Bleecker Street was once the epicenter of New York’s sixties folk scene, home to the basement apartment where Bob Dylan wrote ''A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall” and the smoke-wreathed clubs where Joan Baez strummed her acoustic guitar. And while the starving artists have long since relocated to Brooklyn, faint glimmers of the area’s past can still be found among the mishmash of bars and souvenir shops. Bleecker’s eastern terminus at the Bowery is marked by shuttered storefronts and graffiti-strewn tenements, but west of LaGuardia, it’s home to beer-soaked dives like the Bitter End, once a regular venue for Miles Davis but now the province of unexceptional bar bands. And at Bleecker and Thompson, a rectangular sign mounted above a CVS is the only remnant of the storied Village Gate club. Tattoo parlors, record stores, and head shops displaying colorful glass bongs still abound. The area becomes even ritzier west of Seventh, where Ugg-clad locals stride past meticulously maintained townhouses on their way to Burberry and Ralph Lauren. Dismayed by the very un-Bohemian prices? Drown your sorrows at John’s Pizzeria, a Bleecker mainstay since 1929.
Award-winning author and chef Maria Benardis focuses her teachings on living a healthy life through ancient Greek wisdom and cuisine. More »