What’s this? The White Horse Tavern, which has been around for over 135 years. The bar opened in 1880 but was more as a longshoremen’s bar. However, in the early 1950s Welsh author Dylan Thomas and other writers began frequenting it turning it into a literary center. Other famous patrons include James Baldwin, The Clancy Brothers, Bob Dylan, Jane Jacobs, Norman Mailer, Jim Morrison, Hunter S. Thompson, Jack Kerouac, and Mary Travers. Due to its literary fame, in the past few decades the White Horse has become a popular destination among tourists. The story is that Dylan Thomas spent a night at the tavern and ultimately ended up drinking himself into a fatal coma in November of 1953. While his predilection for drink was probably a contributing factor, the pathology report puts swelling of the brain due to pneumonia as the cause. The smog in NYC at that period was particularly bad and had already lead to quite a few deaths. All this to say, the bar still serves as a watering hole for writers, and it’s said that Thomas’s ghost hangs out at his favorite table.
Edmund Vincent Gillon
[White Horse Tavern, 567 Hudson Street.]