I do miss that in this town, anywhere you walk, there’s something worth walking by.
In recognition of what would have been Jack Kerouac’s 90th birthday I bring you a one-way alley in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Located between Grant and Columbus Avenues, this isn’t some random alley, it is located next to a pub and bookstore that Kerouac used to go to when he lived here. It once was a garbage dump until 1988 when a bookstore owner started a transformation project. It involved repaving the alley, banning motor vehicles from entering, and installing new street lights. This took a while, but the new alley was officially reopened in 2007. Because it symbolically connects Chinatown and North Beach, the alley is inlaid with stone and metal plaques inscribed with poetry - poems by Li Po and Confucious are engraved on the western side while writings by John Steinbeck and Maya Angelou are on the eastern end. And no, I have never read anything by Kerouac, but all I need to know is summed up from this Freaks and Geeks quote: “‘On The Road’ is about being…on the road.”