Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Vesuvio in the New York Times

Vesuvio was recently mentioned in the New York Times. Here is our part, and if you’d like to read the whole article:

A Book Lover's San Francisco

December 1, 2010
A Book Lover’s San Francisco
....Rather than sit there, I bought the book and went across the lane (Jack Kerouac Lane, to be precise) to the Vesuvio Cafe, a bar that was once a Beat hangout. Vesuvio is a cozy space of dark wood, tiled floors and stained glass, with framed photos of the neighborhood greats — Kerouac, Ginsberg, Ferlinghetti — covering the walls. I ordered a shot and a beer, which seemed an apt Beat lunch, and went upstairs to the narrow mezzanine to read.
“Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstasies! gone down the American river!”
I paused for a sip of whiskey and looked out the window, down onto Jack Kerouac Lane, where a steady stream of well-scrubbed tourists stopped to pose next to a mural and read some of the more innocuous Beat verse that had been inlaid in the sidewalk.
A couple at a table behind me were discussing Neal Cassady’s role as connective tissue between the Beats and the Merry Pranksters. At a small table in the corner, light streaming in the open window next to him, a bearded, bespectacled man sat hunched over a book with the intensity of a monk, an empty glass and a stack of new books beside him.
Looking up, he announced that he was reading Henry Miller’s “Tropic of Cancer” in a single sitting. “I’m reading my way out of a breakup,” he explained. “I read books in cafes, then leave them behind when I’m done.”