Bwog Goes Beat

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We got an inside sneak peak of the West End’s newly Cubanized interior earlier tonight when it opened its doors for the now-annual celebration of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and other Columbia-affiliated Beats, culminating in an enthusiastic reading of Ginsberg’s Howl. For an event devoted to subversive young artists, the ‘Stend’s new digs, not to mention the sumptuous banquet with all-you-can-drink wine and beer, were a bit incongruously swank. 


Still, several of the bar’s former mainstays, among them Kerouac’s former lover Joyce Johnson, evoked memories of the old West End, one going so far as to suggest that the renovation brought back the spirit of the bar of years ago. What’s old is new again? Maybe we’ll figure it out when all the orange paint is finally dry.


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  1. haha

    good job ripping off a pre-existing student event, columbia admin.

  2. lots of  

    old people there. it was kinda weak and kinda lame.

  3. the profs  

    who were there were ecstatic that columbia was, for the first time, "recognizing" the contributions of the beats. I guess the admin carries grudges for a long time...isn't it good to see them let go? anyway, david schapiro sorta brought some rebellious spirit to the reading when he hijacked the mike, panicking the organizers.

  4. mlp  

    This is nothing new. The Philolexian Society has held an annual Beat Night, complete with readings of Howl on Low steps, for years.

  5. admin

    has been doing this for years, too.

    • 3 years

      for the admin vs 10-20 for philo. good job.

      Ginsberg was a philo and we've done a much better job of honoring his debaucherous legacy for a lot longer (for example, while he was still ALIVE) then the pussy footed admin.

  6. Alum

    Not sure why this needs to be a competition. I have tremendous admiration for Philo and their contributions to the beat legacy but also think that the Howl event at the West End is tremendous.

    The Howl event at the Stend was created in response to alumni demand for such an event. Sorry if this offends, but for those of us who no longer have the privilage of being students at Columbia its a nice way of staying connected. Does having two events built around Columbia's beat legacy really seem so terrible?

  7. Well  

    It doesn't have to be. Perhaps if the admin approached student groups more often about co-sponsoring events like these, particularly groups that have direct ties, it would be great, as opposed to making student groups notice and then go knock on their door asking to be a part of something they've already been doing.

    2 years ago the admin approached philo asking if they might know anything about a 'philolexian oratory prize' the admin were supposed to give out. the response was more or less 'wtf do you THINK? it has our NAME in it.'

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