Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Golden Swan: a 'hell hole' for Village inspiration

The Bowery Boys Blog: The Golden Swan: a 'hell hole' for Village inspiration
It was who chose to haunt the Golden Swan in the first quarter of the 20th century that made it legendary. The Village was already a magnet of bohemian life by the turn of the century. Photographers, painters, writers and gadabouts slowly began frequenting the Golden Swan's backroom, swilling its cheap liquor.
But none were more renown -- and none made the bar more famous -- than Eugene O'Neill (pictured right), a patron of the Golden Swan (or 'Hell Hole', as he preferred it) during his most creative period, from the mid 1910s on. When he wasn't in Cape Cod with the Provincetown Players -- or in a small theater on MacDougal street, working on a new show -- he was here at the 'HH', regaling drinkers with poetry, enjoying the company of writer friends (like activist Dorothy Day) or delighting in the antics of the tavern's thuggish bartenders, such as Lefty Louie.

No comments: