North Beach Celebrates Lawrence Ferlinghetti's 100th birthday!
Today marks the 100th birthday of the (still living) Beat legend Lawrence Ferlinghetti, founder of the City Lights Bookstore, and North Beach in San Francisco was exploding with enthusiasm.
Ferlinghetti fought famous obscenity trials, including the 1957 trial for the right to publish Allen Ginsberg's "Howl."
I went to North Beach for today's birthday festivities and happened to snap a pic of the legendary City Lights Bookstore and then looked at it and noticed the couple kissing in the foreground. Perfect! Before there was a Summer of Love, Lawrence Ferlinghetti's little book store was fighting, literally, in court, for the rights of all people to live freely and speak openly about their love. Thank you for everything, Mr. Ferlinghetti! You are a large part of my American Dream!
Lawrence Ferlinghetti came to Naropa during my time at the Jack Kerouac School and he was an absolute gem. Within the last ten years, I've also seen him behind the counter at City Lights. I can't say how happy I was to get over to North Beach today to join the crowds in the streets honoring the 100th birthday of this legend. Lawrence celebrated the hallmark birthday by publishing a novel he'd recently written. Of course.