Big Sur, US 1
I’m a huge Henry Miller fan. In fact, he’s partly the reason I ditched college when I was nineteen and took off to live and tramp around Europe. The quality of his writing that I liked best was that he knew how to fashion language in a way that reached ecstasy. He just let it rip, and as a reult his best work had a depth and pathos that made ART. And I really appreciate him as the artist. Getting to visit this spot has always been a dream of mine.
I figured I’d make it my West Coast pit stop. When I visited and discovered that it’s also a curated book store, I figured I’d add it as #58.
Until recently, the archives of Henry Miller were actually in this building. While I’m sure they were perfectly fine, I was glad to hear they had been moved recently to California State University of Monterey Bay where they are being digitized.
Besides the book store, this two-acre spread features film festivals, weekly open-mic nights, concerts, and can be rented out for weddings.
As a place, I imagine Big Sur ain’t what it used to be, and probably hasn’t been for a while. Sure, it’s laid back and it’s pretty, but it’s also crowded — Central Park crowded — with people coming down from SF and up from LA. Not a bad thing and worth seeing, of course, but the Oregon coast is just as lovely and seems like it could be a little less crowded. Just FYI. On the other hand, I did go on a 3-hour hike and only saw a couple of other people the entire time.