Monday, October 08, 2012

White Horse Tavern New York

The White Horse Tavern, located in New York City's borough of Manhattan at Hudson Street and 11th Street, is known for its 1950s and 1960s Bohemian culture. It is one of the few major gathering-places for writers and artists from this period in Greenwich Village that remains open. The bar opened in 1880, but was known more as a longshoremen's bar than a literary center until Dylan Thomas and other writers began frequenting it in the early 1950s. Due to its literary fame, in the past few decades the White Horse has become a popular destination among tourists.

The White Horse is perhaps most famous as the place where Dylan Thomas drank, before returning home and eventually becoming ill and dying a few days later of unrelated causes. Other famous patrons include The Clancy Brothers (who also performed at the establishment), Bob Dylan, Mary Travers, Jim Morrison, Norman Mailer, James Baldwin, Michael Harrington, Seymour Krim, Delmore Schwartz, Richard Fariña, Jane Jacobs, and Hunter S. Thompson. The White Horse is the tavern - "Once upon a time there was a tavern" - in the opening line of Gene Raskin's song Those Were the Days, adapted from a Russian folk song of the 1920s.

The White Horse's other famous patrons included Jack Kerouac, who was bounced from the establishment more than once. Because of this someone scrawled on the bathroom wall: "JACK GO HOME!" At that time, Kerouac was staying in an apartment in the building located on the NW corner of West 11th St.

About the same time, the White Horse was a gathering place for labor members and organizers and socialists. The Catholic Workers hung out here and the idea for the Village Voice was discussed here. The Village Voice original offices were within blocks of the White Horse. Much of the content was discussed here by the editors.

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