I’ve never been to Denver, but I’m dying to go. I’d get drunk on Tokay at a Larimer Street dive, and then go street-crawling in search of Dean Moriarty’s forever-lost father.
Denver is part of Beat history because of Neal Cassady, who left Denver in the early forties to meet his hometown friend Hal Chase at Columbia University, and ended up inspiring the invention of the Beat Generation.
Andrew Burnett, a native of Denver who knows more about Neal Cassady’s roots there than anyone I know, e-mailed me offering to send me some of his notes on the old Neal haunts. I expected a page or two, but what he sent me was this sprawling virtual tour, (which has since been applauded in ‘The New Yorker.’)
As for me, I still don’t know much about this city. It’s at the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains. It’s just south of Boulder, home of the Naropa Institute, where Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman created the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics.
So forget this meager page — go to Andrew Burnett’s Denver Tour instead …