Jack Kerouac Alley Reopening

For Immediate Release
March 31, 2007
Falvey Christine
(415) 554-6920


Jack Kerouac Alleyway in San Francisco's North Beach and
Chinatown Transformed into Pedestrian Only Sanctuary

San Francisco, CA- City leaders, department heads, and community organizations celebrated the re-opening of the historic Jack Kerouac Alley that connects the Chinatown and North Beach neighborhoods with a lion dance, music performances and poetry readings, today. The once drab automobile-accessible alley has been transformed into a beautiful public pedestrian-only thoroughfare.

Jack Kerouac Alley, situated between Grant and Columbus and just adjacent to famed Vesuvio's Café and City Lights Book Store, brings together the historic neighborhoods of Chinatown and North Beach. The Department of Public Works led the renovation project that added new streetlights with ornamental lampposts and cobblestone-like pavers. Stone tiles containing bilingual passages with inspired writings by Li Po, Confucius, Maya Angelou, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, John Steinbeck, as well as, Jack Kerouac, are also imbedded into the street.

Chinatown, the most densely populated community in the city and maybe the nation, has more than 30 alleyways in its twenty core blocks. Unlike the usual, empty back alleys that you find in the city, these narrow streets are regularly used as pedestrian thoroughfares, social-meeting places for residents, and storefronts for merchants. Chinatown's sounds, color, and vitality make it a special place, which draws visitors from all over the world.