by DANIEL AREA WAKAHISA photography ROMINA PIPERNO
Four years after Mount Vesuvius’s last eruption, Vesuvio Café opened its doors on the other side of the Atlantic. There could not have been a more appropriate name considering the historical and architectural context — and above all — the magnitude of its importance to the Beat Generation. It is safe to say that every writer whose words appeared on the pages of Grey Magazine has been affected by the drinks served to Kerouac and friends in the pub which is still called café because the second owner couldn’t afford to replace the sign with a different name. The literary movement which made Vesuvio an international landmark also ensured that its legacy would secure the bohemian meeting place from loosing its unique aura — and the last gas-lit chandelier in the city. Neither earthquakes nor money beat the Bartlebies of North Beach. Everything is still where it is supposed to be, telling an old story like the pages of a holographical book — not for sale at the nearby City Lights Bookstore.