- Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery street, 212-614-0505; bowerypoetry.com
Bob Holman, a bearded, linen-suited veteran of St. Mark’s Poetry Project and the Nuyorican, founded the Bowery Poetry Club last fall as a haven for verse in all its forms—not just the shrill nursery rhymes and political rants associated with its noisier, smokier forebears. The stage and D.J. booth loom impressively over the café’s sleek tables and exposed-brick walls, focusing all eyes and ears on performers who, in a single night, can range from improv-Dada-cabaret group the Typing Explosion to Bowery flophouse poet Bingo Gazingo. Big shows and regular gigs—like Thursday slams and Tuesday visits from the cast of Def Poetry Jam—draw the steadiest audiences, but the chilled-out, wireless-accessible coffee shop opens at 9 a.m. during the week and at 11 a.m. on weekends. “We’re trying to make it a place where you can hang out,” Holman says, “and let inspiration take its time.”
Best Spoken Word
From the 2003 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).