Just Kids

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Oct 12, PorshaJo rated it it was amazing Shelves: challengereads , favorites , challengereads , audio. I loved this book. I did not want it to end. To be honest, I did not know much about Patti Smith other than her music. When the book initially came out, I heard so many wonderful things about it. I thought I should give it a shot. But frankly, I was a bit tired of the 'musician' bio books as some were just so dreadful. I was so wrong to think that and hold off on this book. I decided to go with the audio. I was immediately enthralled with it. The audio is narrated by Smith and she does an incredi I loved this book.

The audio is narrated by Smith and she does an incredible job. Who else to 'read' the story of her life other than the one wrote it and lived it. Just Kids tells the story of Patti growing up and following her desires to go to NYC and grow and become an artist. She tells of the wonderful life-long friendship that she had with the photographer, Robert Mapplethorpe. I had no idea how talented Patti Smith is - she's a poet, artist, writer, musician, singer, actress. She has been in photos, acted in plays, wrote lots of songs, wrote books on poetry and non-fiction.

She came into contact with so many different types of artists that helped her grow - various notable musicians, poets, artists. There were a lot of famous people mentioned but these are the people that were in NYC during this time when it was on the cusp of art and artists coming alive. She talks of her time spent in the Chelsea Hotel in NYC which, at the time, was a haven for artistic folks.

It's amazing that these two found one another and pushed each other. It's a beautiful story. I saw Patti Smith speak recently and she said that Mapplethorpe, before he died, asked her to tell their story. Just Kids is that story and a story that took her 20 years to write. I know why this book won the National Book Award and why it's 4 on the best music books of all time.

It reads like poetry. I'm so glad I read this. A true highlight for me, my favorite of , and one I plan to read again. Jimi Hendrix set his guitar in flames in Monterey. It was the summer of Elvira Madigan, the summer of love. And in this shifting, inhospitable atmosphere, a chance encounter change the course of my life. They combined their meager possessions, but money was problematic, they barely made enough money for food — and frequently went without.

Extras were out of reach.

Patti Smith’s award-winning memoir ‘Just Kids’ gets new illustrated edition

And still, they were able to enjoy some concerts just by virtue of being in the right place at the right time, or knowing the right person. It had started with the moon, inaccessible poem that it was. Now men had walked upon it, rubber treads on a pearl of the gods. Time passes, children come along, and when Smith is expecting a second child, they re-establish communication.

There were temptations and witches and demons we never dreamed of and there was splendor we only partially imagined. No one could speak for these two young people nor tell with any truth of their days and nights together. Only Robert and I could tell it. Our story, as he called it. And having gone, he left the task for me to tell it to you. So, when this book first came out, and my brother sent me a signed copy of this, along with a few other books, and I vaguely recall seeing it and wondering why he sent it to me.

And then, years later, also sent me a signed copy of M Train. I was beginning to feel a little guilty. I loved this. The Romeo and Julietness of it all. Beautiful prose. Their story reminded me of one of my favourite poems, Edna St. It well may be. I do not think I would. View all 42 comments.

Dec 30, Elizabeth Fleming rated it did not like it. I found this book to be quite boring, unfortunately. It started off strong, but after a bit Smith's writing style began to wear on my nerves examples: using the word "for" instead of "because," as in "I went to the diner, for I was hungry" and "I hadn't any money" instead of "I didn't have any money" and "I lay upon the mattress" instead of the simpler, perfectly acceptable, "I lay on," which felt somewhat pretentious. Then she goes on and on and on about Rimbaud. So much Rimbaud. And Baudel I found this book to be quite boring, unfortunately.

And Baudelaire. Her sentences were also quite choppy and repetitive—I could basically sum it up as: "I met a boy named Robert. We loved each other. We hadn't any money. One day I bought a raincoat from a thrift store. I went to France and visited Rimbaud's grave and wore my raincoat for it was raining. Robert was a genius and we lay upon a mattress. One time I met Jimi Hendrix. Then he died. He bought me a sandwich for I was hungry and hadn't any money. The end. I'm not sure how to do this book proper justice in a review. Just Kids is a book that enthralled me, surprised me, and ultimately, a book that I have fallen in love with.

Not only is it one of the best books I've read this year, it is one of the best books I have ever read. Knowing very little about Patti Smith or Robert Mapplethorpe going into reading this, I figured I would enjoy it but not quite appreciate it as much as someone who is a big fan of either. And while that might be true, I still I'm not sure how to do this book proper justice in a review.

And while that might be true, I still came out of this book with the utmost appreciation for both and for those people living, breathing, and being artists today. Because, this book is about art. It's about art that you love so much that you make sacrifices like sleeping on doorsteps or eating anchovy sandwiches. It's about art that consumes you, that frustrates you, that makes you feel alive. Patti Smith is an artist through and through. And I am completely inspired by her story and her companionship with Robert. Hearing about their lives in 's and 70's New York City was incredible, meeting the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Janice Joplin, William Burroughs, and so many more incredibly talented artists, poets, musicians, writers, etc.

For a short time I was transported into the mind of an artist, into the time of her creative birth, and came out of it with an experience that I won't soon forget. I am sure that I will read this book again in the future and each time take away something more. Jan 21, Janet rated it it was amazing. This book will be added to "The Art Spirit" as an essential volume on my writer's "behind the desk" bookshelf, the story of two baby artists and how they grew.

There's an oddly innocent tone to this all--for instance, the sexual relationship between the two of them is never really discussed, only accepted--when Patti gets the clap, we understand it's from him, but this is not a kiss and tell memoir. It's an opportunity to walk a mile in Patti Smith's head, in a less coded and more factual way th This book will be added to "The Art Spirit" as an essential volume on my writer's "behind the desk" bookshelf, the story of two baby artists and how they grew.

It's an opportunity to walk a mile in Patti Smith's head, in a less coded and more factual way than in her music or poetry, but no less poetic for having been a lived life. Patti Smith has always been my idea of an artist--that an artist is different from an intellectual. The artist's way of being in the world is not about mincing and dicing experience, but about allowing oneself to resonate with events, to be played by the texture of life, and seeing what one is naturally drawn to, and how that stimulates an artistic reaction.

Her way and his way. I like the unselfconsciousness of this writing--in an odd way, unself-examining, a paradox in a memoir. I love the layering of experience that way, as anyone who's read my work will know--the difference between the lived life and the way it looks from the outside. If it were someone else, I would even question the simplicity of the tale-tellling, the innocence portrayed, say, if it were Dylan or other more manipulative figures--but having listened to Patti Smith for 25 years, I believe this awkward innocent visionary quality.

This is what we need, what I need, in our pathetic, overfacebooked, overstudied s. More living, more art, more innocence, more faith, more poetry, more friendship, more acceptance. View all 9 comments. Dec 01, Steven Godin rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction , america , memoir-autobiography. Patti Smith's Just Kids is a rare little gem of perpetual bliss. This differs from other memoirs I have read, and it left me with deep feeling of simply being happy to exist in this world.

Smith writes about her time living in New York with Robert Mapplethorpe while they were both shaking off the dull scraps of adolescence and trying to break out as artists. Strewn throughout the book are pictures of them as very young excitable artists-in-training. I rarely have come across two people in book t Patti Smith's Just Kids is a rare little gem of perpetual bliss. I rarely have come across two people in book that felt very much joined at the hip. Smith's prose reads like a soft-focus fairy tale.

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The sections set in the Chelsea Hotel, especially, have an almost Dickensian quality to them; they read as a quaint story full of larger-than-life characters, most of whom have hearts firmly of gold. Reconciling this wistful retelling of her youth with the persona I associate with her was intriguing to say the least. And obviously I am not the only one who found the disconnect between Patti Smith's presence and her internal life jarring - there are places in the text where she discusses how those around her took her for a lesbian and even a junkie.

Her prose is wispy, light and airy, and her memories are wholesome, despite the fact that anyone who knows the history of that scene knows just how much death and self-immolation is happening just off screen. Patti Smith herself seems to have waltzed through it to my astonishment seemingly unscathed, and her writing dances along the edges of the darkness that her scene held. The book is structured superbly well, it opens with the moment Smith hears of Mapplethorpe's death, then jumps back in time before they have met. Smith discusses her teenage pregnancy and the process of giving her child up for adoption, her failure at teacher's school, and her time on a New Jersey assembly line in a brisk and somewhat sanitized fashion; again, there seems to be in her writing a distaste for discussions of the negative, of the hard and bleak moments of her life.

From there, the book jumps forward to her first meeting with Mapplethorpe, their sweet and heartfelt romance which warms the heart so much, the little poverty-stricken life they build together, and how hard they worked to evolve their relationship with each other when their life trajectories began to diverge. There is a poignant nostalgia throughout, and she comes across as a wholly likeable person, regardless of whether you like her music.

A most poetic of memoirs. The only thing that kept me from scoring a five, is that she sometimes distracts from things, and I also would have liked to have seen a greater description of the physical aspect of New York, which must have been one hell of place to be caught up in at the time. View all 16 comments. Her writing is deadpan and matter-of-fact; reading this book is like talking to some hoarse, hungover stranger in the kitchen after an all-weekend party, someone in an oversized T-shirt chain-drinking coffees, exhausted but full of mysteries to relate. She never overdoes it, but the easy colloquiality of her tone disguises a faultless understanding of where the focus of her memoir should lie — when to skip through several years within a paragraph, and when to lavish pages on a single mesmeric afternoon.

The time and place she is dealing with have passed into legend, and fortunately she is not averse to the pleasures of namedropping: At the table to my left, Janis Joplin was holding court with her band. At the last table facing the door was Jimi Hendrix, his head lowered, eating with his hat on, across from a blonde. Just another day at the Chelsea Hotel, circa …. I didn't know Mapplethorpe's work very well, associating him mainly with the all the controversial s black nudes, and it was strange encountering him through Patti Smith — he seems so unlike his image that for a while I was convinced I'd confused the name with someone else.

Her descriptions of their often-grim early days together are among her most evocative passages, and show off her direct sense of atmosphere to good effect. It was a terrible place, dark and neglected, with dusty windows that overlooked the noisy street. The springs of the ancient mattress poked through the stained sheet. The place reeked of piss and exterminator fluid, the wallpaper peeling like dead skin in summer. There was no running water in the corroded sink, only occasional rusted droplets plopping through the night. Despite his illness, he wanted to make love, and perhaps our union was some comfort, for it drew out his sweat… I have to admit, I felt a little churlish about her obsession with him at the beginning of the book, having chiefly wanted a memoir of Patti Smith and not of Robert Mapplethorpe.

But that feels very ungracious as the book goes on and she convinces you of his importance to her. I was charmed by the sartorial nature of Smith's memory. Almost every scene is introduced by way of a run-down of what she was wearing at the time, and the details of her outfit are often much more vivid than any of the conversations; this is not reeled off in a label-conscious fashionista way, it's just clearly the way she sees the world. And when she auditions guitarist Tom Verlaine, she almost treats it more as a test of wardrobe than of musical compatibility: Divining how to appeal to Tom's sensibilities, I dressed in a manner that I thought a boy from Delaware would understand: black ballet flats, pink shantung capris, my kelly green silk raincoat, and a violet parasol… Oh for a photograph.

Patti Smith is — there's no getting away from the word — incredibly cool. It's hard to imagine that kids won't be longing for the same thing with her years after she's gone, and this raw and touching memoir of lates, earlys New York is, if nothing else, a beautiful gift to them. View all 4 comments. Recommended to Iris P by: Jim. Shelves: audio-books , art , memoirs-autobiographies , music. Just Kids should've been a perfect match and yet somehow I could never completely connect with the world and the lives of the people it chronicles.

Don't get me wrong, Smith's wordsmith is gorgeous and she is a wonderful storyteller. Just Kids reads like an emotional elegy to Robert Mapplethorpe and a love letter to both him and the city of New York, which was at the time the indisputable mecca of the rock and punk movements. Smith is sort of an oral curator as she recounts numerous encounters with an impressive group of artists, the city's rich cultural legacy and how she and Mapplethorpe became deeply ingrained in it.

But throughout most of the narrative I had the sense that Smith seems to define herself and her claim to fame, in direct proportion to her proximity to other well-known artists. She and Mapplethorpe are never more than two or three degrees separated from the likes of Hendrix, Joplin, Warhol or Dylan. And she makes sure to remind us, over and over again. Her relationship with Mapplethorpe was complex and, at least from the outside, difficult to characterize. But it's obvious that in spite of his sexuality and his very conflicted attitude about it, they seemed to have found in each other a true soul mate.

Maybe this memoir would've had a bigger impact on me had this been the musical soundtrack of my youth. My impression is that I lack both the cultural context and perhaps the creative sensibility to fully appreciate the contributions made by these artists. Nevertheless, this was an interesting read as I learned quite a lot about a fascinating and influential artistic period. Finally, I suspect that it'd be difficult to replicate the cultural and social atmosphere that allowed Smith and Mapplethorpe to blossom as such iconic figures.

It's hard to imagine today's most prominent artists casually rubbing elbows like they did at the Chelsea Hotel back then. I think that's mostly a reflection of a more idealistic and innocent time in America. I read and simultaneously listened to the audio book, which I have to say is beautifully narrated by the author.

View all 38 comments. Nov 22, Esil rated it really liked it Shelves: audiobook. I didn't know much about Steinem, but her book made me see her in a whole new light -- not an icon, but a lovely dedicated generous person. I had a similar experience listening to the audio of Patti Smith's Just Kids. I didn't know much about her, but certainly wasn't expecting to be so charmed by her.

The memoir focuses on her early adult years. She moved to New York, developed a complicated relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe and tried to figure out her place in the world. Rather than making herself sound heroic or tragic or dishing out tawdry gossip, she talks with great openness and generosity about her life, her family and her friends. Much of what she describes is mundane, but she recounts it with so much appreciation for small moments in her life that it's hard not to fall in step with her lovely sensibility. In many ways, I didn't find it easy to connect with the way she lived -- pretty gritty at times -- or her relationship with Mapplethorpe -- but I loved seeing it all though Smith's eyes.

It helps that Smith writes really well -- occasionally veering into prose closer to poetry -- stark, simple and expressive. It all made me feel like slowing down -- appreciating what's there -- my family, friends and surroundings. A note on the audio: Smith narrates her own story.

She has a slow droning voice. It really grew on me. You're going to love it or hate it. I gather the physical book has many photos. View all 26 comments. Oct 02, Darwin8u rated it it was amazing Shelves: memoir-autobiography-diary , The power of this memoir is the way Patti Smith works the words to create a canvas broad enough to catch both Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith "Nothing is finished until you see it. The power of this memoir is the way Patti Smith works the words to create a canvas broad enough to catch both Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith as they grow and flower.

I knew their myth, but this book gave a greater glimpse into their relationship and the galaxy of their friends. I never knew about her relationship with Sam Smith, Allen Lanier, etc. The book is a great exploration of friendship, love and art. It is also a great tribute to the role of mentors, art benefactors, work, hope, and no small amount of luck in the creation of great art. View 1 comment. When I was in my early 20s, I was lucky to have William Burroughs as a friend and mentor.

He was talking about let your name radiate yourself. Magnify who you are.

Alex & Sierra - Just Kids (Audio)

Your good deeds. Your coat of honor. And as you go through life your name will serve you. We might ask ourselves, what tools do we have? What can we count on? You can count on yourself. Believe me, your self is your best ally. You know who you are. Even when sometimes it becomes a little blurry and you make mistakes or [inaudible], just go deeper. You know the right thing to do.

As the song goes, pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and start all over again. Watch two young beings become who they are, two small rocks formed by icy water, grain by grain, layer by layer, sustained by an otherwordly faith in their own future. This responsiveness had nothing to do with that flabby impressionability which is dignified under the name of the 'creative temperament'--it was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again.

A romantic readiness such as we rarely get to experience today. A quintessential American love story. Feb 03, Jeanette "Astute Crabbist" rated it really liked it Shelves: four-star-nonfiction , nonfiction , biography-memoir. Smith writes with a poet's clear imagery and an economy of words all too rare in the memoir genre.

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Now, twenty years after his death, she has made good on that promise. This is the story of a beautiful, complex, demanding and ever-evolving friendship between two young, hopeful, actively unconventional creatives. They alternated in the role of muse to each other as the Smith writes with a poet's clear imagery and an economy of words all too rare in the memoir genre. They were struggling to find their special niches and become accepted as artists. In this process they were often also struggling for simple survival.

They frequently went hungry and had no place to sleep, all the while bolstering each other's resolve and refusing to give up their dreams. I never really knew anything about Robert Mapplethorpe aside from a big flap in the 80s about how his work was offensive. Smith writes about him with such tenderness and honesty that I couldn't help weeping when she described his death as a result of AIDS. We should all be so lucky as to have a friend like Patti Smitha friend who could remember for us our youthful, most hopeful, most vulnerable selves and memorialize us so genuinely.

This was very interesting though, how she met Mapplethorpe and how they got by in New York, their bohemian lifestyle, and the people who they spent time with. I will make sure to listen to M Train in ! Jul 09, Madeline rated it really liked it Shelves: memoir. That pursuit is what burns most deeply. I got over the loss of his desk and chair, but never the desire to produce a string of words more precious than the emeralds of Cortes. Yet I have a lock of his hair, a handful of his ashes, a box of his letters, a goatskin tambourine.

And in that folds of faded violet tissue a necklace, two violet plaques etched in Arabic, strung with black and silver threads, given to me by the boy who loved Michela "Why can't I write something that would awake the dead? And in that folds of faded violet tissue a necklace, two violet plaques etched in Arabic, strung with black and silver threads, given to me by the boy who loved Michelangelo.

Lately I've had a weird but insatiable urge to read memoirs by 's musicians. Not really sure - maybe I just need to re-watch Almost Famous. But for whatever reason, I had a particular literary itch to scratch, and only Patti Smith's memoir would do. I had heard Gloria before reading this book, and I knew that Patti Smith was a musician. I had never heard of her lifetime friend and partner Robert Mapplethorpe, and most of the artists who get name-dropped in this book flew right over my head.

For this reason, this memoir might as well have been pure fiction to me, since I had almost no frame of reference for anyone except the biggest names. But I think that, ultimately, this worked in my favor: instead of spending every other page thinking, "oh my god, she totally knew [famous person] before they were famous! And it's quite a story. She talks a lot about Rimbaud, and tries very hard to write like him. Occasionally you find yourself rolling your eyes at her prose, but for the most part, her writing is quite lovely. This is, first and last, the story of a lifelong friendship.

This is the story of people who sacrificed everything - home, family, comfort, security - in order to become artists. What makes it lovely is that you get the sense that becoming famous - at least, famous in the sense that most people would recognize - never even crossed Smith's mind. She wanted, purely and simply, to devote her life to art. She was poor and homeless and miserable, but she was happy. A true starving-artist story, occasionally overwrought, but always compelling. Patti Smith is cooler than everyone you will ever meet. May 11, emily rated it did not like it.

I didn't just hate this book. I cherished my hatred for this book. Luxuriated in it. Drank deeply of my hatred. I didn't just find the writing clunky, I found it odd, troubled by an overfamiliar relationship with the passive voice lots of things "could be seen" , verbs no one ever god damn says anything; they discourse, spiel, spin, regale, blah blah blah , and prepositions why say "on" when you can add a syllable to get "upon"? You know in the beginning of the movie "Labyrinth," when Jennifer Connelly is reading out loud from that book about the Goblin King?

It sounds like that. I didn't just find Patti Smith kind of strange and off-putting in the way she explains that other people who were not as cool as she may have. I found her or her portrayal of herself, which is not the same thing actively frustrating. I'm not sure if she intended, as a writer, for her and Mapplethorpe's pursuit of fame to sound so damn groupie-ish. Lots of tracking down someone who is famous and following him around.

View all 13 comments. Feb 29, Duane rated it it was amazing Shelves: book-challenge , memoir , 5-star-books , non-fiction , rated-books , reviewed-books , national-book-award , 21st-century. As he was dying Robert Mapplethorpe ask Patti Smith to write their story; "You have to he said, no one but you can write it". After reading this book I can understand why he said that.

No biographer, other than Patti, could know, let alone describe, the level of trust and dependence they shared; and their singular kind of love that, even after reading this, is hard for the reader to fully understand. What capable hands he left that project in, I'm not sure he even realized it, I'm not sure Patti As he was dying Robert Mapplethorpe ask Patti Smith to write their story; "You have to he said, no one but you can write it".

What capable hands he left that project in, I'm not sure he even realized it, I'm not sure Patti did at that point in her life. But write it she did, and what a magnificent result. I'm in awe of the talent and genius of this woman. She is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for her music; she has received France's highest honor for her contribution to the arts for her drawings and photographs; but her greatest talent may be as a writer for the award winning books she has written, now a winner of the National Book Award for this memoir, Just Kids.

View all 5 comments. Jan 28, Calista rated it it was amazing Shelves: famous , lgbtq , women , award-stonewall-book , histiorical , award-goodreads-choice , genre-memoir-biography , genre-poetry-prose-rhyming , diversity , genre-love-story. I didn't know Patti Smith. I had seen some photos of Robert Mapplethorpes before. I didn't know they had this relationship. Patti Smith is a fantastic story teller. What a moment of providence when Robert walked up to her counter at the book store and bought that necklace.

Also, when he ran into her after her bad date - this relationship was fate, a thing meant to happen. Two artist meeting in the night and forming a bond that both of them were supported by. I LOVE this book. Patti's voice is so I didn't know Patti Smith. Patti's voice is so sure and guides the reader through sex, drugs, rock n roll and poetry and ARt. They lived a life of art, their lives were artful. The struggled and explored. I'm so glad I gave this book a read.

It has spoken to the artist in myself. Aids took so many wonderful people. That is the saddest part is all the lost potential of that disease. Thank you Patti for sharing your life! It has touched mine. Feb 04, R. Gold rated it really liked it. I know it made me feel something, I know I have every intention of re-reading it, and I know many anecdotes from it will come up in casual conversation with my friends when I try to convince them to read it.

Still, I am not sure what the emotions are I feel when I think about it. There's obviously a feeling of loss and grief; not just for Robert Mapplethorpe and Sam Wagstaff, but also for all the other artists, p oh go on, they're just kids I'm still trying to collect my thoughts about this book. There's obviously a feeling of loss and grief; not just for Robert Mapplethorpe and Sam Wagstaff, but also for all the other artists, players, hustlers, and socialites in their circle who had tragic ends.

They were all walking the same cusp, brushing shoulders with some of the most influential musicians and artists of the sixties and seventies. So many people in this circle must've thought they were on their way to achieving their creative dreams, only to be mentioned later on in the novel to have taken their own life, died of an accidental overdose, or other unfortunate circumstances. There was also hope, and optimism, and a feeling that anything is possible. There was certainly some magic, both light and dark, that people flirted with, and in some cases became lost.

Personally, I felt the magic was strongest at the Chelsea hotel. There was humor, like Patti's first interaction with Allen Ginsberg, when he mistook her for a very pretty boy. And there were plenty of respects paid to the generations of the artists who laid the foundation for the next breakthrough. One thought that kept coming back to me throughout this whole memoir, were just how much the times had changed. She spoke of living in NYC as an artist selling books and scraping by. She spoke of how far fifty cents could get her and even at her worst she and Robert knew they would find a way.

It's sort of crazy to think that if she and Mapplethorpe were born today, or were in their twenties today, they could not have taken that journey to NYC or it would've been more complicated. It almost felt like the spirits of the city back then were encouraging them to succeed and based on my very limited knowledge of NYC I don't know how well this journey could be replicated today.

I loved this book, and I look forward to further digesting it in the coming days. View 2 comments. Feb 18, christa rated it really liked it. I'll say this for Patti Smith: Homegirl certainly knows how to write lifestyle porn. Somewhere between the Chelsea Hotel and the insertion of a millionaire benefactor I closed her love letter to Robert Mapplethorpe, "Just Kids," bonked myself in the head and said "Knock it off. People do that. Chuck it all, grab a blanket, commit percent I'll say this for Patti Smith: Homegirl certainly knows how to write lifestyle porn.

Chuck it all, grab a blanket, commit percent to making things. More than just teacher-school dropout Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethrope, a skinny kid on the lam from the Catholic church.

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Every day, maybe even right this second, a kid is climbing off a bus at some junction in New York City, schlepping a dirty military backpack filled with notebooks filled with poetry filled with nature imagery, A copy of Bob Dylan's "Chronicles" in his back pocket. He's got two weeks worth of dinero in a two-toned teal velcro wallet and a breathlessness about doing "whatever it takes washing dishes cleaning toilets as long as I can write. He might, like Patti, find a street angel who will teach him about day-old bread and primo napping places in Central Park.

He might get a job at a book store; move into an extended stay hotel full of eccentrics; become a regular at corner bar. He might meet someone who is first his lover, then friend, muse and soul mate.

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He'll observe and jot and wait for a Warhol-ian figure to notice him, all while experimenting with couplets, then, perhaps free verse, then, perhaps starvation. Published in a zine. A promise for publication on a friend of a friend's website. We probably won't. Maybe he'll write a book about his soul mate and win a National Book Award. This is in progress right now and right now and even right now.

The mere fact that we get to read this portrait of the s art scene from this particular perspective is that they both, Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe, busted through the wall of obscurity. And the reason that this story is thrilling and exciting and tender and tugs at the soul and inspires wanderlust is because you know what was on the other side of that wall: Fame. So what's the difference between Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe and [insert unknown artist's name here]. Is it still possible to be short on cash for a sandwich and have the equivalent of Allen Ginsberg foot the rest of the bill in a madcap case of gender confusion?

I can't figure that out. Is it timing?

Patti Smith's "Just Kids" Is BuzzFeed Book Club's July Pick. Read An Excerpt Here.

Is it tenacity? Is it talent? You can't just say talent: After reading Belinda Carlisle's memoir last year I realized that underneath the mounds of cocaine and the lipstick was a woman who couldn't play an instrument, didn't write songs, and really didn't know much about singing, who went on to front one of the iconic bands of the s. How did she get there: She hung out at the right clubs on the right West Hollywood street corners and was standing next to the right people when someone decided to start a girl group.

All I know is that reading "Just Kids" made me want to shed 15 years and ditch out for the big city with a dream journal and a change of socks. That's easy to say, so freshly seduced. This is one of those books that made me think I was born too late. Did anyone think Patti was "whitewashing" her past in this? I wore out my welcome buying up discarded books and lurking near the Did anyone think Patti was "whitewashing" her past in this? I wore out my welcome buying up discarded books and lurking near the door hoping to nab the overdue offender in their tracks. Now I'm confused, discombobulated..

Another idol demasked or re-masked again. It makes me feel little mean hearted since Patti was my adolescent heroine. Although truth be told on reflection I didn't know zip about her private past, only shadowy images of her with Robert Mapplethorpe. Mainly I knew her voice and her records, those I played over and over. Her poems in my original copy of "Seventh Heaven" was something sacred to me, some holy grail of truth if I could only decode the essence of, I could be like she, or something Maybe I have a wrong take on this but I feel she's sugar coated her early life with Mapplethorpe.

I can't believe she was so naive. Friends all around doing drugs and she being didn't know anything about drugs. Oh come on. At that time I was and knew more about the street than she purports to have known. Field trips and extra curricular activities through out the school year and in the Summer months. Resource specialist, child development analyst theory and development strategist, professional grant writer, early childhood professional. Home Powered By. Now Accepting Payments Online. Pay OnLine Now. The Fun Place To Be! Educating children and serving families since Afterschool and Summer Adventure Club.

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