City Lights Bookstore: Community
Jack Kerouac Alley
City Lights is located at the point where three vibrant San Francisco neighborhoods converge. Chinatown, North Beach, and the Financial District all bring different crowds from the surrounding streets to the store. Being open from 10 am to midnight means that visitors to the store vary greatly as the area experiences dramatic temporal changes. The morning hours begin with a burst of energy in the cafes, where poets and others gather to muse. On weekdays, the daytime audience may be the business folk wandering up from the financial district on their lunch break looking for food, particularly Chinese or Italian. Around five, the crowd that surrounds the store becomes people coming home from work and stopping to buy groceries at the many Chinese markets. Around this time readings and speakers draw people into the store. As it gets dark the lights begin to glow and the air begins to buzz with the bar crowd. On weekend nights in particular, the neighborhood gets rowdy as people, both locals and tourists, come to visit the nightclubs featuring erotic entertainment. With the coming together of so many different interests within this unique geography surrounding City Lights, approaches to reach visitors must be fluid and easy to adjust to meet the needs of the various moments.