Here I am at City Lights Bookstore again. Some of you will recognize this bookstore because I talk about it a lot, especially their Poetry Room. Its probably no coincidence that it was one of the first places that I wanted to see when I first came to the city, inspired by Jack Kerouac and the writers of the Beat Generation.
Aside from its cultural history, City Lights is also an intersection of sorts where North Beach and Chinatown meet. I've always been fascinated by the stark difference between these two neighborhoods, a contrast that is even more striking when you look at it from the Poetry Room window. On one side are the Italian cafes and Victorian houses and on the other are old downtown apartments and restaurants in Chinatown.
One time, I was sitting by the window and found myself wondering about the people living in this apartment building that I even wrote a poem about it. What are their lives like? Do they look out of their windows to see people reading inside the bookstore?
There are those places that speak to us in the most ordinary ways and here is one of mine. And for as long as I can remember, I always seem to do a lot of writing here or at a nearby coffee shop. How about you, where is your special/ordinary place?