I’ve lost track of the 1960s. At least its chronology. It’s not a matter of Puff the Magic Dragon, but the decade seemed scrambled even as it was happening. No narrative; all abstract montage. Everything used. But not much signed. More than all the flowers gone. In my case: a book, a friend, a girlfriend. I never sent the letter I wrote–but then, neither did she.
The summer after the afternoon when I had been looking at John Sloan’s painting in the Gaslight Tavern, I am sitting in McSorley’s “Wonderful Saloon” on East Seventh Street just off Third Avenue in New York City–not far from The Cooper Union.
It is my first trip to Manhattan, and I have already discovered that the A-Train is more than track three on my Columbia Record Club LP; that there is a hospital with the same name as a lip-kissing, candle-burning American poet; that the White Horse Tavern has (not unlike our Gaslight Tavern) a used bookstore (more than one) close by; and that Henry James’s Washington Square is my Washington Square–at least mine because that summer I am living in an apartment facing the east side of it.
I lived two blocks down from McSorley’s (at 100 East 7th Street) from 2000 to 2005. It’s a special place in NYC and I’ve shared many, many, MANY light & darks with friends there.