Yesterday was a really rainy day, so my planned mini-tour of radical history in Manhattan ended being a micro-tour. I really hope in the future I can make this even more structured. I’m sure there are organizations that do this properly, I just need to find them!
So, I started off at Union Square, the focal point for radical organizing in Manhattan, and headed off to Emma Goldman‘s place at 208, 13th St East. There’s a nice plaque there:
It reads: “Emma Goldman 1869-1940: Anarchist, orator and advocate of free speech and free love, lived here from 1903-1913 and published the radical magazine “Mother Earth”. She was deported to the Soviet Union in 1919″.
Under torrential rain I proceeded to take shelter at the restaurant of the Ukrainian community where I had traditional Ukrainian perogies and a little while later I reached Leon Trotsky’s home and workplace at 80 St Mark’s Place. (You can also see a little video, filled with historical inaccuracies, where I talk about this things in situ).
No plaque here, but Wikipedia says he also lived here while staying in NYC for three months during the February Revolution. Apparently his main abode was in the Bronx, and I’m unclear why 80 St Mark’s Place is also mentioned, but it’s for sure that he contributed to the Novy Mir magazine. Novy Mir was edited by Bukharin and Kollondai and was housed at the basement of 77 St Mark’s Place, right across the street:
After a while the rain kinda stopped so I walked all the way to Greenwich Village. There I reached the historical Stonewall Inn, at 51 Christopher street where in 1969, the Stonewall riots kick-started the modern LGBTQ rights movement.
The inside of the Inn has some photos on the wall about the 1969 events but looked like an otherwise dingy gay bar. Close by at 59 Grove street, there is a plaque at the site of the house where in 1809, Thomas Paine died at age 72.
I had to ask a polite gay couple to step aside so I could photograph the plaque. It was already 6.30pm so I had to end my radical micro-tour to go to 55Bar, a cute basement pub right next to the Stonewall Inn, where at 7pm Toronto-born Greek-Canadian Melissa Stylianou was performing, as she does on the third Wednesday of every month. As the neighbors of 55Bar could have put it, her performance was absolutely fabulous.