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The Beat Hotel

13 July 2009

This photo was taken at The Beat Hotel in Paris where Ginsberg, Orlovsky and Burroughs all stayed - Ginsberg after abandoning the Beat capital, San Fran for his shabby travels. It was a grim hole on a backstreet in the Latin Quarter, but a celebrated creative hub where residents paid rent with manuscripts and art. Photographer Harold Chapman chronicled the Beat Generation's stay there and sold polaroids in cafes to feed himself. The Beat Hotel's guests lived a stripped down, bare but enjoyable existence as the last Parisian 'Vie de Boheme', in the late 1950s and early 1960s and I would love to have experienced it. If it had working showers.

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