This is 454 West 20th Street, where Jack Kerouac, in 1951, wrote "On The Road."
I stood in front of the door through which he must have passed so many times.
And this is the southwest corner of West 20th Street where: "Dean, ragged in a motheaten overcoat he bought specially for the freezing temperatures of the East, walked off alone..."
"and the last I saw of him he rounded the corner of Seventh Avenue, eyes on the street ahead, and bent to it again."
In her heartfelt memoir, "The Awakener," Helen Weaver writes about her love affair with Jack Kerouac. She met him in November 1956, when at 7:00 on a Sunday morning he arrived with Allen Ginsberg at her apartment in 307 West 11th Street. This is a photo of that building that I took today.
After Helen Weaver viewed the above photo, she told me at her website in her own blog (in a reply to one of my comments) that her "window was on the lefthand side above the picture frame." I had actually taken several photos, so here is one that I believe gives a view of her window... which I think is either right behind the blue bag dangling from that tree or the window to the right of that blue bag. You can see the windows more clearly if you click on the photo to enlarge it.
This is now 325 West 13th Street, which is the location where Helen lived when she met Lenny Bruce. I do not know when this building was built... and it looks fairly new. The building where Helen lived may have been torn down for the construction of this newer apartment house.
This is 346 West 15th Street and it is where Allen Ginsberg lived from 1951 to 1952. It is where Jack Kerouac was introduced to Gregory Corso.
And this is a view of the block.
This is 149 West 21st Street and it was where Lucien Carr lived from 1950 to 1951. He and Jack Kerouac were friends and Jack visited him often. Bill Cannastra also lived in a nearby building that is now a parking lot.
And this is a view of the block.
added on January 21, 2010:
This is the front door of 421 West 118th Street, where Jack Kerouac lived with Edie Parker in the early 1940s.
This is 421 West 118th Street.
This is West 118th Street, looking toward Morningside Drive.
Several months ago, I went on this tour with The Transition Network. We saw the homes of Eleanor Roosevelt, Emma Lazarus, Edith Wharton, Ida Tarbell, Dawn Powell, and Mabel Dodge. This was a walking tour organized by The Transition Network as part of the "Explore NYC" series. And while I was not able to interview these interesting women whose homes we saw on the walking tour, I learned much about them from our guide, Jane, who said:
"Greenwich Village is renowned for the extraordinary women who’ve lived in this historic area over the decades....Eleanor Roosevelt, Emma Lazarus, Edith Wharton...to name just a few. On this hour-long walking tour we’ll see where these women, and other notable feminists, lived and worked and we’ll talk about their lives."
These are some of the photos I took along the walk.
It was a dreary, cold, and rainy Sunday afternoon. I met the group from St. Francis College Departments of English and Communication Arts at 2:30, and we began the tour across the street from 130-132 MacDougal Street, where Louisa May Alcott wrote "Little Women."
This is a view of MacDougal Street, looking in the other direction. In this photo, you can see the original location of Kettle of Fish, at 114 MacDougal Street. It is to the right of the blue Frequency awning and behind the yellow taxi on the left.
This is Minetta Tavern restaurant.
This is Minetta Street. You can see the walking tour group on the right.
This is the site of the old Pony Stable Inn, where Gregory Corso met Allen Ginsberg.
This is 48 Morton Street, where David Kammerer lived.
This is 69 Bedford Street, where William Burroughs lived.
This is a view of the White Horse Tavern at West 11th Street.
And this is where the tour ended. I was happy I wore comfortable shoes.
Here are some extra shots I took along the way:
In this photo, you can see the current location of Kettle of Fish at 59 Christopher Street. It is behind the white tents in the distance on the left.
And Bob Dylan lived in this building above the Tic Tac Toe lingerie shop.
Is this a photo of a ghost town? No. It was taken at about 3:00 PM on an overcast Sunday in about 1977. The view is of Seventh Avenue facing West 18th Street, which is the area known as Chelsea. There is not a person to be seen. Today, if you visit Chelsea... the streets are very congested with traffic, and you can hardly walk without bumping into people. The sidewalks are peppered with outdoor cafes.
The old building on the left was once a horse stable and in the 80s through the 90s it was Le Madri restaurant. There was a big fight over landmarking that building on the left, but now it is becoming "The Yves." I live right across the street, and I am watching it going up. It's all blue-tinted sculptured glass, with a rooftop pool, and apartments that are going for up to six million dollars. I will share the same neighborhood, same view... and the irony is that we will all go down to the same street and smell the same garbage and dog poop. Welcome to the neighborhood!