Saturday, November 28, 2009

A literary tour, Chelsea/Greenwich Village/Morningside Heights

This is 454 West 20th Street, where Jack Kerouac, in 1951, wrote "On The Road."

I stood in front of the door through which he must have passed so many times.

And this is the southwest corner of West 20th Street where: "Dean, ragged in a motheaten overcoat he bought specially for the freezing temperatures of the East, walked off alone..."

"and the last I saw of him he rounded the corner of Seventh Avenue, eyes on the street ahead, and bent to it again."

In her heartfelt memoir, "The Awakener," Helen Weaver writes about her love affair with Jack Kerouac. She met him in November 1956, when at 7:00 on a Sunday morning he arrived with Allen Ginsberg at her apartment in 307 West 11th Street. This is a photo of that building that I took today.

After Helen Weaver viewed the above photo, she told me at her website in her own blog (in a reply to one of my comments) that her "window was on the lefthand side above the picture frame." I had actually taken several photos, so here is one that I believe gives a view of her window... which I think is either right behind the blue bag dangling from that tree or the window to the right of that blue bag. You can see the windows more clearly if you click on the photo to enlarge it.

This is a view of the White Horse Tavern from the front of 307 West 11th Street.

This is now 325 West 13th Street, which is the location where Helen lived when she met Lenny Bruce. I do not know when this building was built... and it looks fairly new. The building where Helen lived may have been torn down for the construction of this newer apartment house.

This is 346 West 15th Street and it is where Allen Ginsberg lived from 1951 to 1952. It is where Jack Kerouac was introduced to Gregory Corso.

And this is a view of the block.

This is 149 West 21st Street and it was where Lucien Carr lived from 1950 to 1951. He and Jack Kerouac were friends and Jack visited him often. Bill Cannastra also lived in a nearby building that is now a parking lot.

And this is a view of the block.

added on January 21, 2010:
This is the front door of 421 West 118th Street, where Jack Kerouac lived with Edie Parker in the early 1940s.

This is 421 West 118th Street.

This is West 118th Street, looking toward Morningside Drive.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

On the Street Where I Live, a movie set

It was bleak and rainy in NYC today so when I finally left my apartment at about 4:30 PM to go downstairs to run some errands, I was surprised to walk out of my building and onto the set of "The Other Guys," starring Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Wahlberg, and Will Ferrell. All the trailers were lined up in front of my buidling. They were filming a scene in Peter McManus Cafe which is on the corner of my block. I saw a few good exterior photo ops, but when they started to shoot the outdoor scene some set guy said I couldn't take any pictures with a flash. So, I went upstairs and listened to some Bessie Smith and had a cup of coffee with a danish. Every day is an adventure in this naked city...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt, reality TV couple

I was in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle and decided to go up to Borders. I saw a notice saying Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt would be doing a signing for their new book, "How to be Famous." I smelled a photo op and got a few pictures before I decided to take a hike down to Godiva Chocolatier for my free monthly truffle. I chose raspberry dark chocolate. I am always health conscious!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Storme DeLarverie, of the Jewel Box Review

I was more than excited today when I bumped into the legendary Storme DeLarverie as I was exiting the Clearview's Chelsea Cinema after seeing "2012." I have known Storme for years and years... because at one time she lived in my apartment building. I was rushed and Storme was going home... so we did not have time for an interview. But, I did have time to take her photo and it appears above at this blog with a photo taken in 1958.

The photo from 1958 appears below and is a photo of my family on the night we went to Ben Maksik's Town and Country Club, on Flatbush Avenue and Avenue V in Brooklyn, NY. We went that night with the Parkers and the Cranes to see the "Jewel Box Revue." The infamous Jewel Box Revue was a popular "drag" performance group which toured America and the ensemble was composed of about 24 males dressed beautifully as females and one biological female dressed in a suit as a man. That man was Storme and she was in the show that evening as the MC and male impersonator.

I had no idea at the time that so many years later I would meet the star of the show, Storme DeLarverie, and that 51 years after that night I would be walking in Chelsea and hear the wonderful and recognizeable voice of Storme calling, "Hey, doll." In so many imaginative and wonderful ways, bumping into Storme tonight helped me end the day with a smile.

I am hoping to interview Storme soon, but until that time please learn more about her here:


Storme: Lady of the Jewel Box

Jewel Box Revue

even more Jewel Box Revue

interview with Terry