11. Allen Ginsberg lived at 206 East 7th Street and 170 East 2nd Street
Given Alphabet City’s artsy reputation, it may not come as a major surprise that Allen Ginsberg of the Beat Generation lived in the neighborhood alongside a few other leading Beat figures. Many musicians, authors, and hippies settled in Alphabet City and the East Village after getting priced out of Greenwich Village, which was rapidly gentrifying in the 1950s. Ginsberg settled in a third-floor apartment at 206 East 7th Street. He lived there with his long-time lover William S. Burroughs from 1952 to 1953. The apartment was a hangout spot for other Beatniks including Jack Kerouac, pictured looking out the apartment window in a famous photograph, and Gregory Corso. The apartment was comfortably situated between Avenues B and C, both of which had cafes and hangout spots for the Beats.
Ginsberg would later move to San Francisco to complete his famous poem “Howl.” He soon moved back to New York when he was done. This time around, he moved into an apartment at 170 East 2nd Street between Avenues A and B. He lived in this apartment for three years with his partner Peter Orlovsky. It was in Apartment 16, a walk-up, where he wrote his arguably second-most famous poem “Kaddish,” a mournful elegy for his mother.