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A Cool Map of Los Angeles's Mid-Century Beatnik Hangouts

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[Map via Los Angeles]

In their heyday around the middle of the century, beatniks could be found "from Long Beach to Hollywood and even to little South Gate," says LA Public Library map librarian Glen Creason in Los Angeles magazine, but this very visual map (from 1987) pinpoints some of the spots where "the beard and sandals crowd" were especially likely to gather. Who would possibly need a map of beatnik spots? Curious squares: For a while, Gleason says, beatniks were a bit of a tourist attraction. The map focuses mostly on two areas—Venice and Central Avenue—and a quick perusal turns up many jazz venues and hangouts that are, sadly, no longer happening.

Part of St. Mark's Hotel on Pacific Avenue in Venice has survived and is still called St. Mark's, says Creason, but the Finale Jazz Club on First Street in Little Tokyo (then referred to as Bronzeville, reflecting the demographic shift that followed the internment of the area's ethnically Japanese residents) wasn't so lucky—but there is still a small but well-known jazz scene in the neighborhood, centered on the famed Blue Whale just around the corner.
· CityDig: L.A.'s Original Hipsters, The Beat Generation [LA]