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jack kerouac

Big Corner: MacDougal and Bleecker

Plaque erected by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation marking where the San Remo bar once stood. Photo © Estate of Fred W. McDarrah

Plaque erected by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation marking where the San Remo bar once stood. Photo © Estate of Fred W. McDarrah

 

  The San Remo was a bar at 93 MacDougal St. at the corner of Bleecker. In its heyday it was across from the Café Borgia and the Figaro. Big destination corner.

  Now 93 MacDougal is a crappy chain coffee store.

  It was a hangout for folks like... well, look on the plaque.  Now, not so much.

  Jack Kerouac described the bar's crowd in his novel The Subterraneans, which is based in large part on the San Remo:

Hip without being slick, intelligent without being corny, they are intellectual as hell and know all about (Ezra) Pound without being pretentious or saying too much about it. They are very quiet, they are very Christlike.

  Save the Village indeed. If it is not already too late.

  Dylan's song Subterranean Homesick Blues also is derivative of the place. Take one of the Save the Village tours and learn more. And have fun doing it.

Dylan and Beats tour announcement

Dylan Salutes, Christopher Park, Sheridan Square, January 22, 1965. Photo by Fred W. McDarrah.

Dylan Salutes, Christopher Park, Sheridan Square, January 22, 1965. Photo by Fred W. McDarrah.

This is the press release that went out the other day about the new tour:

Bob Dylan and the Beat Generation poets - Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Peter Orlovsky, Gregory Corso and the rest - all were products of a postwar culture that lauded Eisenhower and the Military-Industrial complex, Father Knows Best, the John Birch Society and the KKK.

  In song and in verse, Dylan and the Beats rebelled against that way of life and became touchstones of a new generation.

  Fred W. McDarrah, the longtime Village Voice photographer and picture editor, was right there with his camera as it happened.  


  The worlds of Dylan and the Beat poets overlapped in many ways. The Beats and Bob tour will visit the coffee houses, clubs, and other venues (some remaining, some not) where the Beats made literary history. And when Dylan met Ginsberg in Ted Wilentz's apartment above the 8th St. Bookshop in 1963, the two began a lifelong friendship. Dylan was well familiar with the Beat poets when he left Minnesota for Greenwich Village in 1961. The tour stops at the MacDougal Street club were Dylan first performed, the bars he frequented and often performed at, and some of his Village homes, hangouts and hideouts.

  Every ticket on every tour includes a keepsake postcard packet of iconic McDarrah images and the tours go to the same locations to see how they have changed,  how they are the same, and to hear the stories behind the famous photos.

  The Beats and Bob tour is the second in a series of four Greenwich Village Walking Tours based on the photographs of McDarrah, including the ongoing Save The Village tour, and two tours starting later this fall, the East Village tour and the Artist’s World tour.

  Tickets are $25 (Adult) and $15 (Students, seniors, individuals with a valid library card, or a membership in a Historic Preservation Society, Group or Association) and every ticket includes a keepsake postcard packet.

   All tours are available for private bookings; custom or combination tours can be arranged. For tour schedules, to make reservations and for more information, go to SaveTheVillageTours.com.


  MEETS AT CORNER OF MACDOUGAL ALLEY AND MACDOUGAL STREET


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   The original Save the Village tour now joins the New York Knicks, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and dozens of all you can eat sushi joints, on Groupon.

  https://www.groupon.com/deals/save-the-village-tours

New Tour Starts Soon

A section of Washington Place next to Sheridan Square Park was renamed in honor of folk legend and Dylan pal Dave Van Ronk. His ex-wife lives near this sign and the Van Ronk name is still on the outside buzzer.

A section of Washington Place next to Sheridan Square Park was renamed in honor of folk legend and Dylan pal Dave Van Ronk. His ex-wife lives near this sign and the Van Ronk name is still on the outside buzzer.

The Beats and Bob(Dylan) Tour gets underway November 10.

We had mused about it earlier. And while we were preparing the Literary/Beats tour, and out doing the Save the Village walking tour, it became clear. Sadly, few people know, remember, had to read in school, or know much about Village literary legends like Willa Cather, Edith Wharton, John Dos Passos, ee cummings, Djuna Barnes, Henry James, William Styron, Theodore Dreiser, John Reed, etc.

But most people know of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. And of course everyone knows Bob Dylan. So we'll keep mentioning the vintage Village literary crew. Maybe it'll spark some interest.  And we'll focus on what the people know, and seem to want. 

Allen and Bob met in the Village, at a party above the old 8th St. Bookshop in 1963, and became lifelong friends. They were both products of the Eisenhower '50s, and rebelled against it in their own ways. The world of the Beats and the Folk Music scene that Dylan migrated to both were centered on the same Village street (MacDougal) and both socialized and performed at the same venues.

So a tour that tells their concurrent tales seemed like a smart way to move forward.

Hope you all agree! 

The original Save the Village Tour will continue, of course. And soon the Artists tour (more overlap with Allen and Bob. Was quite a different world back then) and the East Village tour will both kick off.