”It was the best of times… It was a dark and stormy night…..”
It was 1880. The longshoremen working the docks and piers on the Hudson would end their long, hard days by heading to the White Horse Tavern to quench their thirst with pints of ale, beer and whiskey.It was 1950. The Bohemian beat poets found a home at the Whitehorse Tavern. The likes of Dylan Thomas, Norman Mailer, Hunter S Thompson and Jack Kerovauc would add to their drinking legacies with long nights at the old wooden tables in the dim lights of the Whitehorse. Thomas died after one of his notorious drinking episodes here. He fell into a coma and never recovered. He died in 1953.It was 1960s. Bob Dylan was here. Jim Morrison was here. Jimi Hendrix was here. The latest of the Bohemian breed. The Whitehorse Tavern had a knack for attracting the creative. Walking across the wooden floors, wandering past the wood paneled walls the history takes on new life. Taking a seat in the booth that used to be owned by Dylan, I wondered if I might order up a pint of ale, pull out a notepad and begin….rhythmic verse is born in the Whitehorse Tavern.Standing at 11th and Hudson, in what today is the West Village, The Whitehorse Tavern has fed thirsty patrons since 1880. It once stood near the edge of the Hudson, but that shoreline has been significantly pushed to the west. Now, the longshoremen and bohemian poets have given way to locals and tourists. Outside, on the sidewalks, red picnic tables with bottles of ale are surrounded by loud banter and laughter mixed with the sounds of street traffic.Inside, at the heavy mahogany bar, the historic air of the days gone by is still alive. Go ahead, take out your pen and notepad and begin….The White Horse Tavern is located at 567 Hudson Street in the quiet and cultured West Village. If you visit, be sure to allow time to stroll the sidewalks in search of old book stores, unique art, and upscale shopping.Getting there: Take 1 train to Christopher Street, Follow Christopher West to Bleeker, make a right on Bleeker, and a left on 11th street. Or, Take the C or E subway 14th street, walk south on 8th Avenue, which becomes Hudson. Continue downtown to 11th street.A word of caution, this is where Manhattan loses the street grid, it can be a bit confusing if you are not familiar with the area. Nearby we found the intersection of 4th Street and 11th Street. We recommend a map.
Find Hudson Street by following 8th Avenue south to Bank Street where it changes to Hudson Street.