Category Archives: hiway america

Places and things around the country

HIWAY AMERICA – COWBOYS, AND THE NATIONAL COWBOY MUSEUM, OKLAHOMA CITY, OK

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HIWAY AMERICA – COWBOYS, AND THE NATIONAL COWBOY MUSEUM, OKLAHOMA CITY, OK

Cowboys

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I had nothing to look forward to in civilization, I was crazy about guns.
Frank Mayer, buffalo hunter
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In 1865 thirteen million buffalo roam the Great Plains. This vast untouched wilderness divides America but the rail road cuts through the continent. And on the trains come a million unemployed Civil War veterans.

Their targets are the 900 kilo buffalo, each capable of stampeding at 55km an hour and crushing man and beast before them. So hunters shoot from 180m. A good shot aims for the lungs and drops the target without the rest of the herd even noticing. In this way, 8,000 buffalo a day are slaughtered. And they’re all killed just for their hides. Worth $3 each, one million are shipped out in 1872 from Kansas alone. The long strips of buffalo leather are used in Northern factories as drive belts, and other pieces become coats and shoes.

The Native American tribes on the Plains had depended on the buffalo.

“The buffalo were our strength. From whence we came, and at whose breast we suck as babies all our lives.” Black Elk

The buffalos’ sinews become bow strings, bones become cups and spoons, and its skin is used for clothing, tepees and coffins. Native Americans have co-existed with them since the last Ice Age. In just a few decades, the source of their entire culture is destroyed. In 1865, thirteen million buffalo roamed. By 1889, just 85 wild buffalo exist in the whole of the United States.

COWBOYS AND FARMERS

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“For a brief moment the cowboy was king of the West…(He) was created and sustained by the railroad.” Hugh Brogan

Cattle replace buffalo. In Texas, there’s six million. Worth only $4 there, they’re worth ten times that back east. But in 1868, the rail-road stops 1600km short of the herds. To transport them across the west, the cowboy is born. After the civil war, 60% of the South’s population lives in rural poverty. You could either farm, or try to find work as one of the 35,000 cowboys around which now iconic towns like Dodge City are born. For a dollar a day they need to be skilled horseman enough to guide wild herds prone to stampede through even wilder lands: And good enough with a gun to fight off rustlers after their $200,000 herds. In 1873, Colt releases the six shooter, Colt 45, also known as ‘The Peacemaker’. It costs $17, half a cowboy’s monthly salary, with its six bullets costing half a day’s pay.

“Abe Lincoln may have freed all men, but Sam Colt made them equal” Post Civil War slogan

One out of three cowboys is Hispanic or African Americans. Many, such as Nat Love, go from slavery to a dangerous, but undeniable freedom:

The buffalo and other game, the Indians, the delight of living, and the fights against death that caused every nerve to tingle, and the everyday communion with men, whose minds were as broad as the plains they roamed, and whose creed was every man for himself and every friend for each other, and with each other till the end.

But barbed wire signals the end of the cowboy’s way of life. In just twenty years, two and a half million settlers have covered over 2 million square km of open range with farms, setting cattle rancher against homesteader. In the same year Colt releases the gun that will make the ‘Wild West’ famous, an unknown farmer invents something that will end forever the cowboy. In autumn 1873, Joseph Glidden, using a coffee grinder, crudely fashions some steel bars, and binds some barbs between two lengths of wire. His barbed wire design divides the plains into farms and ranches and blocks the cattle trails. Within 10 years, Glidden sells enough barbed wire to go around the world, 25 times. The open plains end forever.

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The Last Cowboy Song-Ed Bruce

http://youtu.be/GKeDcF1v_Y4 

“When you call me that, smile,” the hero said to the bad man in that first of thousands of cowboy novels, Owen Wister’s “The Virginian.” Even before that book’s publication in 1902, the cowboy had become a part of the American psyche. Something there was about him—tall in the saddle, alone, facing danger, one man against nature’s vast, treeless plains and humanity’s outlaws—that appealed to people and made the cowboy a folk hero, a half-real, half-mythological symbol of the American West.

NationalCowboy.jpg - © Adam Knapp, Licensed to About.com, Inc.

 © Adam Knapp, Licensed to About.com, Inc.

Billy the Kid : Documentary on the Outlaw Billy The Kid (Full Documentary)

http://youtu.be/peMYV393xLQ 

THE COWBOY MUSEUM

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Background:

Established in 1955 with the purpose of honoring the American cowboys, what was then called the Cowboy Hall of Fame has become today’s National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. The 200,000 square foot facility features Western and Native American artifacts, sculptures, art and historical galleries. It is one of Oklahoma City’s more popular attractions and one of the most respected museums of its kind in the United States.

HIWAY AMERICA -AMERICA’S STRANGEST RESTAURANTS

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HIWAY AMERICA -AMERICA’S STRANGEST RESTAURANTS

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 America’s Strangest Restaurants

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America's Strangest Restaurants: Magic Restroom Café

Daniel Chyan of Magic Restroom Cafe

“I am probably the only restaurateur in the entire world who is unapologetically telling you that my food is bad for you, and that you should stay away from it,” Heart Attack Grill’s Jon Basso recently said after one of his regulars suffered (you guessed it) a massive heart attack on his post-meal bus ride home.

With waitresses dressed as sexy nurses and a Guinness World Record for “Most Calorific Burger,” this Las Vegas attraction is surely an only-in-America experience. But in a country that birthed the bloomin’ onion, it’s not the only weird eatery America has to offer. Strange restaurants abound from coast to coast, from a toilet-themed café in the suburbs of Los Angeles to ninja villages in New York City and an actual cave in the Midwest.

“Part of the appeal of a themed or a weird restaurant is that it may not live or die based on how good the food is,” explains Doug Kirby, author of Roadside America, a byway bible to America’s strangest pit stops. “I hear a lot of locals say they would never go to the nearby weird restaurant, but they’d totally take whoever was visiting from out of town.”

On your next trip, here’s where to let your foodie freak flag fly.

20+ Little Lonely Houses For The Solitary Soul

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20+ Little Lonely Houses For The Solitary Soul
20+ Little Lonely Houses For The Solitary Soul

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20+ Little Lonely Houses For The Solitary Soul

Living in a city does have its perks, but even city-dwellers dream of escaping to some small comfortable house or cottage surrounded by wilderness to let their weary souls re-charge. All of these beautiful houses surrounded by picturesque views will inspire…

HIWAY AMERICA – The Little Desert That Grew in Maine

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The Little Desert That Grew in Maine

 

http://youtu.be/3SfEcntKSH8

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Herb Swanson for The New York Times

Exposed glacial silt has created an unlikely diversion for tourists in coastal Maine: a desert tour.

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On a clear late-summer morning with temperatures in the low 70’s, the “desert,” which emerges incongruously from the surrounding green hills, shimmered at 90 degrees from the reflected heat of its shifting dunes. Walking to the middle of this silent expanse, you’ll find it difficult to believe you are anywhere in the eastern United States, let alone Maine.

Most visitors tour this otherworldly landscape — which takes up most of the Desert of Maine tourist attraction’s 47 acres — on 30-minute tram tours. But there are also easy hiking trails, and visitors can wander on their own. In places, dunes tower high above the trails, kept at bay by trees — the surrounding forest is the natural fence that keeps the sand from spreading.

The Desert of Maine is well known locally, according to Robert Doyle, a retired head of the Maine Geological Survey and former associate professor at the University of Maine at Augusta. “My father took me there when I was 10,” he said.

The story of this strange place began more than 10,000 years ago, Mr. Doyle explained, when the glaciers of the last Ice Age slowly scraped the soil and ground rocks into pebbles and then to a sandy substance known as glacial silt, forming a layer up to 80 feet deep in places in southern Maine. Then, over the centuries, topsoil formed a cap, concealing the “desert,” enabling forest to grow and, when settlers came to North America, supporting agriculture.

Enter William Tuttle, a farmer who bought 300 acres of prime farmland in 1797. Tuttle built a large post-and-beam barn on the site and operated a successful farm for decades, raising cattle and crops. His descendants added sheep to sell wool to textile mills. Poor crop rotation and overgrazing by sheep, which tear the plants out of the soil by the roots, resulted in soil erosion and something eerily beyond.

One day, a patch of sand the size of a dinner plate became exposed. It grew until the family became alarmed. But it was too late. The “desert” had made its entrance, and the more the soil eroded, the more the sand underneath was exposed.

THE Tuttles didn’t give up right away, and tried for years to fight the inevitable. But slowly the sand claimed the farm, swallowing buildings and pasture. By the early 20th century they abandoned the place. Proving that one person’s disaster is another’s gold mine, Henry Goldrup bought the farm in 1919 for $300 and opened it as a tourist attraction in 1925. It now attracts 30,000 visitors a year, according to Mary and Bob Kaschub, who work as tour guides.

The tram tour travels through the starkest portions of the desolate landscape, like the site of a springhouse, built in 1935, that was overtaken by sand by 1962 and is now invisible under eight feet of sand. Pine trees have adapted to the sand and seem healthy, with only their tops exposed and their trunks buried as much as 50 feet deep. The contrast is vivid between the brightness of the dunes and the surrounding forest.

Mica in the silt sparkles in the Maine sun. It also reflects heat, explaining the high temperatures in the middle of the sandy expanse. Readings of more than 100 degrees are not uncommon, Ms. Kaschub said.

Over several years as a tour guide, she has learned to respect the power of the sand. On one tour, a powerful gust of wind suddenly made it impossible to see and nearly impossible to breathe, she said. Visitors and staff had to cover their eyes, noses and mouths until the swirling sandstorm subsided several minutes later. Ms. Kaschub also pointed out trees that had been stripped of much of their bark, essentially sandblasted smooth from the wind. “Every year, I wonder, will the desert win, or will the forest win?” she mused.

On the day of our visit the air was still, making it easy to admire the area’s odd beauty and to feel sorry for the hapless Tuttles. They tried to make bricks out of the sand swallowing their farm, but because of the high mica content, the bricks just crumbled and fell apart. So the sparkling quality that helped make the place a tourist attraction essentially prevented its practical use.

Once the touring and hiking are done, there are more activities for children. A staff artist gives free lessons in fashioning art from the sand, which varies in color. For the purchase of a bottle for a few dollars and a quick lesson in shaping a sand creation, visitors can spend an absorbing hour creating a piece of the “desert” to bring home.

Also on the site are a museum with agricultural implements and a play area where children can search for colored stones that the staff has scattered on the sand.

In the 1950’s, the Desert of Maine kept a camel named Sarah to add to the desert atmosphere. It developed the unfortunate habit of biting and spitting at the tourists and was eventually sent to a zoo. Taking its place now are two life-size statues of camels, one lying down and the other standing. They are not nearly as interactive as Sarah was, but at least tourists who want a souvenir picture won’t have to worry about fending off a dromedary with anger management issues.

HIWAY AMERICA- WEIRD FLORIDA

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HIWAY AMERICA- WEIRD FLORIDA

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Dumb Laws in Florida

City Laws in Florida

Miami Beach
Skateboarding is not allowed at any police station.
Persons face up to thirty days in jail for selling oranges on the sidewalk.
Termite farms are not allowed within the city.
No one may bring a pig with them to the beach.
Naples
Neon signs are prohibited.
Palm Bay
Persons may not tow a sled behind their bicycles.
Pensacola
Citizens may not be caught downtown without at least 10 dollars on their person.
It is illegal to roll a barrel on any street, fines go up according to the contents of the barrel.
A women can be fined (only after death), for being electrocuted in a bath-tub because of using self-beautification utensils.
Sanford
Stage nudity is banned, with the exception of “bona fide” theatrical performances.
Sarasota
If you hit a pedestrian you are fined $78.
You may not catch crabs.
Satellite Beach
Beer may not be sold between 2 a.
Persons may not appear in public clothed in liquid latex.
Seaside
All houses much have white picket fences and full-width, two-story porches.
Tampa
Women may not expose their breasts while performing“topless dancing”.
Lap dances must be given at least six feet away from a patron.

Ah, Florida: sun, surf, sand, South Beach, and senior citizens. That’s about it, right? Well, no, not exactly. Florida is also one of the best places to chart your weirdest travel destinations. And who better to chronicle this state’s fabled places, roadside wonders, bizarre beasts, and downright peculiar people than Charlie Carlson, a tenth-generation Floridian. All who know Charlie can testify that he is one very strange dude – and the perfect person to steer you to Florida’s best-kept secrets and oddest legends. Below you will find links to some of the weirdest Florida stories, but remember, the tales on this website are only the tip of the iceberg. To get the full weirdness we recommend you buy Weird Florida the book…

ABANDONED:
Devil’s School #4
Forgotten Gateway
Nike Missle Base
Old Citrus Packing House
Osceola Bank Vault
Popash School
Sunland Hospital
Xanadu

ANCIENT MYSTERIES
Fountain of Youth Burial Ground
Miami Mystery Circle
New Smyrna Ruins
Okeechobee Burial Ground
Wakulla Volcano

BIZARRE BEASTS:
Bardin Booger
El Chupacabra
Skunk Ape

CEMETERY SAFARI:
Brownie Grave
Devil’s Chair
Elena Milagro Hoyos
Horse Grave
Jackie Gleason’s Grave
Key West Graves
Lynard Skynard VanZant
Middle of Road Grave
Phillip’s Mausoleum
Pyramids
Rooster Graveyard

FABLED PEOPLE AND PLACES:
Christmas, FL
Fountain of Youth
Garden of Eden
Gibsonton
Hollow Earth

GHOSTS:
Ashley’s Ghost
Cassandaga
Catalina’s Ghost
Huguenot Cemetery
Midnight in the Castillo
Old Firehouse
Robert the Living Doll
St. Francis Inn

LOCAL LEGENDS:
Devil’s Millhopper
Devil’s Tree
Haunted Oaks – Deadman’s Trees
Tallahassee Witch Grave
Wiccademous Path

PERSONALIZED PROPERTIES:
House of Statues
American Dreyfus
Bowling Ball House
Gothic Garden
Mafia House?
Opa-Locka-Baghdad
Solomon’s Castle

ROADSIDE ODDITIES:
800 Year Old Building
Alligators
Big Tree
Bongoland
Crashed Planes
Drive-in Church
Mile Marker Zero
Miracle Wall
Most Unusual Monument
Panther Crossing
Possum Monument
Presidents Hall of Fame
Smalles Police Station
Smallest Post Office
Southernmost Point
Tallest Cross
Zero Milestone

ROAD LESS TRAVELED:
Blood Bucket Road
Green Briar Road
Magnolia Creek
Old Red Eyes-Kingsley Road
Rolling Acres Road
Route 4 Dead Zone
Suicide Road

UNEXPLAINED PHENOMENA:
Booming Sounds
Carnivorous Cloud
Coral Castle Photos
Oviedo Lights
Spook Hill

BEATNIK HIWAY – HAIGHT ASHBURY IN THE 60’S-A VIBRANT HIPPIE HISTORY- AND TODAY’S KIDS

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BEATNIK HIWAY – HAIGHT ASHBURY IN THE 60’S-A VIBRANT HIPPIE HISTORY- AND TODAY’S KIDS

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“San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” is a song, written by John Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas, and sung by Scott McKenzie. It was written and released in June 1967 to promote the Monterey Pop Festival

http://youtu.be/bch1_Ep5M1s

ERIC BURDON & THE ANIMALS-“SAN FRANCISCAN NIGHTS”

 http://youtu.be/g2JwiusEyPQ

“San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” is a song, written by John Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas, and sung by Scott McKenzie. It was written and released in June 1967 to promote the Monterey Pop Festival.

http://youtu.be/bch1_Ep5M1s

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dave and myself in San Francisco

Posted: 10/15/2012 2:20 pm EDT Updated: 10/16/2012 2:21 pm EDT
HAIGHT ASHBURY 1960S
  A stroll down Haight Street today will undoubtedly evoke a certain 1960s nostalgia.

Live guitar music still warbles from street corners, tie-dyed t-shirts are hawked by the handful, the smell of pot permanently wafts, colorful peace signs adorn windows of businesses like the Red Victorian Bed & Breakfast — institutions better suited to an earlier time.

(SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOS)

But said nostalgia is often overshadowed by the sad realities of a neighborhood that has long since evolved from the remnants of a revolution: the wayward teenagers, the tourist traps, the vagabonds, the $6 corporate ice cream cones sold at precisely San Francisco’s most famous intersection.

During its heyday, which culminated in 1967’s infamous Summer of Love, young dreamers converged in the Haight by the thousands. Historians deem the neighborhood the birthplace of the hippie movement, marked by peaceful protests and psychedelic experimentation. The era’s greatest luminaries, from Jerry Garcia to Allen Ginsberg to Jimi Hendrix, all lived nearby.

Then the movement waned, and the area began to decay along with it. “By the fall of 1967, Haight-Ashbury was nearly abandoned, trashed, and laden with drugs and homeless people,” blogger Jon Newman wrote in his essay Death of the Hippie Subculture. “With the Haight in ruins and most of its residents gone, it was simply unable to operate as a hub for music, poetry and art.”

Of course, the Haight still has a certain appeal. There’s no better jazz-and-pizza combo in the city than at Club Deluxe, Amoeba Music offers a truly epic collection, a parklet just popped up in front of Haight Street Market and the 12-piece band that assembles in front of American Apparel on Sunday mornings always move crowds to dance in the street.

Yet we can’t help but heave a sigh while pushing past gaggles of gawking tourists or stepping over the man sleeping on the sidewalk at noon. While a stroll down Haight Street today certainly evokes nostalgia, it also makes us yearn for a place that was once the epicenter of peace and love and youth in revolt, a place we never had the chance to experience ourselves but will be forever engrained in San Francisco’s complex, progressive history.

A History Of Hippies

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 This collection is part of a new HuffPost SF partnership with the San Francisco Public Library’s History Center, “Tales From The City,” which features various images from throughout the city’s past. Visit the San Francisco History Center in person to view original photographic prints and negatives as well as tour other relics from SF’s earlier days.

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This is a short documentary about the Haight Street kids living in San Francisco.

http://youtu.be/sIHa8QyU2Ok

HIWAY AMERICA -MACY’S 14TH AND 6 AVE. HERALD SQUARE, N.Y.C.- Inside The Guts Of New York’s Macy’s Herald Square

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HIWAY AMERICA -MACY’S 14TH AND 6 AVE. HERALD SQUARE, N.Y.C.- Inside The Guts Of New York’s Macy’s Herald Square

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HIWAY AMERICA -This Nation Has Another Grand Canyon, And It’s Hiding In Yellowstone

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This Nation Has Another Grand Canyon, And It’s Hiding In

Yellowstone

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  1. The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is the primary geologic feature in the Canyon District. It is roughly 20 miles long, measured from the Upper Falls to the Tower Fall area. Depth is 800 to 1,200 ft.; width is 1,500 to 4,000 ft.
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 Just when we thought we’d seen it all, we were shocked as anyone to find out that there’s another Grand Canyon in this nation.

It’s in Yellowstone National Park, and it’s actually named The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. At roughly 20 miles long, it features no less than three waterfalls for a sight that’s truly spectacular.

grand canyon of the yellowstone

The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone that you see today is somewhere between 10,000 and 14,000 years old, which the National Park Service describes as “a very recent geologic feature.” It was cut by the Yellowstone River, the longest undammed river in the continental U.S.

The canyon varies from 800 to 1,200 feet deep — not as deep as the actual Grand Canyon, but we’ll take it.

Things are calm and quiet in Yellowstone now that summer is over (plan ahead for any road and service station closures), so hurry over to catch any lingering fall colors.

h/t Imgur

HIWAY AMERICA – PATCHIN PLACE GREENWICH VILLAGE

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PATCHIN PLACE, Greenwich Village

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Patchin Place, a dead end squeezed onto the north side of West 10th Street between 6th Avenue and Greenwich Avenue, has its own intrinsic charms, but it’s notable because Manhattan has not had a great deal of dead-end alleys since 1900 at least, and likely long before that. Manhattan, which has always been paved over and rebuilt upon relentlessly, has given up many of its alleyways, some picturesque, some slummy and dangerous. This space is landmarked, so it’ll likely be here as long as Manhattan exists.

 

Patchin Place was created in 1848 or 1849 when Samuel Milligan, the owner of the parcel, decided to build ten townhouses facing each other across an alley. One (#4 Patchin Place) was built as a standalone building, with the rest attached to each other. Milligan’s daughter Isobel married his surveyor, Aaron Patchin, and his name was affixed to the alley, though it doesn’t turn up on maps by name until about 1885 (above). A smaller cul-de-sac issuing from 6th Avenue around the corner was named Milligan Place. It has been thought that the houses were originally built to house (mostly) Basque waiters at the now-demolished Brevoort Hotel on 5th Avenue, but the Brevoort was built in 1855. However the alley may well have been occupied by the workers at some point.

When Patchin Place and its houses were built by 1849, West 10th Street was still known as Amos Street: the principal heir of Sir Peter Warren, who owned the land in the colonial era, was Charles Christopher Amos, and those names were applied to streets when they were built through the area by 1800. Amos Street became West 10th Street in 1857.

Patchin Place is closed to traffic, but it’s built conventionally with a roadbed lined by two sidewalks. In the past, it’s possible that horses and carriages entered the alley and autos backed in and out, but that hasn’t been the case as long as I’ve known about Patchin Place. A gate sees to it that no cars enter, but the latch is usually open on the sidewalks to allow idlers and photographers like me to enter, as well as actual residents.

 LitNerd Wednesday!

Tree-lined streets are a dime a dozen in the Village but very few have the reputation of the timeless Patchin Place. This small alley populated with three story row houses dates to the late 1840s but by the early 20th century it attracted writers who could  have peace and quiet to work in the middle of bohemia. In the 1910s journalists John Reed and Louise Bryant lived there while Reed finished Ten Days That Shook World, his firsthand account of the Russian Revolution.

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In 1923 E.E. Cummings moved into 4 Patchin Place and described it as having “Safety & peace & the truth of Dreaming & the bliss of Work“. Modernist writer Djuna Barnes, who left the Village in 1921 for Paris, returned in 1940 and moved into 5 Patchin Place where she lived until her death in 1982. There she lived the life of a recluse barely showing her face causing Cummings to routinely shout out his window “Are you still alive, Djuna?”Today Patchin Place remains mostly the same even retaining one of the few original gas street lamps minus the gas. The writers have since been replaced by pyschotherapists giving it the new designation of “Therapy Row”.

What: Patchin Place

Who: Djuna Barnes, E.E. Cummings, Louise Bryant, John Reed

A LITERARY TOUR OF GREENWICH VILLAGE

http://www.placestudies.com/page/greenwich-village-literary-tour

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