(San Francisco) Oct. 2, 2008 It seems that the Sixties are over and San Francisco has let me down. Like Amsterdam, there was hope that the Sixties would still be alive in the City by the Bay. No such luck.
At the Borders store, the young man who helped me do a search of the material they had available didn't know who Herb (Mr. San Francisco) Caen was and they didn't have any of his books available.
They don't sell the Berkeley Barb in Frisco, these days and that's a sure sign the Sixties are gone.
Borders did have a copy of "On the Road" available in fiction literature, but there was no specific "Beatnik" section in their store. Herb Caen coined the term "beatnik." So much for appreciation of the city's literary heritage.
Where to go and what to do?
All the travel guides will give you the usual tourist information, and you can look stuff up on the Internets . . . if you know what you want to find before you start looking.
The Beatnik Museum is on-line and so the information about that is available and that should be a Thursday stop.
My first night living in San Francisco - back in the Sixties - a car with Massachusetts plates, pulled up to me and my roommate and asked: "Where's the Spaghetti Factory?" Charles told them just how to get there. Are they still in business? Just one more thing to find on-line today.
Computers are available in the San Francisco Public Library, but it is an unusual arrangement. You wait in line and get 15 minutes. If you run out of time, you go back to the end of the line.
Due to time limits constraints, this report may not be fully spell checked and revised. Think of it as first impressions written under combat conditions.
The Fillmore (West) is still here. More later.
One of the first things you hear when you start living in SF is the Mark Twain quote: "The Coldest Winter I ever spent was a Summer in San Francisco." If you haven't lived there; it's a very funny line. If you have lived there; you just nod your head and say: "That's why 'Up North' jackets were invented.
Now, the disk jockey will play Scott McKensey's (who?) Sixties hit: "Wear a flower in your hair." Time to disappear into the fog. Have a groovy week.