Experience the bohemian side of New York that you only read about in books. From Dutch colonists to the beat poets to punk rockers, the East Village has been home to it all. We start with an introduction to the area, from the Lanape people, who first occupied this land, to the immigrants, artists and historical figures who built it. We walk from historic Tompkins Square Park, where quite a bit of political and musical history occurred, then down the heart of the East Village, St. Mark's Street. There we'll pass such landmarks as where Andy Warhol's Velvet Underground first performed, where noted artists Keith Haring created, where Thomas Edison studied and Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass spoke, where such poets of note as W.H. Auden and Frank O'Hara lived, where German immigrants left evidence of their legacy (including the German-American Shooting Club). From there it's around the corner to the homes of Director-General of New Amsterdam, Peter Stuyvesant's family (who owned all the land we walk over). We see St. Mark's church, where many major poets and punk rockers performed, and where many notable New Yorkers are buried (including Peter Stuyvesant himself and Daniel Tompkins, for who my beloved park is named). We talk quite a bit about the Bowery, the very first street in NYC and home to CBGB -- and so much more! We end at the beautiful Washington Square Park arch
I'm a licensed tour guide who shows people the historic, artistic and political history of the bohemian and dynamic East Village where I was raised. I grew here and have many personal stories about the places we visit, most of them not on any tourist maps. From old Dutch homes to famous poets and artists; from German socialists to punk rockers, I cover it all. I've studied quite a bit in books, but I bring a personal perspective as I've walked, lived and breathed these streets I love all of my life. Please note that If you find my tour completely booked, feel free to contact me anyway through airbnb. There are often cancelations. It's all street level, so wheelchair accessible. Children welcome.
You'll see historic Tompkins Square park, the Cooper Union, where Abraham Lincoln spoke, down St. Mark's street where so many great artists, poets, musicians lived worked and partied. We see the once-fashionable cast-iron facade buildings, and the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire site. From there over to Washington Mews, homes that were once stables, where such artists lived as Edward Hopper and end at vibrant Washington Square Park.
One stop is Gem's Spa, central to East Village lore, and famous for its egg creams. We'll visit the Gem, talk about it's history, but there's no obligation to buy anything.