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Saturday, April 11, 2015

What was on Ruby's Street, Anyway?

"The magazines call us "Beatniks," which makes us laugh because it sounds so stupid. What I think is, people are mostly asleep and when they come down here to see guys like Jack Kerouac, it's because they're hungry for something and Jack wakes them up.

...I guess you could say we're trying to break out of the old world and start a new one. But that's not something you can explain to a social worker or policeman. They think the old world is just fine."
--Ruby Tabeata, The Beat on Ruby's Street

Greenwich Village, 1958.

What did Ruby see in her neighborhood and around the city? Just a few imagined sights from her eyes would include a street scene near her apartment building:

Then, maybe, when Ray went down to Chinatown to see his girlfriend:

And the streets they'd see together looked like this?

What could you see from Ruby's roof? 

And a couple of places around her neighborhood...

And then, one of Les and Bo's parties, maybe?

Plus the skyline, circa 1950s...

Just a day, I think, in the Beat on Ruby's Street...

Illustration: Scott Rolfs