Tag Archives: CA

COOL PEOPLE – JOHN STEINBECK AND CANNERY ROW

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CHAPTER 1 CANNERY ROW

John Steinbeck is one of the best-known and most revered American literary figures. He won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel Grapes of Wrath (1939), highlighting the lives of migrant farm workers in the Salinas Valley, and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962. Seventeen of his works, including Cannery Row (1945), The Pearl (1947), and East of Eden (1955), were made into Hollywood movies.

Best Of Cannery Row

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Monterey County Beginnings

Steinbeck was born about 30 miles from Cannery Row in Salinas, California, on February 27, 1902. He graduated from Salinas High School in 1919 and attended Stanford University, about 90 miles north of the Monterey Peninsula. He married his first wife, Carol Henning, in 1930. They lived in Pacific Grove next to Cannery Row, where much of the material for his books was gathered.

Cannery Row Characters

Steinbeck’s strong personal attachment to Monterey was perhaps inevitable. Living in Pacific Grove, in a house owned by his father, Steinbeck wrote stories spiced with the vibrant tales of cannery workers and roughnecks he knew.

Cannery Row ignited Steinbeck’s imagination and his affection for the colorful mix of people there influenced a number of stories and characters. Tortilla Flat (1935) received the California Commonwealth Club’s Gold Medal for best novel by a California author and marked a turning point in Steinbeck’s career.

Cannery Row (1945), one of Steinbeck’s best and most widely read fictional works, immortalized Cannery Row as a one-of-a-kind neighborhood of fish packing plants, bordellos, and flophouses, and made it the most famous street in America. Sweet Thursday, the sequel to Cannery Row, was published in 1954.

Steinbeck & Ed Ricketts

In 1930 Steinbeck met Ed Ricketts, an accomplished marine biologist who operated the Pacific Biological Laboratory at 800 Cannery Row. Ricketts was the inspiration for the character ‘Doc’ in Cannery Row, although he wasn’t called Doc in real life. Ricketts brought Steinbeck along on his outdoor adventures studying the biological mysteries of the “Great Tidal Pool” near Asilomar Beach, and on a voyage to the Sea of Cortez.

In 1948 Ed Ricketts was hit by a train after his Buick stalled on the tracks near Cannery Row. Today, the location of the train accident is memorialized with a bust of Ricketts at the street corner adjacent to the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa.

Steinbeck died on December 20, 1968, in New York City. His ashes were placed in the Garden of Memories Cemetery in Salinas.

For more information about John Steinbeck’s life and work, visit the National Steinbeck Center.

FROM CANNERY ROW (1982) – FORGOTTEN TREASURE

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BEATNIK HIWAY – Hippie Hill San Francisco Ca.

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#Hippie Hill

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 #the Hippie Hill annual pot festival April 20th 2014

Published on Apr 22, 2014

Every year on April 20th, THOUSANDS gather at Golden Gate Park for the Hippie Hill 4/20 event. If you have never attended, this is a minute glimpse of what you can expect!

 

From the rhythmic beat of hand drummers to the questionable smoke signal swirls, you truly have no idea what you’ll discover on Hippie Hill. Depending on whose lens you choose to view the atmosphere of the infamous meadow and sloping hill that notoriously received its name from being a gathering spot during the 1960s, it’s a fascinating fixture in Golden Gate Park. When the field isn’t ultra- packed, Hippie Hill is an interesting place to enjoy the sights and sounds of a sunny day at the park.

Things to Do

Sprawled out with a book across the spacious open field, catching the rejuvenating rays of the sun, or enjoying a toss of the Frisbee, the colorful cast of characters at Hippie Hill is never-ending. People-watching is definitely a favorite pastime of Hippie Hill visitors. For some, there is something somewhat magical about visiting a place that at one time attracted the likes of Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead.

Adults enjoy bringing lawn chairs, blankets, picnic lunches, canopies, and other accessories that helps usher in a lazy day. On the weekends, drum circles are commonplace. Perhaps you can teach an old or new dog a few tricks, as many visitors bring their faithful companion along to the Hill. However, keep in mind that this is probably not the best place for an outing with the youngsters.

Location

Hippie Hill is found on the eastern end of Golden Gate Park. Head for the hill located in between the Conservatory of Flowers and Haight Street.

#Marijuana and Cannabis News

Hippie Hill, Golden Gate Park, 4/20: Toke Was There [Photos]
By Steve Elliott ~alapoet~ in Culture
Monday, April 23, 2012 at 10:02 pm
All photos by Jack Rikess for Toke of the Town
The climactic moment: 4:20 p.m. on Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park, April 20, 2012

By Jack Rikess

Toke of the Town
Northern California Correspondent
Maybe there’s no greater metaphor for what’s going on with marijuana in 2012 than the proceedings that took place with Friday’s 4/20 celebration in Golden Gate Park. To recognize marijuana or not, that is my question.
Last Wednesday I called the director of Golden Gate Park, wishing to speak to him about the annual 4/20 festivities and if the Park plans to do anything different on that day, e.g. add more trashcans, porta-potties, security, etc…
I wasn’t allowed to speak to the director because all media questions are to be routed through the Park’s media person. When I asked if they were prepared for this Friday’s yearly gathering she explained that because there weren’t any permits or paperwork submitted, she didn’t know anything about the event.
I was thinking, is this the new “don’t ask, don’t tell?”

I didn’t want to push the subject, be accused of single-handedly ruining the day for everyone else by making the City acknowledge that every April 20, a large portion of our state descends upon Golden Gate Park for the purpose of getting as high as possible.
I didn’t know if I wanted to see that proclamation put forth. Maybe it is better that 4/20 is kept unofficial and hasn’t been forced to go the corporate route that is ruining the Burning Man vision.
So, what I did is celebrate April 20th the best I could…
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Golden Gate Park at 6:30 a.m.: I have the brilliant idea of doing before and after shots of the park before the herds of heads roll out their blankets and bongs
 
6:30 am: I have the brilliant idea of doing before and after shots of Golden Gate Park before the herds of heads roll out their blankets and bongs. I know that for the past week, travelers from all over the world have been sleeping in the park, waiting for the Stoner’s Holiday to commence. With that said, I wasn’t expecting the 100 or so people, already gathered on Hippie Hill cleaning their pipes, internally and externally, to be getting prepared so early in the morning.
After a week of clouds and shadows, the fog never had a chance against the early morning blazing sun; the Weather Gods once more shining down upon the hippies they love. It could be a beautiful day.
Weird Note: Usually on April 20th, from all directions of the compass, folks of all stripes and garb typically are heading to Golden Gate Park for the big pot party. There is hardly anyone making their way on the sidewalks and beaten paths that head to the park. Foot traffic is thin. Could this mean a low attendance? Like the dream is over?
Attendance at this point: 200-300 people.
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10:30 a.m.: The unofficial vendors start to arrive; a small village is being formed
10:30 am: The unofficial vendors start to arrive. First up are blankets full of munchies. Not the exotic or flamboyant, more like your Snickers and Doritos’s, with small bottles of Tropicana. I ask the ladies setting up if they did their research and if they determined that this is the food that pot heads love? “Absolutely, they’re people here bar-b-queuing hot dogs and hamburgers, but this is the easiest and this is what people want,” the woman smiles like a true marketing head.
I run into two pure 4/20 characters. One is offering a raffle for home-made decoupage pot-friendly hats. The raffle tickets are going for 2 bucks a piece. The gentleman encourages me to buy a ticket early before they sell out. He starts to argue with me that for a two dollar ticket, I can get a hat worth a $100.00. I say maybe I’ll come back. The problem is, he has a junk-yard megaphone and is berating me loudly as I walk away for not purchasing his ticket. I can hear his logic continue about the value of the lottery system and how this country was built on such a system as I slowly move away.
As I try not to listen to my short-comings as a non-consumer, another fellow shows me a laminated ticket from the original Woodstock in 1969. He says that he’ll be giving the ticket away today. To me, this is much more interesting than the Dr. Seuss pot leaf hat from the raffle guy.
I ask him how much would he take for the ticket now? “No, man, I can’t sell Woodstock, or the memories. This needs to be given away.”
I inquire, “How are you going to give it away?”
“I’m not sure man. But it’s going to be stupendous!”
It’s a little after eleven a.m. and there’s no army of heads trotting like lemmings to the park like year’s past. I’m starting to get skeptical. Has the world changed this much because of the Federal busts of this past year?  Tents and make-shift shelters are being erected around the crown of Hippie Hill and out on the grounds. A small village is being formed.
Attendance at this point: 300-400 people
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1 p.m.: The streams of people are starting to follow the tentative blue smoke beginning to rise fromn the park
1 pm: Okay, this is more like it. The streams of people are starting to follow the tentative blue smoke beginning to rise from the park like Yogi Bear to Huckleberry pie. Drums circles are magnetically attracting other drummers. Guitars are being played. And the surest sign that this gorgeous sunny day is beginning to transform to its core value: Young hippie chicks in halters and long, cotton dresses are twirling as the natural rhythms and beats of the day begin to overtake one of the country’s most famous parks.
If the unofficial vendors had a meeting and brainstormed on what would sell the best on 4/20, I believe the answer to that question had to be edibles. By early afternoon, the pathway to Hippie Hill is strewn with pans and sheets and shoe-boxes filled with anything that could be infused with marijuana. Of course brownies and Rice-Crispy treats are the best sellers but the teas and the grilled-cheese sammys are major crowd pleasers. There has to be over hundred people selling edibles throughout the grounds.
Attendance at this point: 500-600 people.
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3 p.m.: It is now wall-to-wall stoners
3 pm: I left the park briefly and returned. It is now wall to wall stoners. The cops have set up a gauntlet at the main entrance to the park. Anyone with glass bottles, coolers, sound systems, cabanas, porters carrying luggage, and being outright uncool, is being pulled from the oncoming herd. This is new. Usually the police form a perimeter around the hippie show and sit back and chill, unless needed. Today, they’re showing that they’ve stepped up their presence.
The only problem with this is that there are like a million ways to get into the park. So they’re really only stopping the few who aren’t smart enough to approach the park from the north and south entrances.
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3 p.m.: The cops have set up a gauntlet at the main entrance to the park
I think back to my conversation with the park spokesperson. The park isn’t doing anything different, yet the police are aware that 4/20 exists. Huh?
There has to be over 5,000 red-eyed, pot-loving kinfolk floating around the park by this time. I caught up with Andrew and Jeff from New Jersey. They’ve been sleeping in the park for the last couple of weeks. I ask if they’re here for the 4/20 celebration? “Naw, we’re trying to get into a school out here. We’d be smoking here regardless what day it was.”
Teresa and Wendell from Texas describe themselves as “Old Hippies.” They didn’t know about SF’s 4/20 preoccupation. “It is so cool that you can smoke here. Does the city allow it?” Teresa asks. I say, “Yeah.” “It’s too bad we don’t have anything to smoke,” Teresa replies.
Then to show the out-of-towners the true 4/20 spirit, I quietly ask the good people that are near us if anyone has an extra joint for some visitors?
T and W walked away with two nice sized bombers.
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I begin to notice how many people are from outside San Francisco, from across the bay and other nearby locales. It’s like the true San Franciscans are partying elsewhere.
Rebecca, Turtle and Burdman made the pilgrimage from Marin County. It is their second 4/20 for Rebecca and Burdman. They love the vibes and people. “Everyone getting together is so beautiful,” Rebecca says. “What is sad is, some people don’t know today is a holiday. There’s some that don’t even know what 4/20 means,” Rebecca says despondently.
Turtle had recently moved from Cincinnati and is blown away with the spectacle that’s parading before him. He sums it up best by saying, “This is so cool. This could never happen in my town.”
More and more people are arriving by the minute, presumably to find a location in preparation for the magic clock strike of 4:20 pm.
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4:15 p.m.: More and more people are arriving by the minute, presumably to find a location in preparation for 4:20 p.m.
I’m not good at counting heads, but I know tokers. I would say conservatively by 4:15 pm at Golden Gate Park, there are at least 10,000 people, if not more.
It soon feels like pagans preparing for war. Faces are being painted. There is an escalation of voices and music, dovetailing and bombarding off the throngs of people. Drum beats are getting faster as the anticipation of twenty after four approaches. Young men hit the ground in unabashed excitement, unable to control their exhilaration. The hippie girls twirl faster. More people get naked.
Then the countdown begins.
At 4:20 pm, San Francisco time, the park is ablaze. Forget contact high; this is subdermal. I am bathed in blue smoke. The sun was shining and people are happy. These really tough looking big Hispanic guys are maybe some of the nicest folks I meet. They shared their pre-rolls and huge smiles broke out from these guys, reminding me not to judge.
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4:20 p.m.: The park is ablaze. Forget contact high; this is subdermal.
And that’s an important point: I don’t know how many people attended 4/20 in the park, but most everyone was mellow and full of love. The saying of the day was, “Hey, its 4/20, be nice to someone today.”
People shared what they had. I did hear that some of the edibles were just that, only edible, no cannabis added. You know, some things can’t be helped.
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People shared what they had.
A few young ladies are seen doing the old, “Timber!” as they fell to the wayside. I asked the medical people if there were any problems. “Only dehydration for the most part. Nobody hurt so far.”
An hour later, motorcycle cops begin motoring on the park paths in order to clear people out or at least give the stoners the message, “We’re here and we’re in control.”
The only problem or outburst that garnered attention from the crowd is when a three-person Jesus Squad shows up to try to dissuade the revelers from partaking in their herbs. A circle surrounds the man on the evangelistic bullhorn as he swore we all are going to Hell. The police enter the circle; I think to protect the street preacher from the kids in tie-die and hemp. It is actually good theatre.  Then a member of the hippie crowd complains that the police are always on the side of religion and it’s not fair which turns into a shouting match. I think that was the most aggressive the day got.
4/20 is crazy. The liquor stores, grocery stores and other businesses next to Golden Gate Park that cater to concert-goers did great. I talked to other merchants, they hate 4/20.
The owner of one of the many coffee shops that line Haight Street said, “Today is a huge hassle for us. Kids want water, to use the bathrooms. There’s puke all over the place. People can’t move or park.”
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It was true. Haight Street looked like a parking lot. Cars moved to a slow crawl. Then I realized that the reason for this was most of the people attending were from outside of the city. 4/20 brings a multitude of stoners to the city for the day. Why? Because they can’t do in their town, like we can here in San Francisco.
Like Rebecca said, “It is sad that some people don’t know today’s a holiday.”
For so many people and locations, to smoke a joint in public is a quick way to take a ride with Barney Fife. In SF, we’re lucky.
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But how much should we push our luck? The bureaucrats that run Golden Gate Park do not recognize a gathering that has been happening for the 20 years that I’ve been attending. On the other hand, the cops call in off-duty officers and put in for overtime.
Four to five bathrooms are there to service the umpteen masses that attend. Garbage cans the same. So people piss and throw garbage everywhere.
What to do? Beyond the medicinal and the recreational, will there ever come a time when we can say this is who we are and for one day a year we want to recognize a plant that does so much for us? We don’t care if you agree; we just want more bathrooms. Y’know, like the ones you put out for St. Patrick’s Day, Columbus Day and for Super Bowl parties.
Should 4/20 be an official Golden Gate Park event? If that was to happen, there would have to be rules and regulations.
Isn’t that what we want on some level? Or don’t we?
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Jack Rikess
Toke of the Town correspondent Jack Rikess blogs from the Haight in San Francisco
Jack Rikess, a former stand-up comic, writes a regular column most directly found at jackrikess.com.
 
Jack delivers real-time coverage following the cannabis community, focusing on politics and culture.
 
His beat includes San Francisco, the Bay Area and Mendocino-Humboldt counties.
 
He has been quoted by the national media and is known for his unique view with thoughtful, insightful perspective.
 

Salvaging Steinbeck’s Vessel From a Little-Known Berth

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Salvaging Steinbeck’s Vessel From a Little-Known Berth

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The Western Flyer in Port Townsend, Wash. The boat’s owner plans to move it to Salinas, Calif., but a nonprofit group wants it in Monterey Bay. Credit Matthew Ryan Williams for The New York Times
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PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. — A wooden fishing boat that John Steinbeck chartered in 1940 with a biologist friend, then wrote about in a story of their journey through the Sea of Cortez in Mexico, sits in sad, decaying splendor in a boatyard here, two hours northwest of Seattle.

People have come from as far away as Liverpool, England, to see the vessel, named the Western Flyer, in the eight months since it arrived. There is no exhibit, no effort to market the ship as an attraction, or even point the way so people can easily find it, blocked and braced out of the water at the back of the yard. Mud covers the portholes from its two sinkings and resurrections. The brass doorknobs are corroded to green, and the upper rail buckles inward with rot and age.

“We get a couple of people a week, and we give them directions — it’s pretty low key,” said Anna Quinn, an owner of Imprint Bookstore, a downtown shop that sells a few copies a week of the book that resulted from Steinbeck’s trip, “The Log From the Sea of Cortez.”

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John Steinbeck featured the wooden fishing boat in “The Log From the Sea of Cortez,” sold in Port Townsend at Imprint Bookstore. Credit Matthew Ryan Williams for The New York Times

“They just want to see and touch it and be in the literary aura,” Ms. Quinn said.

A final chapter for the Western Flyer may be about to unfold. And there are fierce disagreements about how — and where — its tale of fleeting celebrity and ignominious decay should end.

The boat’s owner, Gerry Kehoe, a California businessman, said he planned to collect his property within the next couple of months. The 76-foot-long vessel, he said, will be cut into two or three pieces and trucked to Salinas, Calif., where Steinbeck was born, then reassembled and installed as the centerpiece — with real water and a dock — in the lobby of a boutique hotel Mr. Kehoe is developing.

The hotel, with two restaurants surrounding the boat and glass panels telling the story of the voyage, will open in the summer of 2015 with Western Flyer in the name, he said in a telephone interview.

The nephew of the Western Flyer’s skipper in 1940 has been ferociously critical of Mr. Kehoe’s plan. He says the boat belongs in Monterey, where it worked in Steinbeck’s day as a sardine fisher, and deserves better in retirement.

“He talks a good game, but he really doesn’t know what he’s doing — he doesn’t have a clue,” said Robert Enea, whose uncle, Tony Berry, piloted the voyage by Steinbeck and the biologist, E. F. Ricketts.

Mr. Enea, a retired physical education teacher, led a nonprofit group called the Western Flyer Project that he said had raised $10,000 and was trying to buy the boat in 2010 for $45,000 when Mr. Kehoe got it instead. The group, Mr. Enea said, envisioned a mission of environmental education in Monterey Bay, echoing and honoring the Cortez trip.

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Peter and Anna Quinn, owners of Imprint Bookstore. “We get a couple of people a week, and we give them directions — it’s pretty low key,” Ms. Quinn said of visitors seeking the boat. Credit Matthew Ryan Williams for The New York Times

Mr. Kehoe said the Flyer Project lacked resources to save or restore anything — not least a boat built in 1937 that would take “well into the seven figures” to be made seaworthy. And, he added, striking a note that Steinbeck himself might have savored as a champion of the underdog, the economically struggling town Salinas simply deserves the Western Flyer more than wealthy, flourishing Monterey.

“Does everybody want the rich to be richer?” Mr. Kehoe said, adding that access to the boat will be free. Salinas, he said, “doesn’t have a lot going for it, to be honest with you, but it is the birthplace of the great man.”

Literary tourism is a big business, in the bits of a writer’s life that get left around in the messy business of living, or the characters that came to life on the page. From Key West, Fla.,visitors can swill rum in honor of Hemingway, to Dickens World, a theme park in England that offers a re-creation of bleak and stinky Victorian London, writers are still earning their keep.

Here on Washington’s rainy Olympic Peninsula, setting of the hugely successful teen-vampire-romance “Twilight” novels by Stephenie Meyer, Steinbeck is small potatoes anyway. In Forks, which the heroine, Bella Swan, called home and is two hours west of Port Townsend, visitors can stay in one of the Twilight Rooms at the Pacific Inn Motel, or eat a Bella’s Barbecue Burger Dip at the Forks Coffee Shop.

Some who have come to see the Western Flyer pay homage to science. The six-week, 4,000-mile research trip in 1940 to study plants and animals formed a template for thinking and writing about ecology decades before the modern environmental movement, said Ian Hinkle, a Canadian filmmaker who came to shoot in January for a documentary on the Salish Sea called “Reaching Blue.”

“That boat was the inspiration for many ocean researchers and ecologists today,” he said. “Now it’s sitting in a boatyard, just sitting there, one more big old rotting piece of broken dreams.”

But perhaps for at least part of the summer tourism season in Port Townsend that began this weekend, the Western Flyer is going nowhere. Ms. Quinn, who owns Imprint Books with her husband, Peter, said they were hoping to do some Steinbeck readings this summer, with people gathering at the boatyard.

Steinbeck himself, in “The Log From the Sea of Cortez,” said he believed the bond of boats and people ran too deep to sever. “It is very easy to see why the Viking wished his body to sail away in an unmanned ship, for neither could exist without the other,” he wrote.

HIWAY AMERICA-GARBERVILLE CA. THE ONE LOG HOUSE

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The World Famous One Log House • Humboldt Co. California • A Brief History & Postcard Tour • Home

REDWOOD ONE LOG HOUSE
This famous Northern California attraction was the result of a three month search for the perfect specimen Sequoia Sempervirens, which was finally located near the town of Orick, in Humboldt County, California. After felling this 13 foot diameter forest giant, Art Schmock and a helper needed 8 months of hard labor to hollow out the log into a room 7 ft. high and 32 ft. long, weighing about 42 tons. His plan was to take it on a cross country tour to promote the redwoods. However its excess size caused highway problems. Its first permanent home was at Hurrin’s Shell Shop at Clam Beach, in Northern Humboldt County. It then became a redwood knick knack shop at Leggett, Mendocino County, just off of the Redwood Highway. During a sojourn in Phillipsville, it slid into decay until the current owners bought and lovingly restored it to a new life along the Redwood Highway. It is now near Richardson Grove State park at Bear Creek Meadows near milepost #1 on California highway #101 in Humboldt County.

Hiway America- City Lights Bookstore -The Beats -San Francisco,Ca

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Hiway America- City Lights Bookstore -The Beats -San Francisco,Ca

 

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A TOUR OF THE BOOKSTORE
http://www.citylights.com/bookstore/?fa=books_tour

Palm Springs give big send-off to giant Marilyn

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Palm Springs give big send-off to giant Marilyn

Updated: Thu, 27 Mar 2014 21:12:47 GMT | By The Associated Press, thecanadianpress.com
9CB7547DB4069FA9908939B17420_h286_w430_m2_q80_cLMqRNepaPalm Springs give big send-off to giant Marilyn

FILE – This Jan. 23, 2013 file photo shows the “Forever Marilyn” sculpture getting a shower from the Palm Springs Fire Department in Palm Springs, Calif. Palm Springs is singing “Goodbye, Norma Jean.” The city is throwing a send-off party Thursday March 27, 2014, for this massive statue of Marilyn Monroe that has become beloved by both tourists and locals in the two years it was on loan from The Sculpture Foundation.(AP Photo/The Desert Sun, Jay Calderon,File) RIVERSIDE PRESS-ENTERPRISE OUT; NO SALES; NO FOREIGN

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – Palm Springs is singing “Goodbye, Norma Jean.”

Well over 1,000 people attended a send-off Thursday night for a massive statue of Marilyn Monroe that has become beloved by both tourists and locals in the two years it was on loan from The Sculpture Foundation.

The Desert Sun (http://bit.ly/1mxlYak ) reports the downtown party included a performance by the Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus. Guests included Carol Channing, who originated on Broadway the role Monroe played in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.”

The 26-foot-tall, 34,000-pound statue named “Forever Marilyn” will soon go to Hamilton, N.J., for an exhibit honouring its designer, Seward Johnson.

The sculpture depicts Monroe in her memorable billowing skirt pose from the “The Seven Year Itch.”

City officials told party-goers they would do all they could to bring her back.


Information from: The Desert Sun, http://www.mydesert.com/

LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI

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A Brief Biography of
Lawrence Ferlinghetti

A prominent voice of the wide-open poetry movement that began in the 1950s, Lawrence Ferlinghetti has written poetry, translation, fiction, theater, art criticism, film narration, and essays. Often concerned with politics and social issues, Ferlinghetti’s poetry countered the literary elite’s definition of art and the artist’s role in the world. Though imbued with the commonplace, his poetry cannot be simply described as polemic or personal protest, for it stands on his craftsmanship, thematics, and grounding in tradition.

Ferlinghetti was born in Yonkers in 1919, son of Carlo Ferlinghetti who was from the province of Brescia and Clemence Albertine Mendes-Monsanto. Following his undergraduate years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he served in the U.S. Navy in World War II as a ship’s commander. He received a Master’s degree from Columbia University in 1947 and a Doctorate de l’Université de Paris (Sorbonne) in 1950. From 1951 to 1953, when he settled in San Francisco, he taught French in an adult education program, painted, and wrote art criticism. In 1953, with Peter D. Martin, he founded City Lights Bookstore, the first all-paperbound bookshop in the country, and by 1955 he had launched the City Lights publishing house.

The bookstore has served for half a century as a meeting place for writers, artists, and intellectuals. City Lights Publishers began with the Pocket Poets Series, through which Ferlinghetti aimed to create an international, dissident ferment. His publication of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl & Other Poems in 1956 led to his arrest on obscenity charges, and the trial that followed drew national attention to the San Francisco Renaissance and Beat movement writers. (He was overwhelmingly supported by prestigious literary and academic figures, and was acquitted.) This landmark First Amendment case established a legal precedent for the publication of controversial work with redeeming social importance.

Ferlinghetti’s paintings have been shown at various galleries around the world, from the Butler Museum of American Painting to Il Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome. He has been associated with the international Fluxus movement through the Archivio Francesco Conz in Verona. He has toured Italy, giving poetry readings in Roma, Napoli, Bologna, Firenze, Milano, Verona, Brescia, Cagliari, Torino, Venezia, and Sicilia. He won the Premio Taormino in 1973, and since then has been awarded the Premio Camaiore, the Premio Flaiano, the Premio Cavour. among others. He is published in Italy by Oscar Mondadori, City Lights Italia, and Minimum Fax. He was instrumental in arranging extensive poetry tours in Italy produced by City Lights Italia in Firenze. He has translated from the Italian Pier Paolo Pasolin’s Poemi Romani, which is published by City Lights Books. In San Francisco, his work can regularly be seen at the George Krevsky Gallery at 77 Geary Street.

Ferlinghetti’s A Coney Island of the Mind continues to be the most popular poetry book in the U.S. It has been translated into nine languages, and there are nearly 1,000,000 copies in print. The author of poetry, plays, fiction, art criticism, and essays, he has a dozen books currently in print in the U.S., and his work has been translated in many countries and in many languages. His most recent books are A Far Rockaway of the Heart (1997), How to Paint Sunlight (2001), and Americus Book I (2004) published by New Directions.

He has been the recipient of numerous prizes, including the Los Angeles Times’ Robert Kirsch Award, the BABRA Award for Lifetime Achievement, the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Award for Contribution to American Arts and Letters, the American Civil Liberties Union’s Earl Warren Civil Liberties Award. Ferlinghetti was named San Francisco’s Poet Laureate in August 1998, and he used his post as a bully-pulpit from which he articulated the seldom-heard “voice of the people.” In 2003 he was awarded the Robert Frost Memorial Medal, the Author’s Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, and he was elected to the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters.

FERLINGHETTI QUOTES

http://www.citylights.com/ferlinghetti/

Freedom of speech is always under attack by Fascist mentality, which exists in all parts of the world, unfortunately.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Freedom, Speech, Exists

Constantly risking absurdity and death whenever he performs above the heads of his audience, the poet, like an acrobat, climbs on rhyme to a high wire of his own making.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Death, Making, High

We have to raise the consciousness; the only way poets can change the world is to raise the consciousness of the general populace.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

QChange, General, Poets

Don’t patronize the chain bookstores. Every time I see some author scheduled to read and sign his books at a chain bookstore, I feel like telling him he’s stabbing the independent bookstores in the back.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti quotes

Time, Him, Read

Anyone who saw Nagasaki would suddenly realize that they’d been kept in the dark by the United States government as to what atomic bombs can do.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Government, Dark, Realize

Everything the Beats stood for was the opposite of the dominant culture today.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/l/lawrence_ferlinghetti.html#TXTmAeYWi67tHCLb.99

HIWAY AMERICA SANTA MONICA CA. THE END OF ROUTE 66 PART 12

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END OF THE LINE SANTA MONICA CALIFORNIA-ROUTE 66

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The Quick 10: Santa Monica Pier

                  

One of the things I really loved about L.A. is how easy it is to transport yourself to a totally different environment.  One day I was hanging out at the same hotel Marilyn Monroe once lived in and thinking about how I wasn’t cool enough to be enjoying a super overpriced drink at the Tropicana; the next day I was eating a hot dog and going barefoot in the sand at the Santa Monica Pier.  Maybe that’s not that impressive to most of you, but when you come from the midwest, you don’t transition scenery that fast. If you want a beach, you have to hop on a plane and travel several hours.  Unless you count lake beaches, which totally aren’t the same thing.  Um.  All of this rambling is my longwinded way of saying that today’s Quick 10 L.A. Week post is about the historic Santa Monica Pier (and area).

sign1. Open since September 9, 1909, the Santa Monica Pier was originally anything but fun and carefree. It actually served the very practical purpose of carrying sewage out past the breakers.  So when they advertise that they’re celebrating 100 years of the Santa Monica Pier this year, what they are really saluting is 93 years of fun and entertainment and seven years of poo disposal.  I kid… sort of.  It was made for sewage, but even so, people were flocking to it even since 1909.

2. The second, adjoining pier was built in 1916 and has been known by three different names, which I’ll probably use interchangeably. When it was first built by amusement park magnate Charles Looff – he built the first Coney Island Carousel in 1876 – it was known as the Looff Pier.  At some point people started calling it Newcomb Pier and then the Pleasure Pier (as opposed to the municipal poo pier).  I’m not sure that anyone actually designates between the two piers these days; at least from a non-Californian’s perspective, the whole kit and caboodle is just referred to as Santa Monica Pier.

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