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Founded in 1854, McSorley’s boasts that it is the “oldest continuously operated saloon” in New York. Walk through the doors and history just pounces on you through the hallowed walls and sawdust covered floors. Such notables visited, from Lincoln through Lennon (John, that is) but if you happened to be a woman, you were not allowed entrée until the year 1970!
It is said that Woodie Gurthrie began the movement to organize unions at a front table with nothing but his guitar and inspiring words, while feisty civil rights lawyers Faith Seidenberg and Karen DeCrow brought old McSorley’s all the way to the Supreme Court just to get inside the joint.
Come down for a pint and drink it down with a bit of history a McSorley’s Old Ale House, located at 15 East 7th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues.
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History abounds at the Orpheum Theatre, located on 2nd Avenue right near the corner of Saint Marks Place in the heart of the East Village. There is evidence that it was a garden where concerts were held during the 1880s, but a theater was built on the site in 1904. During the exciting days of Yiddish Theater in Manhattan “Player’s Theater” was the venue, and it was part of what was known as “Jewish Rialto” which existed all along Second Avenue during the early years of the 20th century.
Films took over the theater during the 1920s, but theater returned in 1958 when “Little Mary Sunshine” was the first production, opening in November, 1959. The Orpheum was known for some fabulous shows, including Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes” produced in 1962; “Little Shop of Horrors” in 1982 and David Mamet’s “Oleanna” in 1992.
Today the Orpheum is the home of “Stomp,” which opened in 1994. Stomp has until now had over 5,000 performances of its unique, percussion extravaganza. Stop by the Orpheum for a taste of history and amazing contemporary theater.
Life in the East Village will definitely not be the same without the iconic Life Café around to sit a while and watch the people go by. After thirty years on Avenue B and East 10th Street right across the street from Tompkins Square Park.
The reason for the closure was posted on the restaurant’s web site, explaining that repairs which were promised by the landlord a year ago, which were never carried out, is forcing the closure until the crucial repairs are completed. The website posted that: "On this auspicious day of 9/11/11, after 30 years in business, I am closing Life Cafe East Village this evening 'until further notice.”
It is expected that after the repairs are finished the café will re-open:
"We anticipate a rebirth of Life Cafe sometime in the near future. Thank you for your loyal patronage over the years."
Jonathan Larson wrote parts of his Broadway hit “RENT” while sitting at a table in the Life Café, and the restaurant itself was also a feature of the action in the show.
“Life Cafe became a space for artists to meet, talk, exchange ideas and perform,” read a passage from the restaurant’s website. “On cold winter days, people came to keep warm because their apartments were freezing cold.”Read More
Located at 220 East Fourth Street between Avenue A and B, The Metropolitan Playhouse has been honored with the much coveted Obie award for excellence in off-Broadway theater. Located in the heart of the East Village, The Playhouse is dedicated to exploring the unique American identity as expressed through the great literary heritage of the American culture.
The Metropolitan Playhouse focuses not only on revivals of classic American plays, but also new, original theater which has its inspiration within the rich culture of the American experience. The playhouse takes pride in its ability to bring lesser known plays from the past back to life, while also having the wherewithal to produce new, modern works which may be adaptations of American writing, including poetry and prose.
As Cindy Pierre of Stage and Cinema has stated, “Metropolitan Playhouse productions are always full of wonder and grace.”
Kate’s Joint has, according to many, the best vegie food in the neighborhood. Located on Avenue B and East 4th Street, some visitors have even commented that Kate’s Joint has the best food in general, even including meat dishes. The DJ at night keeps the place rocking, and if you are in the mood for an un-turkey club sandwich, buffalo wings or a tofu scramble, with a cold beer, Kate’s Joint is for you.
Come during happy hour and experience a great meal, a great place to relax with some excellent comfort food, some fun friends, without spending a bundle, Kate’s Joint is the answer to, “Where should we eat tonight?”