Juniper Branch, Pink Peppercorn
Finished Cedarwood, Warm Leather Objects, Ambient Rose
Tobacco Smoke, Sticky Woods, Subterranean Musks, Iris
I think the poet is the last person who is still speaking the truth when no one else dares to. I think the poet is the first person to begin the shaping and visioning of the new forms and the new consciousness when no one else has begun to sense it; I think these are two of the most essential human functions.
-Diane di Prima
The Beat Generation was conceived uptown and Beatniks were born in the Village. With Columbia University abutting the jazz clubs of Harlem, the would-be founding fathers of the Beats, Jack Kerouac, Allan Ginsberg, and Willam Bourroughs, were in attendance of both sites in the late 1940’s. Two coastlines of Bohemia coalesced where blossoming poet Kerouac found himself influenced by the burgeoning musical language of Bebop Jazz musicians Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Kenny Clarke, Charlie Christian, and Dizzy Gillespie. By the late 1950’s a scene would emerge downtown in Greenwich Village, with long established coffee houses morphing into late night courts of poetry, jazz, folk music, and exhibition. As the scene grew, so did the number of cafes and tensions between artist and bureaucrat. The convergence of cultures paired with the rebellion of nonconformity created iconic works of literature and music along with a permanent shift in society’s attitude toward living life with meaning.
34 Bohemian Cafes is a jaunt into the cover of the coffeehouses and subterranean clubs, an experience of the spatial affection of bebop and the enlightenment of poetry. You are at once observer and participant from the shelter of your seat in the cafe with an open invitation to the stage.
Bohemian body heat warms the room around you while conversation and the rhythms of jazz fluctuate about your consciousness. Write poetry, play a long game of chess, smoke and talk until the late hours of early morning; if this joint closes you don’t have to go home. ♦