Slideshow: The Times They Have Changed

The old San Remo’s cast of characters was transfigured by Jack Kerouac into the barflies of The Subterraneans. It was where Allen Ginsberg encountered a drunk Dylan Thomas, and Kerouac embarked on his tryst with Gore Vidal.

All photos JB Reed.

When Reader’s Digest was founded in the basement, a debut-issue article on “the stage” was mistakenly titled, “Is the State Too Vulgar?”

The Minetta Tavern was the haunt of Ernest Hemmingway, e.e. cummings, and Village eccentric Joe Gould, also known as “Professor Sea Gull,” the self-proclaimed “last bohemian” (the rest were dead, crazy, or “in the advertising business”). Claiming to have mastered the speech of seagulls, Gould sometimes interrupted poetry readings to demonstrate his skill.
Of all the Beat cafes that sprouted on and around MacDougal Street—the Caricature, the Dragon’s Den, the Hip Bagel, the Why Not?—the Café Wha is among the few that remain.
An NYU dorm was dropped on the site of Café Bizarre, where Andy Warhol unearthed the Velvet Underground and the menu included Voodoo-It-Yourself Sundaes ($2.50, doll and toothpick included). Aaron Burr’s ghost reportedly haunts the building.

The home of Louisa May Alcott’s uncle, where the author lived after the Civil War, ill from mercury poisoning, and where she is believed to have penned Little Women.

The former Kettle of Fish, a bar where the lives of Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol, and Edie Sedgwick briefly intersected.
At the Folklore Center, Izzy Young, an amiable Bronx-born anarchist, loaned guitars to many a needy musician (far fewer guitars ever made their way back to the Center).
At the Folklore Center, Izzy Young, an amiable Bronx-born anarchist, loaned guitars to many a needy musician (far fewer guitars ever made their way back to the Center).