I’m on vacation in California, having flown in the this morning from Washington, DC. I’m staying at the Hilton in the San Francisco Financial District which is just a few blocks from one of my favorite places on earth, City Lights Books. I’m a beat poet at heart, and lived here back in 1979 when punk rock was the rage. Speaking of that era, I’m also close to the site of the Mabuhay Gardens which was a real punk showcase back in the day. I remember walking over from my studio at 1171 Bush Street #5 on many a night to take in the energy and the music. Back then, I was preparing to start my studies at the San Francisco Art Institute — but as usual, life took a turn. Here I am three decades later. To quote David Byrne, “How the hell did I get here?”
I enjoyed browsing around City Lights Books this afternoon, and enjoyed the small, yet comprehensive collection of Sci-Fi they have in the basement room. I even saw a copy of Alastair Reynolds’ Revelation Space on the shelf. I think that it is an incredible honor to have a book for sale on the shelves of City Lights, even if it’s not poetry or a Beat manifesto!
For the time being, I am going to enjoy a nice glass of Pinot Noir, and imagine the Hilton and TransAmerica Pyramid as starships on the gantry, ready for launch…(they both have very spacecraft-like architecture).