San Remo

The point was to go, and to keep on going. To chase that point at the end of the night, that moment of pure satori where any notion of the past, present and future gives way to an eternal Now. The Beat Hotel was where it began, an interzone where dreamers, poets, visionaries, musicians, DJs, and revellers came together to plot, to party, and to exchange testimonies on the journey thus far. But the point was to keep on going.

In 2019 the decision was made that the Beat Hotel would close its doors for the last time, as the proprietors once more took to following the sun, destination unknown. Like all true seekers, in the end, they wound up in the Fellaheen lands of Mexico. Mexico, Kerouac reminded them, is a midnight movie; a new constellation; a place of sorceries and visions.

The Beat Hotel crew head south, on the path of the poets and surrealists, in search of the old gods. They find intimations of them at pit stops along the way; at magical taqueria stands where they watch the women, hypnotic under the lights, making tortillas like the beginning of the world; at stand-up-and-spit mezcal stalls where they get high on the spirits of pulque; at improvised roadside shrines to Our Lady of Guadalupe where they ask for benediction; and then… this place, this place that looked like a service station or a secret local bar from the outside, who knows exactly, this place that literally beckoned to them as they pulled in for a beer and found what they’d been looking for all along, although they didn’t quite realise it at first; a magnetism, an energy, a new centre of desire.

Everybody was in the place and no one knew how they had got there; a place of tall tales, mythic entanglements, and fated assignations; a place you have the uncanny feeling of having visited, somewhere, once before. Or maybe that’s just how it seems now that you have arrived, that you have always been here, at this mysterious centre of the world, with a warmth and a welcome that draws poets and dreamers – our own wild twins – to secret celebration and bacchanal. After all, the point was to go, and to keep on going. And here we are, at San Remo, its lights neon red in the dark of the Mexican night; a space out of time, a time out of mind, and a second gathering of the tribes.

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