Saturday, April 30, 2011

HOME IS... WALKING DISTANCE




Everybody has to have a hometown, Binghamton's mine. In the strangely brittle, terribly sensitive make-up of a human being, there is a need for a place to hang a hat or a kind of geographical womb to crawl back into, or maybe just a place that's familiar because that's where you grew up.

When I dig back through memory cells, I get one particularly distinctive feeling—and that's one of warmth, comfort and well-being. For whatever else I may have had, or lost, or will find—I've still got a hometown. This, nobody's gonna take away from me.

--Rod Serling

WHERE IS HOME?



Where is home?

I’ve wondered where home is,
 and I realized, it’s not Mars or someplace like that,
 it’s Indianapolis when I was nine years old.


I had a brother and a sister, a cat and a dog,
 and a mother and a father and uncles and aunts.


And there’s no way I can get there again.

--
Kurt Vonnegut (2005)


Friday, April 22, 2011

LUCKY'S: CHARLIE CHAPLIN'S GHOST


Thomas Van Stein


From...



Around five o’clock when the sun begins to set, a watering hole/steak & chop house on the east end of Coast Village Road hosts the
Montecito Mellowest.

Lucky’s exudes relaxed elegance, its walls adorned with black-and-white photographs of famous thespians and crooners (mostly dead) in homage to Hollywood as it once was.
Servers are dressed formally, but management does not expect the same of its laid-back patrons, the likes of whom include folk-rockerDavid Crosby, who grew up in Montecito and drives in from Santa Ynez for beef stroganoff; the carrot-topped novelist T.C. Boyle, in trademark red Converse sneakers; Kirk Douglas, Carol Burnett,Bo Derek, and Oprah, who prefers to book the whole place when she craves steak and chops and Lucky‘s Fries and salty turtle sundaes.

A beer comes in a frosted mug, poured by Matt or Ezra; dry martinis are stirred to perfection. The menu, classic American fare, features
Andy’s Baby Back Ribs, after Formula One driver Andy Granatelli, who owns a corner table.

Charlie Chaplin’s ghost is often present, when he gets bored with the Montecito Inn (next door), which he created in 1928 as a weekend getaway for himself and friends. Now Charlie pulls playful pranks on patrons.

For instance, he’ll jerk a barstool, prompting a male customer to pratfall while concurrently causing a female to slip on an imaginary banana skin, and they’ll engage each other on the floor—Charlie’s slapstick style of sparking seduction.

Strangely, no injuries occur from these pratfalls and slippages (which of course have nothing to do with martinis.) Charlie, costumed as The Tramp, is seen walking through walls in Lucky’s Bamboo Room; he flicks empty glasses off serving trays, incessantly taps the shoulders of chosen patrons, and, when washrooms are occupied, switches the lights off or jiggles sliding locks to show “vacant,” resulting in mirthful (if mortifying) encounters.

Lucky’s Table 80 belongs to Charlie. That’s the one whose candle mysteriously alights at evening’s end when all other candles, and lights, are extinguished.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

PIATTI CROCKPOT



A tense moment when Worthen invokes the "N-word" to make a point about contemporary vernacular.


PIATTI CROCKPOT: ANDREW STRUMS A TUNE



86'd from Piatti, Andrew serenades the gang from two yards across the border...


Saturday, April 16, 2011

PIATTI CROCKPOT: DWAYNE'S ARRIVAL



Dwayne hits the lower State Street bars and rushes back to Montecito for a badly needed pee--followed by a shot of tequila...


Sunday, April 10, 2011

ON THE ROAD WITH KEROUAC


Photo: Thomas Van Stein

Jack's Jacket

The Beat Museum
North Beach
San Francisco

THE BEAT MUSEUM


Photo: Liv Brooke

North Beach
San Francisco

The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle to see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!"

-- On the Road

Saturday, April 9, 2011

JACK KEROUAC ALLEY


Photo: Robert Eringer

Between City Lights Books and The Vesuvio Bar
San Francisco

ALFRED'S STEAKHOUSE


Photo: Liv Brooke

Alfred's, San Francisco

We all went to a swank restaurant to eat--Alfred's, in North Beach, where Remi spent a good fifty dollars for the five of us, drinks and all.

-- On The Road

Thursday, April 7, 2011

LARIMER STREET



...and here I was in Denver. He let me off at Larimer Street. I stumbled along with the most wicked grin of joy in the world, among the old bums and beat cowboys of Larimer Street.

-- On the Road

MY BROTHER'S BAR, DENVER





Interior



Jack?



Message?



City Lights Books logo


WE PICTURED OURSELVES THERE, TOO




My Brother's Bar.

The only bar still existing in Denver, Colorado, where Jack Kerouac drank.

It is Denver's oldest bar, corner of Platte & 15th.


I pictured myself in a Denver bar that night, with all the gang, and in their eyes I would be strange and ragged and like the Prophet who has walked across the land to bring the dark Word, and the only Word I had was "Wow!"

-- On The Road

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

ON THE ROAD WITH JACK KEROUAC


Photo: Thomas Van Stein

My Brother's Bar

The only bar still existing in Denver, Colorado, where Jack Kerouac drank.

It is Denver's oldest bar, corner of Platte & 15th.


I pictured myself in a Denver bar that night, with all the gang, and in their eyes I would be strange and ragged and like the Prophet who has walked across the land to bring the dark Word, and the only Word I had was "Wow!"

-- On The Road

USTREAM: "BUY THE TICKET, TAKE THE RIDE"