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).