And so, I went up to San Francisco and headed for North Beach to walk along Via Ferlinghetti, the street named after Lawrence of that ilk, poet and begetter of the City Lights Bookstore.
It’s a short street and it’s a dead end. Compared with the orgy of street art in Kerouac Alley, Via Ferlinghetti is an oasis of calm and restraint, and also seriously lacking in glamor, which is not necessarily a bad thing. It looked like this from one end:
And this from the other:
And like this in the middle:
A stroll along Via Ferlinghetti was not the greatest walking adventure, but on the way there I walked past Kenneth Rexroth Place.
I'd never heard of that, and I can’t say that Kenneth Rexroth is an open book to me, but I do know he was a poet and probably a “good thing,” though until I came to write this post, I’d never read any of his poetry – I thought it was time I did. His poem “The Silver Swan” contains the lines:
… I go out
Into the wooded garden
And walk, nude, except for my
Sandals, through light and dark banded
Like a field of sleeping tigers.
Personally I’d say that if you’re going to walk nude you should probably ditch the sandals, but I can see this is a personal matter.
Kenneth Rexroth Way looks like a reasonable place to walk (that's it above) but I don’t suppose many walk there given the heavy gated arrangement (below).
Go to the website for Zephyr Real Estate and you'll discover there's a two bedroom condo for sale there, for $1,186,00 which for all I know may be a bargain by San Francisco standards. "Walk score of 100!"
And then drifting around the area I came to Beach Blanket Babylon Boulevard, named after what they say is the world's longest-running musical revue. It’s a hard name to live up to, obviously.
The show looks a good deal livelier than the street.