  called “Beauty Salon,” a novella by the contemporary Mexican author Mario Bellatín.

Over in the Mission, the folks from McSweeney’s talked shop with us -like the 15th anniversary celebration of their hip little press founded by writer Dave Eggers, at new café and patisserie Craftsman and Wolves-name as exotic as the pastries: passion fruit sesame croissants and Thai mango scones.   Local coffee roasters Sight Glass served me what I later deemed my favorite cup of coffee (after tasting other local favorites Blue Bottle and Philz.)

Our friends from City Arts and Lectures gave us a behind-the-scenes tour of their venue, the newly remodeled Nourse Theatre, while swapping stories about the joys and trials of our similar literary series.  We also met up with a few of the future ALOUD authors who will join us later in the season.

There was much left to explore and experience, like an opportunity to attend an event with Pop Up Magazine– the newest buzz in cultural happenings, and perhaps spending a more dedicated moment with the writing on the wall at the Hotel Triton where the beats inspire dreams.

Wallpaper in the Hotel Triton where Ginsberg’s Howl is provided as the bedside bible

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~ by maureenmoore on April 14, 2013.

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