Claremontographer in NYC: Greenwich Village

To combat jet lag after a red-eye, our first morning included a walking tour of Greenwich Village. We signed up with Free Tours by Foot which could be free, but up front they tell you that it’s a pay what you want at the end of the tour.

Although I expected lots of history from the Beatnik era, most of the stories were from earlier times, and after learning about the very early history of the neighborhood, I snagged a few book recommendations from our guide.

The tour included:

The Stonewall Inn where early gay rights riots happened in 1969.


The Gay Liberation Monument near the Stonewall Inn


500 square inches of land which the Hess Family refused to give up when the rest of their property was taken by eminent domain by the city.


Federalist architecture


The apartment on the top floor which has been in rent control for so long, that the man who lives there (he’s in his 80s) still pays less than $350 a month.


The narrowest building, with Dutch architecture


Cafe Wha – the starting place for many musicians, including Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and Bruce Springsteen. Mary Travers, of Peter, Paul and Mary fame waited tables there.


Washington Square

After the tour ended, we still wanted to buck up our energy, so we shared a cup of hot chocolate at Grom. It’s called hot chocolate, but it’s more like liquid fudge. The whipped cream on top just added to its decadence. Our tour guide had recommended that two people share a small, and I’m glad we followed her advice.


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