Shakespear and Co.

For the comfort of a book in english for travelers or lost soul ex-pats. Shakespear and Co. 37 rue de la Bûcherie, just the other side of the river from Notre Dame (left bank of course!)


French Beatnik Fashions for Summer

Barefeet? Sandals? Hedonist-like poses? I think the frenchies were a bit hip to the bohemian lifestyle that was picking up in Greenich village and North Beach. Come on there’s even dead fish in one tableau, how arty!










Dharma Bums

My favorite Jack Kerouac book by far. Check out the beautiful book covers available:

Jack looking very Christ-like in this amazing photo:

I still want to read Dharma Punx by Noah Levine about ex-addict punk rockers using buddhism to help their recovery. Anyone read it? What did you think? Do I have any drug-free/alcohol-free readers out there? I would love to hear from you.

1960’s Beatnik Era Poster INSOMNIAC Café HERMOSA BEACH


Text from the ebay listing:

This silk-screen / serigraph advertising poster by Earl Newman measures approximately 22 ½ in. by 35 in.

“Toulouse and Lady Luck” is apparently its title.

Apparently the Insomniac (located at 53 Pier Avenue) was not open for very long – somewhere online I found a reference that seemed to imply that coffee and cakes were not the only things for sale there….


Beatnik Café Menu for Sale on Ebay

menu1 menu2 menu3 menu4 menu5

How cool is this? A menu from a genuine Greenich Village Beatnik cafe with Famous Monsters graphics. The cafe was apparently haunted as it was built on the site of Burr’s stable where Aaron Burr murdered Alexander Hamilton. Here’s the seller’s description:

Menu from “Cafe Bizarre” in Greenwich Village, 106 West 3rd Street.  Famous and colorful 1950s and 1960s coffeehouse, one-time hangout of Beatnik poets, Andy Warhol, the Velvet Underground, an early James Taylor group, misc. folk singers, and Aaron Burr’s ghost (the building was originally Burr’s stable).  Painter Larry Rivers had a studio upstairs, by the way.   Singer and uke player Tiny Tim had his first paid engagement here.  Owner Rick Allmen started it in 1957 with $100.  Whole block was demolished in 1983 for an NYU dorm.

Menu has some ordinary fare like burgers and hot pastrami, but mostly features ice cream concoctions and exotic drinks (non-alcoholic).  Among the items: the Volcano, a mountainous ice cream soda that erupts in flames before your eyes; a Schizophrenic Sunday, a slightly paranoic banana split; and a Rum Barbados, a blend of choice and rare ingredients imported by camels from Secaucus, New Jersey.   Small cards for four drink “specials” have been stapled onto the menu.    Back of the menu shows an appropriately bizarre map of the Village, and a quote from owner Rick Allmen: “Greenwich Village is not so much a place as it is a state of mind.  It is an Oasis–a Mecca–for those who seek freedom to be themselves….”

Menu has a normal fold down the middle, but has also been folded in half horizontally.  No stray marks, no tears.  A few minor wrinkles and crinkles.

Here’s the listing

Audrey Hepburn in Paris

 “Paris When it Sizzles” and “Funny Face”

Two great films which highlight all the delicious Hollywood stereotypes of Paris.

First of all the hotel suite of William Holden is my dream apartment. Terrace with a view of the Eiffel tower and balcony bedroom in a heavenly grey, black and yellow decorated interior.



Typical Bal-Populaire scene



The film has some great party scenes on the Eiffel tower and the french film studio is very swanky.

Next film:

In “Funny Face” the perfect beatnik scene when Audrey arrives in Paris and goes directly to Montmartre.


Fred Astaire arrives searching for her at a beatnik cafe and a girl gets slapped by her boyfriend, then falls into his arms in a classic “fais moi mal Johnny” cliche.


Audrey discussing “Empathacism” with her new philosopher friends. Of course the club is in a “cave”.


The most excellent beatnik dance number. Audrey in her black turtleneck, leggings and ballerinas is total 1950’s Parisian perfection.


Beatnik Tattoo Day

Yesterday was really fun. I tattooed Maiwenn another fan of the Beat Generation writers. She got a girl beatnik creating at her typewriter, while smokin’ and drinkin’, with the words: catatonic highway and near ecstasy from “Howl” by Allen Ginsberg. I dressed up for the occasion! We listened to “Beat Jazz”, Miles Davis “L’Ascenseur pour échafaud” and the great Jimmy Smith. I love the Miles Davis album which was the soundtrack to a french film, it was recorded in Paris. I love Jimmy Smith because it mixes the organ and jazz, but makes me visualize circuses and old movie theatres.









Here’s Lili the french comic book I was telling you about. Lili has a parrot named Rarahu who loves her. Lili lives in Paris with no parental surveillance. It’s not clear if she’s a teenager or a girl just out of college.


Lili’s guardian is her uncle M. Minet a philosophy professor. To me he’s very beatnik, but everyone seems to regard him as kind of a square. I’m jealous of his apartment, a rooftop artist style atelier.


Her American boyfriend Dan:


Dan’s millionaire grandfather from Texas.


Lili the comic started in 1909 and was illustrated by many different artists, my favorite being Alexandre Gérard, especially those done in the 1950’s.

Some great episodes are:”Lili au music-hall” and “Lili à St-Germain-des-Prés”

Another Musical Weekend

Yesterday we went to Vinyl Office a new record store in Bastille. It was an art opening, a friend of ours Patrice Caillet, collects modified album art. You know, when people change the record album with doodles, collage or other ways of defacing the original. Some of it was fan adoration and others complete disrespect! I think sometimes people made new covers because the first was damaged. There were children’s scribbles and druggie doodles. Amongst the record store inventory, I found a french edition box set of Gene Vincent that I have been searching for since an old roommate stole my copy (very exciting since it was very reasonably priced!). I also found a cool Screamin’ Jay Hawkins disc, “Real Life”. Afterward we went to see authentic jazz in a St-Germain-des-Prés cave. Why did I wait so long!!!??? It was like a time warp, everything beatnik and cool that I imagine Paris was in the 1950’s . Serge Gainsbourg covers by some talented american musicians, check it out. They are playing again here on monday night.

Here’s an image from “Lili” a great french teenage comic strip that I adore. I love this image because it shows what a concert in a cave looks like. Check the bored beatniks! I will show you more about Lili later.


Tonight we’re going to see Sonic Chicken 4 au Gambetta.