4.3
4 votes

Jack Kerouac Alley

formerly Adler Alley, San Francisco, California 94133 USA

“Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don't be sorry”

Jack Kerouac Alley (formerly Adler Alley or Adler Place) is a one-way alleyway in Chinatown, San Francisco, California, that connects Grant Avenue and Columbus Avenue. The alley is named after Jack Kerouac, a Beat Generation writer who used to frequent the pub and bookstore adjacent to the alley. The alley was a common place for garbage dumping and a shortcut for trucks. In 1988, poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who is the co-founder of City Lights Bookstore, presented his idea to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to transform the alleyway. The project involved repaving the alley, banning motor vehicles from entering, and installing new street lights. The new look alley was reopened to the public in March 2007. The alley is now known for its engraved Western and Chinese poems, including poets such as John Steinbeck, Maya Angelou, and Kerouac himself. A ceremony was held in April 2007 to celebrate the reopening of the alley.

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Reviewed by
Tatiana Danger

  • Road Warrior
  • 1,169 Reviews
  • 637 Helpful
August 31, 2014
Rated 4.0

Stroll down Jack Kerouac Alley to City Lights Bookstore. When you visit this iconic beat generation bookstore, head upstairs to the Beat section to check out the scroll version of On the Road. Then walk in the footsteps of Neal Cassady (the real-life Dean Moriarty) and stop over at Vesuvio. The joint became a regular hangout for Kerouac and other Beat poets. Next, check out the Beat Museum, which is a shrine to the beatnik generation. You’ll likely want to rest your weary head at Hotel Boheme, which oozes Beat-era jazz.

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Jack Kerouac Alley

formerly Adler Alley
San Francisco, California
94133 USA

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