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PARIS, France

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Author Topic: PARIS, France  (Read 8809 times)
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« Reply #120 on: June 29, 2009, 09:58:08 am »

Fragrant atmosphere

When it was relaunched as the Hotel de Vieux Paris in the 1990s, it had gone markedly upmarket, from Beat to boutique. Now it is getting a Naked Lunch plaque.

Beat fans have long made the pilgrimage.

Inspired by Harold's tales, I recently spent a night there.

Up in my attic room, I listened to recordings he had made of how the hotel used to be. The interior: dark hall, dust, paint peeling, bust doors, cracked windows.

A Turkish toilet on each floor - two footplates, a hole in the ground - and no lavatory paper, just a telephone directory.

Another Beat Hotel resident, Verta Kali Smart, playing an African piano of flattened bicycle spokes, the sound from the bar, fierce arguments, solo rages, laughter, coughing, singing, crying.

And he remembered the smells: perfumes, marijuana, Gauloises, oil paint and food. People often cooked in their rooms.

Others trawled the corridors for a sniff of something cooking in hope of a meal.
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