Posts Tagged ‘Allen Ginsburg’

When everyone hung out at the San Remo

February 11, 2010

In 1950s Greenwich Village, few places were as popular as the San Remo.

Called a cafe but really a bar, the San Remo, at 189 Bleecker Street, hosted a literary-minded Village crowd plus regulars such as William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Dylan Thomas, and Allen Ginsberg, at left below.

“With its pressed-tin ceiling, black-and-white tile floors and dollar salads with all the bread and butter you could eat, the San Remo attracted a younger, hipper crowd more into experimenting with drugs than The White Horse’s habituées,” states a PBS bio of writer Delmore Schwartz and his favorite bars in Greenwich Village.

“The San Remo, which used to be at the corner of Bleecker and MacDougal in the heart of the Italian part of Greenwich Village, was cool rather than politically and alcoholically inflamed.

“Delmore’s fellow drinkers at the White Horse were ‘hotter,’ more engaged, their ideas forged by the political struggles of the 30’s. The apolitical San Remo crowd were children of World War II and more alienated from mainstream culture by the Cold War.”

The most holy tree in Tompkins Square Park

January 11, 2010

To Hare Krishnas, that is.

In 1966, an Indian spiritual leader came to the East Village and founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness at 26 Second Avenue.

He took some followers—including poet Allen Ginsburg, who lived in the neighborhood—to Tompkins Square Park. Sitting under one of the towering elm trees in the park, he began chanting the Hare Krishna mantra. 

Since then, the tree has been gathering place for Hare Krishnas, who view it as the birthplace of the religion in the Western world.

It’s not marked, but the sacred elm sits in the center of the park, and the Parks Department has a sign up about it nearby.