Please Open the Window and Let Me In

Warren Beatty photographed by Duane Michals, 1961


Who is the shroudy stranger of the night,
Whose brow is mouldering green, whose reddened eye
Hides near the window trellis in dim light,
And gapes at old men, and makes children cry?

Who is the laughing walker of the street,
The alley mummy, stinking of the bone,
To dance unfixed, thought bound in shadow feet,
Behind the child that creeps on legs of stone?

Who is the hungry mocker of the maze,
And haggard gate-ghost, hanging by the door,
The double mummer in whose hooded gaze
World has beckoned unto world once more?

Allen Ginsberg


Ginsberg Behind The Lens



William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac


Peter Orlovsky, William S. Burroughs and Paul Lund


Ken Kesey and The Merry Pranksters


Neal Cassady driving The Merry Pranksters’ bus


Neil Cassady and Natalie Jackson


Iggy Pop


Philip Glass


Warren Beatty and Madonna


Bob Dylan


William S. Burroughs


Burroughs and David Hockney


Patti Smith and Burroughs

On The Spanish Steps

Piazza di Spagna in an 18th-century etching by Giovanni Battista Piranesi, seen from south. The street on the left is Via del Babuino, leading to Piazza del Popolo.


The Spanish Steps or Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti are a set of steps in Rome, Italy, climbing a steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinità dei Monti, dominated by the Trinità dei Monti church at the top.

The monumental stairway of 135 steps (the slightly elevated drainage system is often mistaken for the first step) was built with French diplomat Étienne Gueffier’s bequeathed funds of 20,000 scudi, in 1723–1725, linking the Bourbon Spanish Embassy, and the Trinità dei Monti church that was under the patronage of the Bourbon kings of France, both located above — to the Holy See in Palazzo Monaldeschi located below. The stairway was designed by architects Francesco de Sanctis and Alessandro Specchi.


In the piazza, at the corner on the right as one begins to climb the steps, is the house where English poet John Keats lived and died in 1821; it is now a museum dedicated to his memory, full of memorabilia of the English Romantic generation.


At the top the stairway ramp up the Pincio which is the Pincian Hill. From the top of the steps the Villa Medici can be reached.

During Christmas time a 19th-century crib is displayed on the first landing of the staircase. During May, part of the steps are cover
ed by pots of azaleas. In modern times the Spanish Steps have included a small cut-flower market. The steps are not a place for eating lunch, being forbidden by Roman urban regulations, but they are usually crowded with people.



In the Piazza di Spagna at the base is the Early Baroque fountain called Fontana della Barcaccia (Fountain of the ugly Boat), built in 1627-29 and often credited to Pietro Bernini, father of a more famous son, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who is recently said to have collaborated on the decoration. The elder Bernini had been the pope’s architect for the Acqua Vergine, since 1623. According to a legend, Pope Urban VIII had the fountain installed after he had been impressed by a boat brought here by a flood of the Tiber river.


The film Roman Holiday (William Wyler, 1953), starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, made the Spanish Steps famous to an American audience


The apartment that was the setting for The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (José Quintero, 1961) is halfway up on the right


The Steps were featured prominently in the film version of The Talented Mr. Ripley(Anthony Minghella, 1999) starring Matt Damon in the title role


To watch Morten Harket’s Spanish Steps music video, please take a gander at The Genealogy of Style’s Facebook page: