|Books fly near City Lights Bookstore|
Wander through the rooms where book “walls” create the corridors and read a few of the signs. Sit at one of the tables. If you concentrate really hard, you can almost hear William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg trading ideas with Kerouac and Ferlinghetti.
Even if you can't imagine the old poets' voices, you can still enjoy the ambience created so long ago because this bookstore still caters to writers and intellectuals with discussions and book launches—all free and open to the public.
It's no wonder City Lights was declared a literary landmark by the Friends of Libraries in 1992. It's funky, opinionated, and delightfully different from the traditional, mass-produced chain bookstores found in every mall in America. Oh, and it also stocks an excellent and eclectic range of books for sale. We loved it.
At dusk, we finally finished our “free day" and dragged ourselves back to the Lombard Inn. But the sounds, sights and smells of Chinatown, along with the memories of the City Lights Bookstore, and the taste of gelato that was almost as good as that little corner place in Rome, lingered long into the night.