Miss Beatnik, 1959. (Photo courtesy of the Beat Museum)
In July of 1959, a 17-year-old native Brooklynite named Angel was crowned "Miss Beatnik" by a crowd at the Gaslight Coffee House, a title also known as "The First Lady of MacDougal Street." According to the Village Voice, "The contest had been staged to clear the beatnik name, which had been sullied a few days earlier when, according to the coffeeshop cognoscenti, a girl from the Copa kicking squad was given the palm at a 10th Street bar."
As for Angel, who accepted her title barefoot, she told the paper she was "deeply concerned about the way the public views the beatniks... I wish people would try to understand what the so-called beat generation is, and maybe they will realize we have something to offer society. We are considered anti-social, but we are not!" The Brooklyn College student did not exactly consider herself a beatnik, however—she told the paper she was more of hipster. What did she consider a hipster? "An artist and an intellectual, and I smoke Viceroy and I think for myself."
Corbis notes that beatniks at the time had "attained the status of a tourist attraction... many a visitor to New York would rather see a real-life beatnik than the Statue of Liberty," kind of like today's hipsters?
You can see another photo of Angel (who is now a psychoanalyst, mother, and grandmother) right here, alongside her judges. Though we think John Oliver would be cool with this "pageant."
“How can you say you love one person when there are ten thousand people in the world that you would love more if you ever met them? But you’ll never meet them. All right, so we do the best we can. Granted. But we must still realize that love is just the result of a chance encounter.” Charles Bukowski
“There are no actual pages I can turn in this place. Just a series of clicks until it gets me where I need to go. Until it lets me say what I need to say. I turn my palms up, carrying nothing. My fingers take turns tapping letter after letter after letter, saying everything.” Richard Brautigan, from Drives On Deep Into Egypt.