Anton Rosenberg is a forerunner in all pervasive modern culture. Because he was hip or cool, he was known best in doing nothing.
Rosenberg was also a student of detachment and inaction and he was like the embodiment of the beat movement’s ideal of a hipster and became the model as Julian Alexander in the Subterraneans (1958) by Julian Alexander.
He also was a painter and that he played the piano with Zoot Sims, Charlie Parker as well as other jazz figures in his time. Another thing is that he remained to be an obscure figure on the beat movement because he was able to find his calling early.
Kerouac had recognized Rosenberg at the time of his twenties as a man who is thin, quiet, unshaven and strange who has good looks and was considered to be an epitome of aesthetic that avoided enthusiasm and ambition. Another thing is that he adopted Ginsberg’s title on his book, but then he moved to San Francisco for him to avoid risks of getting libel by the Greenwich Village regulars who actually populated on the pages on some fictitious names. This is why Rosenberg became Julian Alexander who is a man that Kerouac called as “the angel of subterraneans”.
Rosenberg likewise served a year in the Army and that he studied at the University of North Carolina. By the time that he was discovered by Ginsberg, he actually had spent a year in Paris for him to be able to experience the bohemian atmosphere in left Bank at Cafe Flore and Cafe Les Deux Magots together with Terry Southern and James Baldwin.
In 1950, he went to New York. He then opened a print shop in Greenwich Village and lived in a tenement that Ginsberg called to as Paradise Valley and at an industrial loft in a bad neighborhood before becoming fashionable.
Drugs were the stable scene of Rosenberg and on one occasion, he and his friends in San Remo bar had intercepted a shipment of the Hallucinogen peyote which actually came from the Exotic Plant Co of Laredo in Texas and was congregated in his loft for an all-night party and a good jazz jam session. Though marijuana was being considered as a common thing with hipsters, opiates on the other hand was the thing that set the subterraneans apart. Rosenberg was in fact a heroin addict in most of his life and likewise appeared in Junkie (1953) which was William Burroughs’ book.
Because his habits did not lead him to a productive life, he had married a schoolteacher who remained charmed by his ways in supporting his family while still continuing on playing music and painting.