The Beat Scene: Photographs by Burt Glinn

kerouac – excerpt

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Photo of the Beat Museum and Kerouac Alley, collage by zrants

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Magnum Photos and the Beat Museum present a new exhibition of largely unseen images of the Beat Generation in New York City and San Francisco, taken by photographer Burt Glinn in 1959 and 1960; selections from the book The Beat Scene: Photographs by Burt Glinn

Burt Glinn (1925-2008) was an award-winning photographer with a career spanning more than forty years. Self taught, Glinn was versatile and technically brilliant. He worked for Life magazine in the late 1940s before going freelance. He joined Magnum Photos in 1951—one of the first Americans to do so—eventually serving as its president in the 1970s and again in the 1980s. .. (more)

Of course there is a book. We are fortunate to live nearby and have a collection of the current “beat scene” as it is being preserved. In spite of the gentrification takeover of the city, we are still able to keep a little of the beat scene alive and well in San Francisco.

RELATED:
Never seen Beat photos debut in San Francisco’s North Beach

 

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San Francisco’s dearly departed nightclubs and music venues

By Amy Graff : sfgate – excerpt

How much would you pay to hop into a time machine and visit San Francisco’s long-gone Winterland Ballroom on Jan. 14, 1978, the night of the Sex Pistols’ last performance before the legendary punk band’s big breakup?

Johnny Rotten addressed the crowd hollering “Welcome to London,” and then he and his mates launched into a blitzed take on “God Save the Queen.”…

Winterland is one of the city’s many nightclubs and music venues that hosted golden music moments and great jam sessions before disappearing from the scene.

Many of us grew up throwing ourselves into mosh pits and twirling ourselves into oblivion in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s at these places, filling the memories of our youth in a freer, more vibrant and experimental San Francisco. In the gallery above, we pay tribute to some of our favorites with help from the recollections of the San Francisco Remembered Facebook group(more)

Of course Pinellas County lost Beaux Arts, the home to decades of art, poetry, politics, and underground films, fun and games for adults and wayward teens. Culture is killed by the society it tries to describe. Artists are left on their own to figure out how to move on. We dubbed it “culture clash”.

 

The billionaire who bought the LA Times: ‘Hipsters will want paper soon’

By Rory Carroll : theguardian – excerpt

Patrick Soon-Shiong despises clickbait and says the future belongs to quality journalism. Will his gamble pay off?

Patrick Soon-Shiong has spent decades trying to cure cancer and made a biotech fortune in the process, making him one of California’s most successful, enigmatic billionaires.

Born in South Africa to Chinese parents, he rose from humble origins and ended up in Los Angeles where he has thrived as a surgeon, scientist and entrepreneur. “The richest doctor in the history of the world,” Forbes magazine declared in 2014.

A bright, restless mind, Soon-Shiong is now seeking to remedy a very different source of malignant metastasis: news.

Fake news, superficial news, clickbait news, shrill, shouty, polarising news, he plans to tackle all these ailments in his latest incarnation as a media mogul…

Soon-Shiong has bought the Los Angeles Times and a handful of other California newspapers for $500m, vaulting him into an exclusive club populated by Rupert Murdoch, Jeff Bezos and a handful of other proprietors…

Soon-Shiong bought it in April for twice what Bezos paid for the Post. He also got the San Diego Union-Tribune, Spanish-language Hoy and several small community papers, now grouped under a corporate moniker, the California Times… (more)

“I can get there in entertainment, sports, healthcare, bringing value in different ways. Getting into the attention economy is what we’re going to be doing.”

Can we anticipate a comeback for journalists? Let’s hope so.

Some musings on the New Urbanist environment that is slurping up our Lifestyles

Excerpts from a Harper’s article:

” San Francisco is overrun by tech conjurers who are rapidly annihilating its remarkable diversity; they swarm in and out of the metropolis in specially chartered buses to work in Silicon Valley, using the city itself as a gigantic bed-and-breakfast.”

” By trying to improve our cities, we have only succeeded in making them empty simulacra of what was. To bring this about we have signed on to political scams and mindless development schemes that are so exclusive they are more destructive than all they were supposed to improve. The urban crisis of affluence exemplifies our wider crisis: we now live in an America where we believe that we no longer have any ability to control the systems we live under.”

“Wouldn’t we all love to put the urban improvement genie back in the bottle with a very tight cork!”, comment by Danessa Techmanski.

 

Will the unique culture of Miami’s Coconut Grove survive?

By Suzette Laboy, Associated Press : sfchronicle – excerpt

MIAMI (AP) — With its artsy vibe, lush landscapes and free-roaming peacocks, Coconut Grove has long been known as a bohemian paradise.

It’s also Miami’s oldest neighborhood, established along the shores of Biscayne Bay in 1873 before the city existed. Located nearly 5 miles from what is now Miami’s downtown, its streets are shaded by thick canopies of trees and its housing stock includes some of Miami’s oldest homes.

But as new architecture goes up and its business district revitalizes, Coconut Grove is at risk of losing its unique history and tropical culture. Older homes are being turned into mansions of concrete and glass. Locals are fighting to reduce the size of new construction and preserve green space…

orge Perez, one of the most influential names in Miami real estate, has called Coconut Grove home for over 35 years and says he’s committed to maintaining its historic charm. His company, The Related Group, along with The Terra Group, are behind the new Park Grove project, a 297-unit luxury condo development on the Coconut Grove waterfront. The project features three wavy towers, a restaurant and “lush landscaping that the Grove is known for,” Perez says, along with a park “filled with sculptures that will be very much in the spirit of the Grove.”…(more)

Coconut Grove was one of the choice distinations for Beaux Artists leaving Pinellas Park for greener pastures. They found friendly open-hearted fun-loving easy-going creative spirits there.

Now the Grove is facing the same devastation all cities are as unfriendly groups like The Related Group bring their bag of tricks to gentrify the neighborhoods they want to overtake. One of their tricks is to make deals with local governments to replace public parking with bike rental stations to gentrify neighborhoods.

Don’t know how successful they will be getting people out of their air-conditioned cars in Florida, but I’m sure they will try. I’m also sure the Coconut Grove folks will fight back to preserve what they love the same way we all do.

 

 

Summer of Love concert promoter won’t give up — seeks ballot measure

By Sam Whiting : sfchronicle – excerpt

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Promoter Boots Hughston, rejected over and over by the San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission in his bid to stage a free 50th Anniversary Summer of Love Concert in Golden Gate Park last summer, is now planning to take it to the voters and stage it for the 52nd anniversary…

“No Cost Permit for Summer of Love Anniversary Concert” is the title. If a simple majority of voters approve, the concert will be held in September 2019.

“We are talking about calling it ‘The 50th Anniversary of Woodstock featuring the Summer of Love’,” Hughston said. The initiative calls for Hughston and his organization, the Council of Light, to hold a free event with no fences at the Polo Field in Golden Gate Park. There will be 26 or 27 bands and 17 featured speakers. He expects the crowd to be 70,000 — minimum…

As part of the initiative Hughston has asked that all permit, inspection, landscape and management fees for the event be waived.

“The Summer of Love is an earmark for our generation,” Hughston said. “We are in our 70s and our 80s and we saved the world. We should be able to do one last big show and promote peace, love and compassion.”… (more)

One last attempt at one last bash for freedom peace and love before we throw in the towel on San Francisco’s role in history. Will these San Francisco residents support a “free” historical event to honor the fearless freedom fighters who got us where we are today, with our legal buds?

Lessons from Stop the Draft Week 50 years ago

In 1967, protesters filled the streets of Oakland to stop the draft. Seven faced serious charges — and their message still resonates today

With great fanfare PBS is airing a 10-part series about the Vietnam War. Critics charge that under the guise of being even handed, series producers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick say the US and Vietnam share equal blame for the war. Foreign correspondent  Reese Erlich offers a different historical perspective.

October marks the 50th anniversary of Stop the Draft Week, the largest militant anti-Vietnam War demonstration up to that time. Ten thousand people jammed into the streets of downtown Oakland to shutdown the federal draft induction center.

Demonstration organizers, who became known as the Oakland 7, faced an 11-week conspiracy trial. In a major victory for the anti-war movement, a jury acquitted them of all charges…

In October of 1967, the U.S. war effort in Vietnam was failing. In just a few months, Vietnamese rebels launched the Tet Offensive, a political defeat that proved to be a turning point in the US war.

Throughout 1967 President Lyndon Johnson sent more troops to South Vietnam, and that required bigger draft calls. The sons of the very rich and well connected always avoided the draft. Donald Trump received a medical deferment due to “bone spurs” in his heels. They didn’t prevent him from a lifetime of skiing, however…

We didn’t consider ourselves hippies, but the anti-war and counterculture movements were intertwined. Both groups used drugs, listened to rock, dressed unconventionally and engaged in the kind of sex that outraged our parents. But hippies tended to protest society by “dropping out.” We wanted them to “drop in” to the anti-war movement.

We also sought to broaden the anti-war movement by including workers and allying with black, Latino, and Asian activists. Dave Harris and his pacifist allies believed they could do that with an appeal to conscience and traditional, nonviolent tactics.

Others of us argued that working class youth were turned off by traditional pacifism. It was time that anti-war demonstrators become more militant and defend ourselves against police attack.

Our call for militant action was hugely controversial. Of course local politicians, university administrators and business people were opposed. But even most leaders of the mainstream peace movement were hesitant. Our rejection of non-violent tactics ran against the grain of protests at that time. Few leaders and no traditional peace groups endorsed STDW.

But we picked up grassroots support. I still remember walking the streets of Berkeley in early October and seeing scores of houses displaying Stop the Draft Week posters in their windows.

Our timing was spot on. “Our political antennae picked up something out there,” Oakland 7 member Terry Cannon told me years later… (more)

How the mighty have fallen. An unofficial Summer of Love celebration did squeak by with little fanfare in the fall of 2017 in the San Francisco Golden Gate Park Bandshell, with Wavy Gravy and some die hard local bands and their fans.
It is a sad day when San Francisco officials nix the 50th anniversary Summer of Love concert that ushered in the peace movement, especially now that we are dealing with a clash of cultures and political upheaval.
To add insult to injury, Silicon Valley officials and the 49ers Management want to extend a 10 PM noise curfew to allow for later performances to make up for the poor ticket sales at Levis Stadium. Money is king in the the former home of the peace and love movement.
Pay to play or just pay, as California turns itself into the most valuable real estate with the highest rate of poverty and one of the worst education systems in the country.