Few Mexican cities seem to celebrate their (albeit tenuous) literary connections with such pride as Mazatlán, with special plaques nailed up throughout the old town. Herman Melville stayed in Mazatlán for nineteen days in 1844, as a humble sailor aboard the frigate United States, no doubt gathering material for Moby Dick and his other subsequent novels. In 1951 beat poet Allen Ginsberg passed through, while Anaïs Nin stayed at the Hotel Belmar when she visited Mazatlán the same year. In her diary, Nin admires the “pink and turquoise houses, the green shutters”. The following year Jack Kerouac spent a night and day drinking and dossing on the beach in Mazatlán, writing about his brief time here in Lonesome Traveler (1960): “At Mazatlan at dusk we stopped for awhile for a swim in our underwear in that magnificent surf…”

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