City lights bookstore [1/3]

City Lights Bookstore
San francisco. city lights bookstore

A quarter of 2011 is almost past. Scrolling back through the months take me further back to my trip around the neighbourhoods of san francisco. City Lights bookstore is a destination in itself, as the guidebooks suggested. I had made up my mind that City Lights bookstore would warrant at least as much time as it would take to walk the Golden Gate bridge.

We found it on our third (because, you know, the cherries and other berries) wandering out of Chinatown along Little Italy. There are very many bookstores in san fran, each lovingly tended, indie home of all sorts of books and papers. However, this, we realise, is no bookworm hole. City Lights is an iconic landmark of a place and of a time; the still-living symbol of the beat generation in the city that ironically allowed their greatest productivity and the term itself. The beats were the mothers and fathers of the flower children that would later flourish, cementing san fran’s rep.

The sizable two storey building stands parallel to the road. Cars go by, and i felt this exciting frisson cutting across the lanes towards the store. Like a neophyte leaving the slipstream to enter a sacred world.

Stepping in, stepping across the dark wooden floors of city lights harvest, i knew each subsequent moment there would be among my favourites of the whole trip.

For a book-lover, such moments in a bookstore are out-of-body experiences; you see them against the expanse of your life—you feel the inspired quietitude you know you will remember, you just know you will find a book among the shelves to take back, a pocket touchstone. Each seething strain of pure emotion you’ll later recall as you look over each photo, glad be able to go through every object and memento snapped that brought cause for pause, for thought.

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Post note: Back home, seven months passed and i haven’t even finished the ferlinghetti book of poems i’d bought. Library books had a more urgent due date, current tasks and routine pleasures pulled me along the time continuum. But i understand more and more you have to step off the sidewalk, schedule slightly ahead if necessary, and cross the threshold.

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Upstairs [2/3]

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San Francisco- City Lights Bookstore

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City Lights Bookstore

City Lights Bookstore- San Francisco

City Lights Bookstore

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City lights bookstore

City lights bookstore

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