7. The Former Homes of Allen Ginsberg, 206 E 7th Street, between Avenues B and C, & 170 E 2nd Street, between Avenue A and B
Bill Weinburg, who gives a “Radical Alphabet City” tour from MoRUS, alerted us to the presence of premier Beat Generation poet Allen Ginsberg’s former apartments, which must inevitably be pilgrimage stops for any neo-beatniks. From 1952-53, Ginsberg kept an apartment on the third floor of 206 East 7th Street (pictured above). His lover at the time, William S. Burroughs, shared the apartment with him. After Ginsberg left New York and completed his famously controversial poem “Howl” in San Francisco, he came back to the East Village, this time settling on East 2nd Street for three years with his lifelong partner Peter Orlovsky. Ginsberg remains one of the East Village’s most remembered former residents. A HOWL! Festival is held every June in Tompkins Square Park in celebration of the poem that fueled a censorship case and now is being used as a symbol of the free expression that the East Village is known for embracing.