17 June 2017

TRAVEL | Bohemian Culture Walk

I’ve always loved reading, but recently my appreciation for literature has grown immensely. Dad, knowing this, and also being interested in literature, booked a Bohemian Culture Walk in Greenwich village with Literary Pub Crawl on our stay in Manhattan. Walking around listening to stories of poets and writers sounded like my jam...

We met our guide, Rob, and two other lovely tourists who joined us for the tour. We started at the arch in Washington Square Garden, where we learnt about the drunken rebels who tried to write their own Declaration of Independence, which just consisted of the word ‘Whereas’ repeated again and again. 

We saw where the Gaslight Café used to be, where the idea of snapping fingers during a poetry reading supposedly began (going to some kind of Poetry Slam has recently been added to my bucket list, I’ve been watching so many on YouTube - check out Jessica Romoff or Rhiannon McGavin.) We saw where the Kettle on a Fish bar used to be, where, we were told, Andy Warhol and Bob Dylan had an argument over a girl, and the Café Wha? has hosted some performances like Jimmi Hendrix and Bruce Springsteen. Rob told us lots of facts on things other than literature, as you’ll see throughout the post, which was pretty cool.

The Provincetown was a theatre where the famous Provincetown playwrights, like Eugene O’Neill, produced six seasons of productions from 1916 to 1923, but unfortunately the exterior of it has been altered thanks to NYU. 

So has Edgar Allan Poe’s old townhouse, but I guess it’s alright since the old structure is still acknowledged. 

We saw a lovely courtyard where one of O. Henry's short stories, 'The Last Leaf', is based on, and the tiny building playwright Edna St. Vincent Millay lived in. I need to find out more about this playwright; she was openly bisexual throughout the 20’s, how interesting is that? 

On the note of LGBT, we also visited where the Stonewall Riots took place in ’69. That was when Pride began, it is believed. 

This is Chumley’s, a speakeasy (now restaurant) where so many incredible writers went for a drink, like John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife. The sleeves of their books are supposedly on the wall inside, but we didn't go in. 

Nearby, on the contrary, was a ‘tacky’ tourist attraction, according to Rob - Rachel and Monica’s apartment exterior from Friends. I mean, I was delighted to see it! I also got to see the butcher in which Lady Gaga bought her meat dress in 2010. Iconic.

Marie's Crisis Café is in place of the building the famous Thomas Paine died in - "I believe in one God and no more."

If you ever find yourself in New York, I really recommend this culture walk. I learned so many interesting things, and I haven't even mentioned everything Rob told us about! Literary Pub Crawl have loads of other tours that may suit your interests. If you want to do something different in Manhattan, this is it!

1 comment

  1. Looks like you really had some fun on your trip, the pictures look incredible. It is always good to see pictures and hear stories of different countries and cultures.


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