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11 The City Lights Bookstore

The City Lights Bookstore

The City Lights Bookstore
The City Lights Bookstore was opened in the early 1950s by the poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti and his business partner Peter Martin who was a sociology teacher. They were quite the pioneers in the bookstore world because it was the first bookstore to sell just paperback books. The whole book industry back then rather looked down on the paperbacks, and they also wanted this to be something of a community center. So rather than having regular office hours between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm that was common for the bookstores at the time, they opened at 10:00 in the morning and stayed open till 2:00 at night. And so soon they found themselves the second home for the Beat Generation of poets of the 1950s. We're inside the poetry room here which is stacked to the rafters, filled with great works of poetry, which also has this lovely old rocking chair called the Poet's Chair. It's been passed down for through generations of poets. People come from all around the world to sit in the chair, have a bit of a read and think, perhaps also hope for some creative inspiration.
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The Jazz Mural

11 The Jazz Mural

The Jazz Mural

Jack Kerouac Alley

Jack Kerouac Alley

Jack Kerouac Alley

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